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RE: when can I mow down my tulips? (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: ken_adrian on 05.22.2010 at 08:16 am in Perennials Forum

tulips need to store the energy for next year..

if you mow off green.. no storage.. and eventual decline..

i would remove the dead brown leaves.. when they gently pull from the soil ... this is not a power tool deal ...

there is nothing to stop you from inter-planting annuals there now [without disturbing the bulbs below] ... while the leaves finish their work

ken

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clipped on: 05.22.2010 at 04:36 pm    last updated on: 05.22.2010 at 04:36 pm

RE: Wintersown Tomatoes (Follow-Up #14)

posted by: bev2009 on 04.28.2010 at 09:43 pm in Winter Sowing Forum

Edie,

Last year was my first year WSing and I did many tomatoes that came out wonderful. Since we have been having such warm weather,I've already planted some of my tomatoes. I covered them for a couple of nights of frost, but they look great. I have them in Sq Ft garden beds. I dig out a deep hole and plant them at the bottom. As they grow I fill in the soil. This was they create roots all along the stem. I'm hoping since I have them out so early that I will have really early tomatoes!!! Can't wait.
Bev

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clipped on: 04.30.2010 at 11:56 am    last updated on: 04.30.2010 at 11:56 am

RE: Wintersown Tomatoes (Follow-Up #11)

posted by: gawdinfever on 04.28.2010 at 01:52 am in Winter Sowing Forum

I've found that if I plant them in black pots/containers and either set them out on the deck (could be anything higher than ground) they actually get more heat and grow faster!

Now, I do spend more time watering, but the ones I did this too versus lighter containers, etc----are much bigger!

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clipped on: 04.30.2010 at 11:54 am    last updated on: 04.30.2010 at 11:54 am

RE: Keeping chickens out of flower beds (Follow-Up #13)

posted by: sweetannie4u on 04.17.2010 at 12:15 am in Cottage Garden Forum

I use a regular light bulb - heat lamps are TOO HOT!
My light is on an extension cord with a metal-cone shield around it like the heat lamps, but it is not a heat lamp. I have had it for a long time. I think you can still get them at lumber yards and hardware stores - maybe WalMart too. I have it strung up to the ceiling and hung on a large teacup hook over their cardboard box. I laid aluminum window screens on the top to keep them in and safe. The lamp lays right on the top of the screens. It should not be too close to the chicks however. No closer than two feet anyway. You have to check it often until you figure it out. Much depends upon their brooder box (container). They need room enough in the box to move away in case they get too warm. Don't set the lamp over their water.

I just use a large, carboard box for my Brooder Box (a lawnmower came in the one I am using now). No need to buy fancy equipment. They grow too fast to put out money for a few weeks worth of use, unless you are going into the chicken business for earnest. Put the box in a safe place where other animals cannot get to them and where they are out of any drafts and weather. In the bottom of the cardboard box, sprinkle just enough pine shavings (or you can use cedar shavings) to lightly cover the bottom (about $9 per bag). This is their litter and it is also their bedding, so it needs to be changed regularly, as you would any baby. Once a day or every other day, clean it out and put in fresh shavings. It scares them, but as long as you talk to them calmly when you care for them, they will eventually calm down. You can put the soiled litter in your compost pile. Their droppings are tiny beads, about the size of a pea, but very odoriferous.

Change their water several times a day. Clean it out with Clorox bleach and water once in awhile to keep down germs and other icky stuff. Make sure they have fresh, clean, cool water, even on cool or cold days. They can go longer without food than they can without fresh, clean, cool water.

If the chicks huddle together under the lamp, then it isn't warm enough.

If they huddle together away from the lamp, then it is too hot.

If they are scattered all around in the box, pecking and softly peeping, then the heat is perfect. If they are peeping loudly, then something is wrong. Check all of the above to see what is the matter.

They do prefer to huddle together when they sleep however.

As they get older, each week you can raise the light lamp up a little. During the day if it gets warmer where they are kept, and more and more as they grow bigger until they don't need it any longer - when they get their real feathers. I have noticed that chicks get so accustomed to the light that they are afraid of the dark, so I keep a nightlight on in the chicken house.

