Hints & Tips For Your Garden
This article is about gardening hints and tips that will help you grow better and live better. These are all random little ideas that I've picked up over the years. And I'm sure there's much more to learn. But here's what I've got so far...
Keep conifer branches from breaking under the weight of snow by tying them with rope.
Protect young trees by wrapping the trunks loosely in aluminum foil.
Use aluminum foil between rows of plants and use rocks/bricks to anchor down- the extra light can increase yields and speed the ripening of tomatoes or the blooming of roses by 2 weeks.
Plant runner beans, morning glory, black-eyed susan vine, sweet peas, etc to help disguise chain link fences or other things to create a beautiful screen.
Use manure which has dried for at least 2 years on annuals- otherwise they produce too many leaves, stems and too few flowers.
Pinching young plants delays blooming and helps them become stockier and bushier.
Use shear or scissors to remove dead flowers from annuals that bloom in flushes.
Ants do not like aromatic plants like chives, garlic, lavender and mint. Plant these along the border of your garden to keep ants out.
Apples will keep fresh for months being stored a couple degrees above freezing in the fridge. Poke a few holes in plastic bags and use to store apples.
Keep artichokes fresh by arranging like flowers in water- stems down in the water. They will stay fresh longer.
Have a box of ash around for your chickens. They like to use it as a bath and it helps keep them clean.
When mulching asparagus, do NOT use sawdust or bark. asparagus likes pH of 6.5.
Start Basil in a blend of 1 part compost to 1 part sand then cover with glass. Wait to transplant until temperatures will not go below 45 degrees F. As they grow, pinch basil back just above where two branches leave the stem. Try planting basil by tomatoes. They are great companion plants.
Layer basil in a glass bottle with olive oil, dried tomatoes and a clove of garlic. Use as an addition to sauces.
You know it's a good time to start planting beans when you can walk outside barefoot in the dirt and not feel cold soil.
Harvest pole beans twice a week. And harvest bush beans once a week. Harvest when the beans are young and not wet. To store beans in freezer; boil them right after harvest, boil for 2 minutes in boiling water. Drain with cold water and put them in freezer bags.
Bush beans usually only have a fresh harvest time period of 2-3 weeks in the summer. About 60 days for maturing. It's a good thing to plant them successively that way you have fresh beans for more than just a 2-3 week period.
Butterflies are partial to beans, celery and all the members of the cabbage family.
Before transplanting most plants, soak them in a tub of water to help with shocking them.
Avoid planting in straight lines- stagger the planting.
Bees will thank you for not spraying insecticide while plants are blooming.
Bee sting you? Make a paste of baking soda and water. Apply to area. Also try an old folk remedy and slide a fresh white onion or potato and apply to the area.
Early beets are the tastiest- usually when they are the size of golf balls. To me, beets are delicious raw and when they are grated like carrots. The leaves are also edible and nutritious.
Fresh tasting beets through winter by storing them in a root cellar or basement at temperatures between 30-45 degrees F. Place them in a case filled with sand or barely moist peat moss.
Grow cabbage plants in the spring or fall. The summer sun hardens the cabbage and makes it flower.
Winter storage of cabbage: hang them with their roots still attached, upside down in a root cellar or other cool place.
Fun row marker: Once you sow carrot seeds, add a few radish seeds at the end of the rows. The radishes will grow so fast that before the carrot seedlings are up, it is time to remove the radishes.
Cats love certain plants. Some of those feline favorites are: mugwort, catmint (catnip), and kiwi.
Keep your cats from digging in your potted plants by placing inflated balloons atop the soil. After popping a few balloons with its claws, the cat won't be tempted to return- putting cinnamon sticks in the soil has also been known to help. Offering your cat sprouts throughout the year will also help keep it away from your potted houseplants. sow soe cereal grains like: wheat, barley, alfalfa or rye in pots.
Keep your cat from getting in the birds nest up in the tree by planting a rose at the base of the tree trunk on the sunny side.
Do you love cauliflower like I do? The best time to plant cauliflower is in the fall. Start from seed in July and protect from heat. Seedlings held too long in flats will produce smaller heads. Harvest before the curds start to separate- usually around 2 months after transplanting.