Springtime Gardening Tips
Springtime Gardening Tips
With some of the nice weather we’ve had lately around Hamilton Mill, you are probably anxious to get out and do some gardening or work in the yard. Here are some easy tricks to help you along the way. #2 is a little strange, but effective!
- To prevent accumulating dirt under your fingernails while you work in the garden, draw your fingernails across a bar of soap and you'll effectively seal the undersides of your nails so dirt can't collect beneath them. Then, after you've finished in the garden, use a nailbrush to remove the soap and your nails will be sparkling clean.
- Diapers (yes baby diapers) make keeping window boxes or hanging plants moist a snap. Lay the diaper open at the bottom of your basket or box, fill with dirt, and your plants will keep moist!
- To prevent the line on your string trimmer from jamming or breaking, treat with a spray vegetable oil before installing it in the trimmer.
- Use coffee filters to keep soil from leaking out of the bottom of pots
- The next time you boil or steam vegetables, don't pour the water down the drain, use it to water potted patio plants, and you'll be amazed at how the plants respond to the "vegetable soup."
- To have garden twine handy when you need it, just stick a ball of twine in a small clay pot, pull the end of the twine through the drainage hole, and set the pot upside down in the garden. Do that, and you'll never go looking for twine again.
- Use leftover tea and coffee grounds to acidify the soil of acid-loving plants such as azaleas, rhododendrons, camellias, gardenias and even blueberries. A light sprinkling of about one-quarter of an inch applied once a month will keep the pH of the soil on the acidic side.
- The quickest way in the world to dry herbs: just lay a sheet of newspaper on the seat of your car, arrange the herbs in a single layer, then roll up the windows and close the doors. Your herbs will be quickly dried to perfection. What's more, your car will smell great.
- You can grow basil plants from store bought fresh herbs. Take a basil leaf and soak in a glass of water for 2-3 weeks. Once roots emerge, you can plant into soil.
- Little clay pots make great cloches for protecting young plants from sudden, overnight frosts and freezes.
- To create perfectly natural markers, write the names of plants (using a permanent marker) on the flat faces of stones of various sizes and place them at or near the base of your plants.
- Got aphids? You can control them with a strong blast of water from the hose or with insecticidal soap. But here's another suggestion, one that's a lot more fun; get some tape! Wrap a wide strip of tape around your hand, sticky side out, and pat the leaves of plants infested with aphids. Concentrate on the undersides of leaves, because that's where the little buggers like to hide.
- To remove the salt deposits that form on clay pots, combine equal parts white vinegar, rubbing alcohol and water in a spray bottle. Apply the mixture to the pot and scrub with a plastic brush. Let the pot dry before you plant anything in it.
- Store tools in a pot of builders sand to prevent rusting.
Get outside, enjoy the weather, and happy gardening at your Hamilton Mill home!