If you ever need to move them or take them to the vet, box them up in a pet taxi or cardboard box with a lid on it after sundown, at night and in the dark. (you can use a flashlight.) Chickens don't put up a fight in the dark, even the meanest old rooster in the world. That is why foxes and other predators raid the henhouse at night. Easy pickins! The hens don't even make a sound.

If you go to a feedstore, you should be able to find little booklets on raising chicks and chickens. Also, there are a hundreds, if not thousands of websites you can go look at. Everyone does it a little differently, but the basics are all the same.
Mine are only three weeks old. Already they are flying about in the bottom of the box. They hop up onto the top of their watering pot (which gets pooped on - ugh). They also have started to hop onto my hand or arm when I reach in to change their food and water. I have just this week begun to give them very finely clipped bits of tender grass and chickweed. I use kitchen scissors. Chickweed tastes like juicy lettuce. They love it and fight over it, even though I put plenty in the box for every chick. This is normal chicken activity.

You learn as you go. You make mistakes, but you become "The Mom" very soon.

~Annie

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clipped on: 04.18.2010 at 10:08 am    last updated on: 04.18.2010 at 10:08 am

RE: Keeping chickens out of flower beds (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: sweetannie4u on 04.16.2010 at 02:29 pm in Cottage Garden Forum

Put rocks around your seedlings. Chickens don't like to scratch in rocks. Cats either for that matter.
You can move them out a little farther as they grow.

And, now you know why the old Cottagers of yesteryear put rocks around their flowers and trees. It wasn't just for decorations!

I use a lot of rocks and thank goodness we have plenty of them here in Okie. I happen to love rocks, so it's a double delight for me to use rocks in my gardens.

Yes, leave some dry, barren places for the chickens dirt/sun baths. It needs to be in a sunny, hot location. They will find their own spot, and when they do, leave it for them.

When chicken are young, they can fly and hop over fences, but when they get older, egg laying age, they are too heavy and can't fly very well. Too heavy for the lift-off! :)

Guineas like hard shelled bugs. They do not like worms or soft caterpillars, etc., like chickens. But they love ticks and fleas (hard bodies). They also, unfortunately, love flying hard bodies, like bees of all kinds, including wasps and anything else in the bee family. They nearly wiped out my honey bees. They can jump four or more feet straight up into the air to get a bee.

Keep them penned in a run with a top on it until they are adults. By then they will be too heavy to fly over a fence. They are fair game to animals when they are young, esp. If they are already adults, then it shouldn't be a problem.

Remember the rocks.
~Annie

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clipped on: 04.18.2010 at 09:55 am    last updated on: 04.18.2010 at 09:55 am

RE: Keeping chickens out of flower beds (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: sweetannie4u on 04.16.2010 at 10:48 am in Cottage Garden Forum

Deanna,
I keep chickens and have for years. Also guineas.

They do eat ticks, fleas, bugs, insects, even small snakes and rodents. Once your plants are established, they do no damage. They keep the soil "cultivated" and their poop fertilizes your gardens for you. No, it doesn't stink the place up.

As for immediate tick remedies, try this. It works for us. We even do it when camping.

Buy a box or two of CHEAP laundry powder. I buy GAIN at Dollar General. Smells nice too. But you can buy any brand of laundry detergent. Spread it around all over your yard and around your house as if you were spreading fertilizer or weed killer. It won't hurt your plants and won't poison animals or humans, but it does get rid of ticks...and fleas. If you have a fertilizer spreader, you can use that. I have a hand-held one and it works great.

When we go camping, I spread the laundry detergent around the camp area and the ticks are gone. It also gets rid of fleas. It kills them!

When we bought this place, there was a BAD flea problem in our basement where our laundry area is located.They liked to ate us up alive! Whenever we went down to start a load of clothes, the fleas would jump on our legs! We tried bombs, sprays, powders, you name it! It did not completely get rid of them. I also didn't like using all that stuff. It was dangerous to the health of us and our pets. Since I began using laundry detergent, from time to time, there have been no further infestations. They will instantly go away! No kidding. If I see a flea, I immediately sprinkle laundry detergent around on the floor by the washer and dryer. It gets rid of them throughout the entire basement! Works on ants too. Just sprinkle a little where they are coming into your house or under your cabinets (wherever you see them trailing through) and ants are dead and gone. They also carry the powder back to their nests.

