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This page contains a variety of tips and helpful hints for the gardener.
49 Total Articles
Growing a Buddleia (Butterfly Bush) as a Tree
This is a page about growing a buddleia (butterfly bush) as a tree. Many shrubs and vines can be grown as a standard or tree.
Cleaning Fingernails After Gardening
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.
Water Plants With Leftover Tea
This is a page about water plants with leftover tea. Cold tea can give plants nutrients they will not get with just water, may improve their health, and won't be wasted.
Landscape Fabric Alternatives
There are lots of substances that can block weeds in lieu of landscape fabric. This page has advice for landscape fabric alternatives.
This page is about protecting seedlings. Young tender plants often need support and protection from the wind, as well as, browsing animals and birds.
Using Glass Jars as Cloches
Cloches are useful for keeping delicate plants from drying out. The glass jar will trap any moisture inside, allowing it to condense on the glass and then drip down into the soil.
Reuse a Mesh Produce Bag as a Soap Bag
Take your mesh produce bag for garlic, onions or citrus and repurpose it for washing dirty hands outside. Hang it near an outdoor sink or faucet where it can drip dry when not in use.
Protecting Trees and Flowers from Spring Frosts
Even after the freezing temperatures of winter, your plants may still suffer frost damage in early spring. Make sure that potted plants are watered, this protects their roots better than dry mix. Also, covering smaller in ground plants and potted ones should help. Established trees generally can withstand a light frost with minor damage. This is a page about protecting trees and flowers from spring frosts.
Seedling Pots From Phone Book Pages
I was working on my front lawn when I noticed a supplemental telephone directory had been left on my porch. I never use telephone books for their intended purpose, but I could use this one to keep a promise.
Using a Covered Bucket as a Gardening Stool
Covered 5 gallon buckets have a myriad of uses, even as a handy gardening stool. This is a guide about using covered bucket as a gardening stool.
Using a Baby Gate as a Garden Trellis
Reuse an old baby gate as a trellis. If you don't have one in storage they can often be found at garage sales and thrift stores. This is a page about using a baby gate for as a garden trellis.
Inexpensive Grow Light
I wanted to have some grow lights, but a lot of them were $100. I found the slightly bent light fixture at an estate sale, and went to Home Depot for the special plant bulb, which was $5. It may not be the fanciest, but it is doing a great job. I'm looking forward to the best garden ever this year.
Using a Plastic Milk Jug for Watering Seedlings
Recycle your milk jugs by adding holes to the screw style caps and the handle and to use for watering seedlings in your garden. This is a page about using a plastic milk jug for watering seedlings.
Hand Pollinating Vegetable Plants
If your cucumbers and tomatoes are not setting fruit, it may be because there is not enough pollination. Bees usually do this, but you can do it yourself. Female flowers have the fruit behind them. Male flowers do not. You will need a small paint brush or Q-tip.
Caring for Your Flower Garden
This is a page about caring for your flower garden. Flower gardens are at their best with a bit of grooming and periodic maintenance.
Tips For Buying And Planting Bare-Root Plants
This is a page about tips for buying and planting bare-root plants. There are many reasons to shop for bare root plants for your garden, including lower costs and more variety.
Repairing a Broken Plant Stem
This is a page about repairing a broken plant stem. There are ways to help support a broken stem, so it can sometimes repair itself.
Making Cloche Style Cold Frames
This is a page about making cloche style cold frames. Getting your garden started earlier than the weather allows can be done with the help of cold frames.
Sheets for Garden Waste Cleanup
In tobacco growing areas, when the leaves were harvested by hand, they used to use large burlap sheets to collect and move the leaves. I decided that that was a great idea and do the same thing with old sheets.
Hauling Gardening Supplies in a Car
This is a page about hauling gardening supplies in a car. After a trip to the nursery your car is often quite dirty from plants, potting soil, etc.
Garden Glove Tips and Tricks
This is a page about garden gloves tips and tricks. Garden gloves not only help protect your hands while gardening, they can also provide some unexpected benefits.
