Gardening Tips: Houseplants, Vegetables, and Garden Plants
The days are warmer, the birds are chirping and the squirrels are frolicking in the trees.
It appears as though it is time to start taking care of the houseplants, tending to the garden plants, and planting a vegetable garden.
Here are a few household tips to help you enjoy lush green houseplants, longer garden plant blooms, and an abundance of vegetables, not to mention, ease the pain of your laborious efforts.
- VINEGAR - The next time you water your houseplants, add a tablespoon of vinegar to a gallon of water. It will help keep the plants soil on the acidic side - just the way they like it. DO NOT - do this with African violets (Saintpaulia) - they will die.
- TEA - African violets (Saintpaulia) enjoy a little tea in their saucers so, before you dump your cup of tea in the sink, think about giving it to your African violet (Saintpaulia) - the results will be magnificent! Ferns (Pteridophyta) like tea as well. Give them a watering with weak tea once a week and they will grow green and lush.
- EGG WATER - The next time you boil eggs, save the water and give it to your African violets (Saintpaulia). It is said that the calcium in the water is good for this type of plant. DO NOT pour the water on the leaves, only on the soil; otherwise, they with wither and die.
- AMMONIA - To make your houseplants foliage a nice green, mix a teaspoon of ammonia and 2 quarts of water together and pour over the leaves. This is a great concoction for Ferns (Pteridophyta) – they will produce lush green leaves.
- CASTOR OIL - Grandma's fix for everything - Maybe she is right - add about a teaspoon to your houseplants soil every other month and they will love you for it and produce beautiful green leaves to show their gratification.
- MILK - Douse a soft cloth in milk and clean your houseplants leaves. Not only does it clean them, it gives them a shine and it is said that the leaves receive nourishment from the milk.
- GARLIC BULBS - To reduce or hopefully prevent black spot or mildew on Roses (Rosaceae), plant a few garlic bulbs near the base of plant.
- VINEGAR - To fix any yellowing leaves on your Azaleas(Rhododendron sp.) water them with one tablespoon of vinegar to a gallon of water. This works well with Gardenias (Gardenia jasminoides) and Hydrangeas (Paniculata Grandiflora) too. Basically, any acid loving plant with enjoy this concoction.
- COFFEE GROUNDS - Geraniums (Pelargonium x hortorum) love coffee grounds. The next time you plant Geraniums, mix coffee grounds in the soil – they will show you how much they appreciate it by growing stronger and producing excellent blooms.
- EPSOM SALT – To increase your Gardenias (Gardenia jasminoides) blooms, sprinkle some Epsom salts around the roots before you water.
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- MOTH BALLS – To keep the squirrels away from your tomato plants, place a few moth balls around them. This actually works well – (I have an abundance of squirrels that eat all of my figs, tomatoes, peppers, pecans, etc.). Moth balls will also keep rabbits and dogs away from your plants and out of your garden.
- GRASS CLIPPINGS – The next time you cut the grass and the weather is dry – place some clippings around your tomato plants and other vegetables. The clippings act as mulch. (I am not a big fan of this technique because I am meticulous about keeping weeds out of my garden)
- FRESH MINT - Before you go out to work in the garden, rub your legs, arms, and face with fresh mint leaves. It will keep the mosquitoes and the flies from bothering you. Hint – plant mint around your garden in different areas – it grows quickly and helps keep these pesky insects at bay.
- CARPENTRY NAILS – To keep cut worms from eating your tomato plants, place an eight or ten penny nail (8d or 10d – the d stands for penny) in the ground next to the plant.
- GARDEN HOSE – Before you throw away your old garden hose, think about using it in the garden. Take your old hose and poke holes throughout – it makes a great watering system for your plants and vegetables and conserves water too!
May you have happy healthy plants!
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