The same happens outside too. It kills all kinds of insects, but doesn't hurt earthworms or frogs or toads or other wildlife.

Good stuff Maynard!

~Annie

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clipped on: 04.18.2010 at 09:52 am    last updated on: 04.18.2010 at 09:52 am

RE: Lavenders- how often to replace? (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: sweetannie4u on 04.15.2010 at 01:06 pm in Cottage Garden Forum

Well, don't cut the main stem in half. That would be like cutting a tree down the middle.

Instead, take branches (suckers) off at the bottom IF they have roots attached. Otherwise, just take cuttings. They root in 4 weeks.

Older Lavender bushes will have more than one trunk, so when you dig them up, you find several individual plants that had just grown twisted around each other. These you can divide and replant.

Like Rita stated, in early spring, before new growth takes off, cut them back short and they will bush back out with new growth upon which you will get the blooms.

~Annie

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clipped on: 04.18.2010 at 10:23 am    last updated on: 04.18.2010 at 10:23 am

RE: Protecting Nepeta Walker's Low from cats (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: carl18 on 04.12.2010 at 12:23 pm in Perennials Forum

Yup! When I put in my first Nepeta "Blue Wonder" a few years back, the
neighborhood feral cat population soon reduced it to matted foliage and
balls of fur (they really DO roll in it! ). . . The solution, suggested by a farmer in Vermont: place several jagged rocks (size of your fist or larger) at the base of the plant - no more cats rolling around! A second solution I stumbled on accidentally: use Nepeta as an underplanting for roses, the sharper their thorns the better - those plants have never been touched. And so any feline fanciers out there won't think me a complete ogre: last year I planted a little division of one my nepetas out by the compost pile - they had found and flattened it within days! But it's not in the garden, so everyone's happy. . .

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clipped on: 04.18.2010 at 10:35 am    last updated on: 04.18.2010 at 10:36 am

RE: Protecting Nepeta Walker's Low from cats (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: christinmk on 04.11.2010 at 03:11 pm in Perennials Forum

TOO funny this came up! Not an hour ago I was outside covering my Walker's Low so the neighborhood cats couldn't roll on it any more! Last year the plant hardly bloomed at all because it was mashed so thoroughly by the cats.

What I did was take the liner out of a hanging basket and put that over the plant as a sort of cage. I secured it with some metal stakes. Lots of other things would work too, like chicken wire and those wire edging fences (only about a foot tall).
CMK

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clipped on: 04.18.2010 at 10:34 am    last updated on: 04.18.2010 at 10:34 am

RE: Help with sunflowers (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: token28001 on 04.01.2010 at 09:10 pm in Winter Sowing Forum

I grew only Mammoths last year. I sowed them in 9oz cups about the first of April. They germinate quickly and are a lot like tomatoes. They can't handle any frost, so you may want to wait a bit more. When they start growing, they take off quickly. I dig a deep hole and plant them with just the top leaves showing. This helps them form more roots along the stems, just like tomatoes. The taller ones need the support more than the short, multiheaded varieties.

I'll be sowing mine tomorrow using this same method again. I have a nice variety this year including some red ones.

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clipped on: 04.04.2010 at 12:14 pm    last updated on: 04.04.2010 at 12:14 pm

RE: Favorite Heucheras This Season? (Follow-Up #30)

posted by: kowalleka on 03.14.2010 at 08:15 am in Perennials Forum

You can find the 'babies' coming out around the crown. No need to dig anything up. I just cut them off and pull off most of the plantlet's leaves (except for one or two).

Rave On blooms for me almost the entire season off and on. And the flowers are by far one of the best. Much bigger than most and bright fuschia. Big hummingbird plant.

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clipped on: 05.22.2010 at 04:04 pm    last updated on: 05.22.2010 at 04:04 pm

RE: Favorite Heucheras This Season? (Follow-Up #28)

posted by: kowalleka on 03.13.2010 at 07:45 am in Perennials Forum

I have tons of success with rooting "cuttings" of heuchera. I pull off the tiny little plantlets that start to form along the sides of the main plant.