Saving Money on Garden Plants
This page is about saving money on garden plants. There are many ways to save when filling your garden with plants.
Using Mulch In The Garden
This is a page about using mulch in the garden. Mulch can help keep weeds down and reduce the need to water in your garden.
Stretch Gloves for Kids Garden Gloves
My little granddaughter wanted to help me work in my garden but she needed to wear gloves. I realized the inexpensive stretchy winter gloves that are one-size-fits-all would work for her, and they did. These gloves are often sold for as little as $1.
This page is about drying hydrangeas. These flowers can make a beautiful dried decoration for your home.
Preparing Your Garden for Spring
This is a page about preparing your garden for spring. Planning and work in the depths of winter will pay off with less weeds and bigger plants during the growing season.
Hang Soap At Outdoor Spigot
This is a great tip for gardeners. Take an old pair of pantyhose and put a bar of soap inside. Tie a knot, keeping the soap in place in the toe. Then tie around water spigot and knot.
Make Your Own Pearlite
If you need to lighten potting soil, instead of using pearlite you can make your own. Simply grind some Styrofoam packing peanuts in a food processor for a few seconds and add them to the soil.
Preparing Beds for Spring Sunflower Planting
After harvesting sunflowers, what's the next step? Is it best to remove the stalk and roots before winter? How do I prepare beds for spring planting? How necessary is "total" crop rotation?Thank you for sharing your expertise.
Store Phone in Zip-Lock When Doing Yard Work
When you go outside to garden and take your cordless or mobile phones with you, pop them into a zip-lock bag to keep them dry and dust free. Zip-lock bags come in lots of sizes, so there's one for each phone.
Hang Soap At Outdoor Spigot
I put a bar of soap in the toe of a cut off leg of pantyhose and tie it onto my out side water faucets. It is handy for clean up after working in the yard and saves bringing the grime into the house.
Moving Large Outdoors Objects
When moving heavy objects any kind of distance, place a wheelbarrow turned onto it's side next to the object to be moved. Use a rake to help the object into the wheelbarrow, right the wheelbarrow, and wheel to the area where the object needs to be.
Admire Gardens While At Garage Sales
I love to garden but I also like to spend leisure time at garage sales; sometimes I combine the two. Whenever the host(ess) of the sale is an avid gardener, I often admire their work and tell them so.
Use Golf Tube To Water High Plants
In our zeal to keep our hanging tomato planters out of reach of the neighborhood cats, my husband hung them too high for me to water easily. He suggested taping a broom stick to the hose to make it more rigid.
Pollen Free Flowers Won't Help Bees
Every year I plant lots of sunflowers for the honeybees as they are declining. Yesterday, I picked up my seeds but didn't notice that they were pollen free. These sunflowers will not help the honey bee or other pollinating insects.
Reuse Medical Scrubs for Gardening
When I go out to work in my garden, I wear a pair of old scrubs. Besides, being very comfortable, they have many pockets. I put gloves, shears, rags, my phone or mp3 player in them.
Add Hair Clippings to Your Garden
When you cut your hair put it all in your garden. Believe it or not, it really does help.
Substitute Old Toothbrush for Nail Brush
I was planting some of my flowers and vegetable plants this afternoon, and after washing my hands, still had dirt caked under my nails. I realized that I don't have a nail brush, so I started glancing around the bathroom, and found a good substitute!
Produce Containers For Mini Hothouses
Use empty produce containers (like the ones that hold strawberries) for miniature hothouses. It's very useful for a small hothouse, or to start seeds in a small area. When the plants are big enough, just keep the lid open. I did it for my bean plants, and now they're thriving on my small balcony!
Marking Seed Rows
Put your seed packet row markers in an upside-down closed zip lock bag and secure it with a clothes pin, the rain will stay out and the wind won't blow it away. Also face it away from the direction of the sun and it won't get sun bleached so quickly.
