Gardening is a great way to show your pride for your home. It is an activity that you can do as little or as much as you are able, and it benefits your body and mind. Before you get your hands dirty, read through our favorite tips from Martha Stewart, HGTV’s Paul James and the Huffington Post.
Garden at Night
Can’t sleep? Step outside and do a little gardening instead. Not only does gardening after dark reduce the amount of wasted water (due to less evaporation) but also some experts say plants grow faster and stronger if planted in moonlight.
Power of Threes
Using odd numbers when arranging your plans gives a pleasing look to your garden. Instead of perfect rows of paired plants, odd numbered beds look more natural and fuller.
Aphids Moving In?
You can go purchase a box full of ladybugs to clean up your pesky pests, or, you can go into your kitchen junk drawer. Wrap a wide strip of tape around your hand, sticky side out, and pat the leaves of plants infested with aphids—especially the undersides of leaves.
Water you use to cook pasta or vegetables in the kitchen can also be used to water your garden. The next time you boil noodles or steam veggies, save it, let it cool, and pour it over your plants for extra nourishment.
Chamomile tea, when cooled, can be poured into soil or sprayed on seedlings to ward off fungal and bacterial infections.
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.
Clay pots come in handy for more than just growing plants. A ball of twine pulled through a drainage hole is a clever spool. Little pots upside down make great coverings for protecting young plants from freezes. Two pots stacked on each other bottom to bottom with a dowel through the center can act as a guide for your water hose.
Write the names of plants using a permanent marker on the flat faces of stones of various sizes and place them at or near the base of your plants.
Clean Bird Feeders and Baths
Disinfect the feeders by scrubbing with weak bleach solution (1/4 cup bleach: 2 gallons warm water). Rinse and dry the feeders thoroughly before refilling them. Scrub birdbaths with bleach solution, then rinse them thoroughly and refill, changing water weekly. Clean birdbaths and feeders regularly throughout the season.
Fresh and Clean
To prevent accumulating dirt under your fingernails while you work in the garden, draw your fingernails across a bar of soap and you’ll effectively seal the undersides of your nails so dirt can’t collect beneath them. Then, after you’ve finished in the garden, use a nailbrush to remove the soap and your nails will be sparkling clean.