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Old 03-06-2002, 03:21 AM
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Garden Tips

Save the rest of those tomatoes. Before the first frost, pull up the whole tomato plant (if they have tomatoes on them) and hang them upside down to help ripen the rest of the tomatoes.

Use coffee grounds to fertilize many plants including roses and evergreens.

You can use a tablespoon of Dawn dish soap to a gallon of water to kill bugs on plants.

For those small, new trees don't put mulch around them, as the mulch can be too acidic. Use grass clippings instead.

Instead of preparing your garden with chemical fertilizers before planting, try using an organic one (pellets, liquids, granules). More and more are being marketed, so they're not hard to find. I planted a 2500 sq. ft. vegetable garden and numerous flowers last year and was very pleased. It required using some different maintenance strategies (diatomaceous earth sprinkled regularly) but no more work than I already did. Make sure you buy seeds or plants that are not treated with chemicals (from any major nursery or catalog). A great bonus - you won't be depleting the soil of its nutrients. Organic fertilizers add more to it, so your crops and flowers are healthier.

Save your egg shells, crush them and sprinkle around the base of your tomato plants to help keep cutworms away.

To scare away pesky varmints, tie some pie pans and even plastic bags around the garden fence. The wind blows them and makes the pie pans ting and shine and the bags fill with air and rustle.

To ripen melons in your garden quicker, place them on top of tin cans.

To see how much water your garden is getting, use a can or jar and place it in the middle of a row when watering. Water normally including the jar or can and measure it when finished with a ruler.

Tiny garden seeds are more conveniently planted if you drop them from a salt shaker. Just cover some of the holes with masking tape to reduce the flow.

Sawdust from wood projects or chopping firewood should be saved. It makes a wonderful mulch for your plant & garden.

To keep bugs and worms away from outdoor and house plants, add a clove of garlic to the soil.
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Old 03-21-2002, 09:55 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: southern Missouri
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More gardening tips

Here are some I love !

1. Use thin strips of newspaper and wind around the stem of tomato, pepper, cabbage, broccoli, etc., plants immediately before planting. Make sure the newspaper is wide enough to go underground, too. This "collar" prevents the cutworms from attaching themselves to your fledgling plant and cutting it in half.

2. Another use for newspapers ~ they are great mulch. For a fast and FREE mulch, tear newspapers (black and white sections only) vertically into 1/2-inch strips and then swish around in a bucket of water to moisten throughly. Place a handful of the tangled wet strips around plants, then hide them under a thin layer of a more decorative mulch. I have covered the newspaper with pine needles or glass clippings and it works great if I don't have a ready FREE source of wood chips.

3. Recycle the plastic cups and lids from yogurt into seed-starter pots. Punch a few drainage holes in the bottom before filling with soil. Use the lid to maintain humidity after sowing seed ~ when the seed sprout, open the cup to let in the fresh air.

4. You can dry seeds from wet, pulpy fruits and vegetables on paper towels after washing them in a sieve or colander. Leave the seeds on the paper towel (actually they will glue themselves to the paper toweling nicely) and when totally dry, just roll it up for storage until the next planting season. When you are ready to plant just tear off a piece at a time and plant, paper towel and all.

5. When your sweet corn silk begins to dry and turn brown, apply 1/2 teaspoon mineral oil inside the tip of each ear of corn. This will stop most corn earworms from feeding on the cobs, and you get almost perfect ears.

6. When you are watering your garden, avoid getting water on the leaves of plants. Wet leaves are susceptible to fungal diseases.

7. Garlic can prevent damping-off. Using a blender, puree one peeled clove of garlic in 1 quart of water that has been at room temperature for 24 hours. Let it sit for another 24 hours and then strain through a sieve or colander. Drench the soil with the garlic "tea" before you sow.

8. Stretch your gardening season and your $$$. Getting an early start in the spring with planting will mean big bucks. Vegetables that produce continously throughout the growing season mean longer harvests. By extending the season, you can fit in one or two extra crops of quick-growing vegetables. The longer you can harvest from your own gardens means the less amount of time you have to pay a grocer for his produce.

9. Always do successive plantings for ultimate harvests. That way you avoid the glut of one crop coming in all at one time and the luscious produce you want is available for longer periods of time. (Plant spinach when the ground is workable, plant another batch three weeks later. Same goes for corn.)

10. Plan now what you are going to do with all this produce. Are you interested in table use only or do you want to can and/or freeze the extras? Do you have the equipment necessary? If not, start watching for these items at garage sales or swap meets. Or, if necessary to purchase them, make sure you are able to get what you need on sale. (Estate sales are a great place to find Mason jars for canning while occasionally the in-great-shape dehydrator can be found at a garage sale. I found a perfectly good canner with a good gasket and 4 half-gallon Mason jars inside it, including the rack, for $15 at a garage sale.)

Happy gardening! Sandie
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Old 01-12-2003, 09:17 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2002
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Thanks for the great tips!!
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