Save Cereal Liners For Hot House Covers
I save the liner bag from cereal boxes; they are like heavy wax paper. They make great hot house covers for plant starts or to protect small garden plants from early spring frost.
Garden: Place Used Fabric Softener Sheets Over Drainage Hole
Gardening is my stress reliever as well as a way to share with friends. I find myself frequently potting cuttings off plants that need to be separated to share with others. A problem I have experienced is finding something to keep the soil in the pot and not running out the drain holes in the bottom.
What Flowers and Vegetables Grow Well in Colorado?
I live in zone 5b in Colorado. What flowers and vegetables grow well here?
Using Plastic Knives for Plant Stakes
Have you ever planted your plants and forgot which are planted where? An easy and inexpensive way to keep those marked is by buying plastic picnic knives from the dollar store and using a Sharpie marker and writing the plant type on the handle and sticking the bladed side into the ground. These knives are strong and durable.
Spray Mixture to Attract Ladybugs
A few days ago I was reading a post and there was a link to a thriftyfunner's garden wherein was posted a spray mix to attract ladybugs. I've been away from home for a couple of days and now I can't find it. I want to give it to my daughter to attract ladybugs to her yard.
Gardening Clean Up
I like to wash my hands outside after gardening and weeding. I gather up soap pieces, put them inside an empty onion net, and tie it to an outdoor spigot.
Gardening In Areas With Less Light And More Moisture
Tips for anyone with less light and more moisture in their wishful new garden planting area*: To each 5" round/sq. planting hole about 6-8" deep, add two teaspoonsful of crushed, new, untreated charcoal briquettes over 1 cup of gravel and 1 cup of straight compost.
Using Pooper Scoopers for Garden Debris
Using Pooper Scoopers for Garden Debris. Use a long handled pooper scooper to pick up garden and yard debris. . .
Cleaning African Violets
How do you get dirt and dust off African Violet leaves?
Buddleia (Butterfly Bush) Grown As Tree
Many people grow standards for the sake of variety in form. Many others choose to grow standards because they are more vertical than horizontal in habit and take up much less space. Standards can be suitable for small patios when grown in containers.
Remove Tomato Suckers
Tomato suckers are side shoots that grow out of the place where a branch meets the stem. If left to grow, they will compete with the main plant for nutrients. You may get more fruit, but they will be smaller. It's recommended to prune them. They are really easy to remove; all you need are your fingers!
Second Year Petunias
Last fall, when it came time to take this petunia plant down, I trimmed it back and placed it under the house, right inside the crawlspace door to see if I could keep it through the winter. Keeping a check on it, I watered it a little a couple of times.
Using Flower Trays As Seedling Planters
At your garden center they often have discarded flower trays and pots that are free for the asking.These trays are great for seed starting for all season long plantings. They have sections that are perfect for keeping them separate, without extra cost.
Seedling Pots From Phone Book Pages
If you have access to phone books, the pages are the perfect size for seedling pots. Without any cutting, and depending the size of your form and how the page is folded, you can make pots in a variety of sizes.
Gallon Plastic Jug To Gently Water Seedlings
I got the idea for this project from a post by ShirleyE who uses a small water bottle to water houseplants and seedlings. Mine is not an improvisation, more of a variation. It is ideal for containers a bit larger than those for most houseplants.
Preparing a New Garden Plot
Last fall I tilled up a new garden plot and planted a winter rye cover. It came along nicely. I left it the winter and it is now greening nicely. Should I wait or should I till it now? And should I do anything to the soil before I plant. It is for mostly root vegetables.
Using Beer in the Garden
Tips for using beer in the garden. Post your ideas.
Cleaning Hands After Gardening
Tips for cleaning your hands, post your ideas.
Using Milk Jugs in the Garden
I have a bad back and needed an easier, lighter way to water and feed my plants. I recycle my 1 gallon plastic milk jugs for my garden. I cut the top of the jug just wide enough to fit my hand in and punch four holes in the bottom of the jug.
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