Gardening Tips

Slug Sprays

  • Coffee: Save leftover coffee to spray plants that have a problem, make sure to spray underneath the leaves as well as the stems and surrounding soil. You can also sprinkle a layer of used coffee grounds around the plant to ward off these pests. They won’t like it and will likely move on to greener pastures in a few short days.
  • Vinegar & Water: Pour 1 cup household vinegar and 1/2 cup water into a spray bottle. Spray the critters on the ground as you see them, but be careful not to spray the leaves of plants since the vinegar & water will
  • LEMON JUICE and SUGAR
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Overwintering Geraniums

 

Bare Root Plants This is the easiest of the three methods, and the most popular, because the results are almost guaranteed.

  1. Dig the geraniums up and carefully shake all the soil from their roots.
  2. Then hang the plants upside down in a cool 45-50°: F (7.2-10 C), dry place.
  3. An alternate method is to place 1 or 2 plants in a large paper sack. Note: The paper sack method is much cleaner than the hanging method, you'll see why in a few steps.
  4. Another method: Place geraniums upside down in a box and cover with newspaper and replant in the spring.
  5. Once a month during the winter, soak the roots of each plant in water for 1 to 2 hours.
  6. Most of the leaves will eventually fall off. (Here is where the paper sack is cleaner!)
  7. In the spring, when all chance of frost has past, prune or cut back each plant.
  8. Remove all shriveled, dead material.
  9. Healthy, live stems will be firm and solid.
  10. After pruning, pot up, or plant out the Geraniums and water in thoroughly.
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Help for Roses: Banana Skins

Roses love it if you dig in old banana skins just beneath the surface of the soil around the roots.  The skins contain a load of goodies-phosphates, calcium, sulphur and magnesium-which many soils are deficient in.   No roses?  Make sure to add those skins to your compost heap....

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Watering Houseplants

Water your plant with a longneck watering can that reaches all sides of the container. Water should be room temperature. Pour on enough water so that some seeps out of the pot's drainage holes. Pour out any water in the saucer so the plant is not oversaturated. For best results, water your plants in the morning so moistened foliage has a chance to dry out during the day....

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Amaryllis

Amaryllis flowers are colorful in the middle of winter making them popular plants for the Christmas season. When the flower has faded, cut the flower stalk off. Repot your amaryllis into a pot that has a hole for drainage. Plant the bulb so that the top one third of the bulb is above the soil line. Water lightly and place in a warm, light location. When you are past your last frost, plant the bulb into the garden. You can keep the bulb in a container. When early fall arrives, the upper leaves turn brown and the bulb can be repotted to bring inside. Trim all the leaves off the bulb and place into a cool location for a few weeks to keep it dormant. By October you can bring the plant out of dormancy to start growing again and produce the flower for your winter holiday table. If you prefer, you can keep the bulb cool and dry for the whole winter and replant next spring, after the danger of frost has passed, and wait for it to produce an early summer flower....

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Rain Barrels

Rain barrels can save you a significant amount of money in a season. For each inch of rain that falls on 500 square feet of roof, you can collect 300 gallons of water. For gardening rain water is great as it doesn’t contain chlorine and is therefore softer water....

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Christmas Cactus

How do the professionals get Christmas Cactus into bloom for the holiday season? They keep the plants in cool greenhouses where temperatures average 50 degrees. The plants must receive 12 to 14 hours of darkness each day, and be watered sparingly. One of the most frustrating things that can happen is that buds drop off the plant. Bud drop can be caused by over-watering, lack of humidity, or insufficient light. After The Christmas holiday season, the Christmas cactus should be given about a 30 day rest. Place it in a cool room and provide limited water. Don't worry if it loses a few leaves or joints, and appears weak during this rest period. Repotting The best time for repotting a cactus is in February, March or April. Keep in mind the plant will flower best if it's kept in a container where it's pot-bound. If your Christmas cactus is given proper care and is placed in the right location, it's not unusual for it to flower several times throughout the year....

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Vegetable Soup

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."...

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Cleaning clay pots

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....

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