I use a gallon milk jug to root them in. Cut the jug in half almost all the way around. Leave it connected over by the handle so you have sort of a hinge. Poke a few holes inthe bottom for drainage. Fill with about 2" of potting soil. Wet it down and put in the babies. Then close the jug and duct tape along the cut edge. Do not put the cap on the jug. Put in a light but shaded spot. You don't need to water if you do it in the spring. Within a few weeks, they will all be rooted. I like this method because you can plant them and forget them.

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clipped on: 05.22.2010 at 04:03 pm    last updated on: 05.22.2010 at 04:03 pm

Don't Have Enough Containers??---Try Ziplocks.

posted by: monte on 01.21.2010 at 02:44 pm in Winter Sowing Forum

I posted this a couple of years ago but lost the original post so Ill try and recreate it here.

You can make a pretty effective container using some gallon Ziploc bags and cardboard.

First you get some Ziplocs and make the drainage and vent holes. I used a hole punch and put holes in the locations indicated by the marks.

Photobucket

Then you need to cut up some cardboard (scavenged from large boxes) and cut it up into pieces that will fit inside the baggies.

This creates walls that in effect turn your floppy bag into a container that will retain its shape.

If you can get your hands on some of that corrugated plastic signage board that politicians plaster the roadsides with during elections that would be great.

You could reuse it over and over and not need nearly as much storage space to stockpile bulky jugs and bottles in the "off season"

"...does Ws'ing really have an "off season"???"

Photobucket

I think the dimensions need to be around 21" by 5.1/2". This allows you to form a ring of cardboard but still be able to zip the bag shut and retain a cylindrical form.

Staple the cardboard into a cylinder. You will need to be sure you cut the cardboard so the corrugations run vertically on the short axis.

If it runs longitudinally it makes the cardboard very difficult to form into a cylinder.

Also if your cardboard is stiff you can make it much more pliable by working it to soften it. I would run it over whatever is handy a few times. Simply grasping each end and doing a "shoe shine" type motion will work fine.

Photobucket

Once the form is made I grasp it in what I called a "pretzel grip to slip it into the bag.

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I would tuck the bottom corners of the bag in just for neatness.

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After that you just do soil, seed, label and zip closed.

I made up a whole bunch at once and just kept them stacked up til I needed them.

Now this form (baggies in general) can be somewhat floppy.

If you were not intending to move the bags around it will be fine but if you need to move them about it could disturb things.

What I did was set the prepared bags on some cheap aluminum pans.

Photobucket

I poked some large holes in the pans so they would drain preventing the bags from water logging.

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If I needed to move them I used a pizza peel (yeah, you read that right) I had laying around to move the whole tray.

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Could be a solution for the problem of not having enough jugs or two liters.

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WS
clipped on: 01.22.2010 at 02:36 am    last updated on: 01.22.2010 at 02:38 am

RE: peony planting depth and mulch (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: yuejianjun on 10.31.2009 at 02:43 am in Peonies Forum

