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Every season I find myself going to the internet to see which trees and shrubs should be pruned and when. I ran off a copy from one site, but it didn't cover all the different plants I have. Today I purchased some of the "dried out," and reduced perennials at Lowe's to add to my landscaping.
As I was reading the maintenance instructions, I had an idea that I can't believe I haven't thought of before. I have several of those old photo albums that I never used and never will for photographs because they aren't the ones which are now appropriate for photo storage. Rather than throw them away, I am going to start taking the little instruction guides that come with the plants and keep them all in there.
That way I'll have a handy reference with a picture of the mature plant. I have stuck some of them down beside plants when I first planted them, but they don't hold up to the wind and weather very well and they're not as accessible as these will be. Hope someone else may find this idea to be useful.
By Sandy from Elon, NC
When they are on sale, I buy arches for the garden. They are made of metal tubes that you put together for an arch about 6 feet tall and wide enough to walk through. Well, I set them up in a row, all facing the same direction, each one about two feet from the next, so that they form a kind of tunnel. I usually make the tunnel about 10 feet long.
At the base of each arch, I plant seeds for vining vegetables like beans or summer squash. In between each arch, I plant things like herbs and lettuces that won't mind shady spots once the vines grow. The vines will grow up the arches and then cover the whole sides and tops, creating a leafy arbor that is really very attractive. The vegetables (I've done several varieties of green beans, and Italian zucchini) hang down into the tunnel. Growing up off the ground like this, they stay very clean, and never get soggy after heavy rain. They also seem to stay pest free, since I never have problems with bug bites. And, in really hot summers, the vegetables never get sun-burned.
At harvest time, I take garden scissors, a step-stool, and a large basket with me. I get great harvests with this method. The vegetables hanging down are easy to see, just waiting there to be taken, and it's nice and cool in the shade. An added bonus is that I can harvest lettuce later in the summer than usual (lettuces don't usually like the sun and heat). This method saves space, is very attractive, and seems to produce the best harvests.
By Free2B from North Royalton, OH
I have a passion for gardening, but am always frustrated that garden accessories, like good tools, are so expensive. The other day I was planting some herb seeds and trying hard to get out all the small rocks out of the dirt. The more I raked the more I found, but so many just went through the tines of the rake. I thought to myself, "there must be a better way," and then I thought of my plastic cat "pooper scooper". It worked like a charm and I wondered why I had never thought of using it as a garden tool before! So now my seeds can grow without competing with so many little pea shaped stones.
By Maggie from North Springfield, VT
I'm not stingy. If I had all the money I've given to people in need, I could take a nice trip abroad. Still, I find watching pennies while gardening to really pay off in the long run.
When doing yard work or picking up litter, I use garden gloves from Lowe's or Home Depot. Being that I am right handed, I wear out a lot of the right hand gloves.
I have found that the more I work a garden, the less yield I get.
Grab some freebies from your garden for next year. I pick off dried marigold flowers and save in a paper bag (labeled) to plant next year. Each dried flower contains tons of seeds!
A handy and step-saving device for gardening is an apron. Buy or make one with large, deep pockets. They're great for holding seedlings, seed packets, small trowels, and other tools.
To keep from getting splinters, use the fingers of old rubber gloves for handle covers on hoes, rakes, brooms, and mops. Tape with black electrical tape, so it won't slip off.
Tips to keep flowers blooming. Post your ideas.
The other day at a farm I saw a wheelbarrow with bicycle training wheels on it. It wouldn't turn quite as sharply around corners, but it was much more difficult to tip over.
Keep an eye out for an old toy wagon at garage sales. They can be useful for pulling around your garden tools and keeping them together.
Organize your gardening with friends. You plant the tomatoes, she plants the zucchini-then you share the bounty. Next year switch so you don't deplete the soil.
Ever wonder what the temperature is?
This is a page about cleaning fingernails after gardening. When you get your hands in the soil without gloves, the dirt under your nails can be a challenge to remove.
It can be surprising to learn how many things you already have around the house, that can be helpful in your yard and garden. This is a page about 25 garden solutions from the kitchen, bath and laundry.
This is a page about reusing tree stumps. Tree stumps either still in the ground or after being removed can be used for a variety of crafts or garden decorations and planters.
This page is about staking garden plants. There are a number of plants that need help with support when newly transplanted or bearing fruit.