Peony rockiis Planting and Management

1. Trimming
The improper conveyance may do damages to seedlings. Prior to planting, upon the damages degree, to make seedlings neat or tidy by trimming the broken or damaged roots and branch stems off in part or in whole.
2. Disinfection
To soak trimmed seedlings for 15 minutes in the Hexathane diluted in the proportion of 1500 or in Mildothane of 11000 or Allisan of 11000, then followed the water washing. For seedlings with ball clay at roots, spraying their stems with above-mentioned liquor. Prior to planting, the disinfected seedlings shall be soaked for 30minutes in 500ppm rootone liquor (an appropriate amount of rootone liquor should be granted to seedlings with ball clay after their planting).
3.Planting
3.1 Pit digging: Pit shall be dug according to the size of root system and ball clay at the root, it should not be narrow at the bottom so as to prevent bends of roots. The planting depth shall be 30cm deeper than in the nursery.
3.2 Fertilization: Proper surface soil, organic fertilizers (thoroughly decomposed) and chemical fertilizers shall be placed at the bottom of pit so as to benefit the new generated roots.
3.3 Planting:
3.3.1 For seedlings with exposed roots: The surface soil shall be piled at the bottom of pit first, with a loose depth, then an appropriate amount of organic fertilizers shall be sprayed, with fertilizers being covered by a backfilling layer, so as to isolate the root system from fertilizers. Seedling with exposed roots shall be placed at the center of pit with the root system laid down as it is. Backfilling shall be performed around seedling pit, followed by compression as appropriate and seedling shall be slightly lifted with planting depth 3cm deeper than in the nursery, then backfilling layer shall be added.
3.3.2 For seedling with ball clay at the root: Seedling with ball clay at the root shall be vertically placed at the center of pit with the root being placed firmly. The planting depth shall be appropriate. Backfilling shall be performed around ball clay, followed by compression as appropriate. Hemp (straw) bags in the upper part of ball clay shall be cut open and removed.
4.Watering
After planting is completed, its necessary to do watering thoroughly.
5.Triming
Trimming may be performed after planting. To clip all broken, damaged, crossed, overlapped stems and delicate ones in overcrowding place as well. The pruning wound shall be smooth. Pruning wound more than 1.5cm in diameter shall be sealed with grafting wax or japan lac to facilitate healing and prevent moisture diminishing and sprout.
6.Maintenance
6.1 Watering: Watering if necessary. An appropriate watering shall go on the premise that the soil moisture status to be kept neither dry nor hydrops. A soaking watering may be wanted prior to the forthcoming winter.
6.2 To loose soil layer around the seedling after every watering.
6.3 Management after leaf expansion and before blossoming
6.3.1 Sprout-plucking and Bud-removing: All other 3cm long sprouts shall be plucked except for one reserved on every stem. As for 5cm long sprouts germinated from rootstalk, only1-2 vigorous and reasonably distributed sprouts shall be reserved upon the growing circumstances of plant. All of them may be plucked, too. The buds number shall depend on the size of plant and its stems while buds start to color, in general, only one bud shall be asked for every 2-3 stems, so as to ensure the quality of view.
6.3.2 Foliage dressing: As long as the leaves expand, to spray them with mixed liquor of 5% Huaduoduo ( Penshibao or Dongli 2004 ) and 3% carbamide for every 7-10days. Prior to blossoming, a spraying of potassium phosphate monobasic shall be granted to seedling 20days in advance.
6.4 Management after blossoming
6.4.1 Buds-removing: To remove flowers immediately after the blossom fall so as to allow the root system to grow well.
6.4.2 Fertilization: An appropriate amount of fertilizers, giving priority to organic fertilizers, shall be granted to seedling immediately after the blossoming. To place 0.05-1kg carbamide and diamine inside the surface oil layer around each seedling (the exact amount shall depend on the size of seedling) in the pit of seedling, the fertilizers shall be sprayed at the upper part around the root system, then followed by watering.
6.4.3 Chemical spray: In the first ten days of July, the tree peony may be infected with anthracnose, brown spot, powdery mildew and gray mold. The spraying of 500-700 ml chlorthalonil or Badistan shall be taken for every 10-15days to prevent these diseases.
7. Reshaping
2-3 years later after being planted, young seedlings other stems shall be cut off except for 3-5 ones to be reserved the remnant flowers shall be removed after the May-June florescence the flower buds differentiation shall commence during the June-September period 50% or so of seedlings stems shall be cut off starting from the base of a stem, only2-3 buds shall be reserved to ensure 1-2 buds to blossom in the upcoming year. The broken, old, dead and weak stems shall be clipped in every winter.
8. Precautions
Peony rockii has its origin in northwest China. Drought resistance and being easily damaged by waterlogging characterize it. It shall be thoroughly irrigated twice from leaves expansion to the time in buds, watering for other times if necessary. The immediate drainage is essential while rainy season comes, so as to protect its root from soaking which may result in defoliation in advance or even the death to Peony rockii.
For more information please click www.paeoniarockii.com

Here is a link that might be useful: Paeonia Rockii Gansu peony


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clipped on: 05.18.2010 at 12:04 pm    last updated on: 05.18.2010 at 12:05 pm

RE: Herbs used as pesticides?? (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: simplemary on 08.14.2009 at 12:42 am in Herbs Forum

We use a combination of peppermint, lavender and virginia cedar essential oils in a spray bottle with just plain water to spray rugs, mattresses and upholstery. Smells pretty good & doesn't bother anyone, doesn't run colors or stain.

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clipped on: 05.23.2010 at 08:56 am    last updated on: 05.23.2010 at 08:56 am

RE: What is the trick to planting out sunflowers? (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: keiaraa on 06.18.2009 at 05:55 am in Winter Sowing Forum

I have fairly good luck with starting sunflowers in newspaper pots.
The pots are about two inches across and 3.5 inches long. I fill them with potting soil and push in a seed just enough that the top of the seed is covered. Depending on the outdoor temperature I might put the pots in a plastic bag while the seeds germinate.
When the seedlings are large enough to handle (around when they have their first true leaves, though sooner is fine too) I dig out a hole where they are to be planted, watering the spot first if the ground is dry (aim for moist, not soaked). When I plant the seedling I unwrap the paper (though you don't have to do that) and sit it in the middle of the hole (which is around the depth of the root ball), and fill the dirt in around it. To help things settle I'll watter the spot a little.

Another way to start them is to sandwich the seeds in damp paper towels against the side of a glass or in a plastic bag. When you see roots just plant them out roots down with a half inch or so of dirt covering the top of the seed.
If those known-to-be-sprouted seeds don't come up, or die soon after, then something is eating or killing them.

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Sunflower transplanting
clipped on: 02.08.2010 at 06:33 am    last updated on: 02.08.2010 at 06:35 am

RE: Is anyone planting out Lavender? (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: brightmoregirl on 05.15.2009 at 08:40 pm in Winter Sowing Forum

This is the 2nd yr I've WSed them. I potted them up into a bigger pot, to give them more root room. After they started looking like Lavender,and not a teeny plant in the pot, I put them in the ground.
One of our nurserys here offers class's during the winter months. I took one on Lavender. There suggestions for drainage is to put a handfull of sand in the hole and mix it with some dirt. Mulch with rocks, not wood. Don't remember why, but I did it, and they seem to love it. Fertilize lightly, if at all, it makes for stronger scented flowers.

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Lavendel
clipped on: 01.22.2010 at 02:37 am    last updated on: 01.22.2010 at 02:37 am

RE: 'RECIPE' for Rose Food (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: flowergirl70ks on 05.06.2009 at 09:25 am in Organic Rose Growing Forum

Here is a recipe for rose food from the Rosarian magazine, probably 40 years ago.
1 TBS epsom salts
2 cups perlite
1 handful milorganite(wear gloves)
1/2 cup bone meal
1/2 cup alfalfa pellets
1/2 cup fish meal(leave out if you have cats or dogs)
1 TBS greensand
use 1 recipe per rose in early spring


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clipped on: 05.16.2010 at 08:21 am    last updated on: 05.16.2010 at 08:21 am

RE: Banana Peels. Use or Toss? (Follow-Up #53)

posted by: kimmsr on 03.30.2009 at 07:03 am in Organic Rose Growing Forum

Banana peelings are one, small, part of what your roses need to grow into strong healthy plants. By themselves they will not magically help your roses grow into nice plants. Start with a good, reliable soil test. Contact your state universities USDA Cooperative Extension Service office and ask about having a good, reliable soil tewst done so you know what your soils pH is and what the base nutrient level is and also dig in with these simple soil tests,
1) Structure. From that soil sample put enough of the rest to make a 4 inch level in a clear 1 quart jar, with a tight fitting lid. Fill that jar with water and replace the lid, tightly. Shake the jar vigorously and then let it stand for 24 hours. Your soil will settle out according to soil particle size and weight. A good loam will have about 1-3/4 inch (about 45%) of sand on the bottom. about 1 inch (about 25%) of silt next, about 1 inch (25%) of clay above that, and about 1/4 inch (about 5%) of organic matter on the top.

2) Drainage. Dig a hole 1 foot square and 1 foot deep and fill that with water. After that water drains away refill the hole with more water and time how long it takes that to drain away. Anything less than 2 hours and your soil drains too quickly and needs more organic matter to slow that drainage down. Anything over 6 hours and the soil drains too slowly and needs lots of organic matter to speed it up.

3) Tilth. Take a handful of your slightly damp soil and squeeze it tightly. When the pressure is released the soil should hold together in that clump, but when poked with a finger that clump should fall apart.

4) Smell. What does your soil smell like? A pleasant, rich earthy odor? Putrid, offensive, repugnant odor? The more organic matter in your soil the more active the soil bacteria will be and the nicer you soil will smell.

5) Life. How many earthworms per shovel full were there? 5 or more indicates a pretty healthy soil. Fewer than 5, according to the Natural Resources Conservation Service, indicates a soil that is not healthy.
to see what else you might need do to make that soil into the good, healthy soil that wil grow strong and healthy plants.

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clipped on: 05.13.2010 at 04:09 pm    last updated on: 05.13.2010 at 04:09 pm

RE: What woukd you plant with rose shrubs? (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: eduarda on 03.16.2009 at 12:49 pm in Cottage Garden Forum

Maria, a classic combination with roses is lavender. There are so many types of lavender you can choose the one(s) you prefer. Also catmints, Russian sage, rosemary, lamb's ears, lady's mantle, santolina (grey leaved and green), daylilies, purple coneflowers, sedums and other small succulents, just to name a few. This year I'm experimenting with sowing nigella beneath one of my old tea roses (Monsieur Tillier). I'm also underplanting it with lemon thyme. I have hot pink kalanchoe growing on the side. The ensemble is backed by a vitex which in turn has a background of blue ceanothus. There are really many choices to grow with roses.

Hope this helps
Eduarda

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underplanting ROSES
clipped on: 02.10.2010 at 10:37 am    last updated on: 02.10.2010 at 10:37 am

RE: Tomato'es (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: littleonefb on 02.23.2009 at 09:56 pm in Winter Sowing Forum

Carol,

I'm in zone 5 in MA, about 20 minutes max from the NH border.

I WS all my tomato seeds around April 16th - April 18th.

I fill 12-16 oz styrofoam cups half full with miracle grow potting mix.. Cup has a single hole in the bottom for drainage.
Put 1 seed in each cup, sprinkle a bit of soil on the top, then slip a sandwich size baggie over the cup, put in slits in the baggie and out they go into direct sunlight.

They germinate May 8th and May 16th.

As soon as the seedlings are above the top of the cup, I take them out, add some more soil to the bottom of the cup put the seedling back in and then add more soil around the stem.
I do this to give them more room to get roots in the bottom and force root growth along the stem for added strong root system.

Between June 1st and June 10th the seedlings are planted in plastic pots that hold about 1 1/4 cubic feet of soil. Just put in miracle grow potting mix, the seedling in the center and add some bark mulch to the top.
I also plant a dwarf marigold in the pot right at the edge of the pot. It helps to keep the bugs away.

I put a 6 foot plastic stake in the pot at the same time as the seedling and make my first support tie to the stake when they are planted.

I purchased the pots at Walmart for $4.97 each and they came with a saucer. I took off the saucer before filling with soil and planting and the pots are placed on the ground

Once in the pots, the plants will grow by leaps and bounds.

June 14th
June 14th

July 4th

celebrity
celebrity 7/4

beefsteak
beefsteak 7/4

cherokee purple
cherokee purple 7/4

xmas grape, a slow grower at first that takes off like a rocket
xmas grape 7/4

sweet 100
sweet 100 7/4

warren's yellow cherry
warren's yellow cherry 7/4

black cherry
black cherry 7/4

white wonder
white wonder 7/4

large cherry red
lg cherry red  7/4

July 28, the two small pots in the front are tiny tim tomatoes
Photobucket

didn't get any further pics last year as 1 month of rain made the plants look sickly and full of fungus.

They continued to fruit and ripen though into Oct.

fruit from last years plants

purple cherokee this one weighed over 2 pounds
purple cherokee

this one weighed close to 3 pounds
Photobucket
purple cherokee

cherries
largecherryred,blackcherry,sweet100,xmasgrape,warren'syellowcherry
tinytim,largecherryred,xmasgrape,blackcherry,warrenyellowcherry,sweet100

cherries and white wonder
Photobucket

Fran

NOTES:

Tomatoes
clipped on: 02.05.2010 at 05:02 pm    last updated on: 02.05.2010 at 05:02 pm

RE: 'Amending' soil before first planting (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: maifleur on 11.13.2008 at 05:58 pm in Peonies Forum

Under plant the peonies with the daffodils. That way the peonies will hide the ratty daffodil foliage. The peonies should bloom for you in March or April. After they have bloomed cut the bloom stem back to just above the main leaf at a diagonal. Some peonies have great foliage and may have fine fall color. This year most were yellow gold or deep bronze. This was not a normal year. Try to plant the annuals so that all of the plants in the bed have good air circulation. You can look at earlier posts for suggestions of plantings to go along with your peonies.


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clipped on: 05.18.2010 at 11:46 am    last updated on: 05.18.2010 at 11:46 am

Correction (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: happyday on 11.10.2008 at 10:42 pm in Peonies Forum

Correction I read that "they are quite drought resistant" not that they thrive on drought. But what's considered droughty in Ontario where that writer is from might be considered well watered in Texas.

Here is a link that might be useful: peony tips


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clipped on: 05.18.2010 at 11:41 am    last updated on: 05.18.2010 at 11:43 am

RE: 'Amending' soil before first planting (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: happyday on 11.10.2008 at 10:25 pm in Peonies Forum

I just planted my first peonies in a new bed too. I have read that they like potash, but not so much nitrogen, so I mixed ashes and leaves in the soil. Have also read that they want well drained, and standing water is death to them, but also that some shade is good during the hottest part of the day or the petals may wilt. I read that they thrive on drought, but that might not have been written for Texas drought. They don't like to be moved, so choose location carefully before planting. They can live 100 years.
Do you get a winter freeze? They need a cold season. Plant so the eye buds are 1 or 2 inches below the surface.


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clipped on: 05.18.2010 at 11:44 am    last updated on: 05.18.2010 at 11:45 am

RE: the best way to garden ;-) (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: gottagarden on 09.27.2008 at 09:37 am in Cottage Garden Forum

Ok, there were many more I enjoyed. I copied these directly from the sunset magazine freshdirt online site, http://freshdirt.sunset.com/. Thanks again to won-by-her-wits for her wonderful blog which has all these cool links.

I love quotes, garden ones in particular.

Gardening is the slowest of the performing arts.
Mac Griswold (She is a garden historian who writes for the NY Times and Houghton Mifflin)

No occupation is so delightful to me as the culture of the earth, and no culture comparable to that of the garden. . . . But though an old man, I am but a young gardener.
Thomas Jefferson, 1811

Nature writes. Gardeners edit.
Roger Swain

Color
Magenta is the floral form of original sin.
Gertrude Jekyll

Fertilizer
The best fertilizer is the shadow of a man.
Idaho farmer (also said to be an old Chinese proverb)

Japanese style gardening
A Japanese garden is finished when there is nothing left to remove.
Common saying related by David De Groot of Pacific Rim Bonsai Collection

Bonsai is the art of potbound plants.
Bob Denman, Red Pig Tools

Perennials
A perennial is a plant which, had it lived, would have come back to rebloom year after year.
Panayoti Kelaidis, Denver Botanic Garden

Plant breeding
Plant breeding is having a huge knife and cutting away what you don't want.
Maartin Benship, Dutch bulb breeder

Trees
Any fool can destroy trees. They cannot defend themselves or run away. And few destroyers of trees ever plant any
John Muir

An apple tree does not grow apples to prove that it is an apple tree; it does it because it is an apple tree.
Phil Williams, 1980

The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.
Anon

Here is a link that might be useful: cameron's blog - definingyour ome

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clipped on: 04.03.2010 at 09:41 am    last updated on: 04.03.2010 at 09:41 am

the best way to garden ;-)

posted by: gottagarden on 09.27.2008 at 09:24 am in Cottage Garden Forum

Following a link from Cameron's blog, I found this quote that made me smile. Have you got any good quotes?

"The best way to garden is to put on a wide brimmed strawhat and some old clothes. And, with a hoe in one hand and a cold drink in the other, tell your husband where to dig."

From Anderson's La Costa Nursery's monthly garden tips column.

NOTES:

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clipped on: 04.03.2010 at 09:39 am    last updated on: 04.03.2010 at 09:41 am

RE: Tell Me About Overplanting (Follow-Up #12)

posted by: gottagarden on 07.06.2008 at 06:23 am in Cottage Garden Forum

Summer into fall is harder, since summer plants don't usually die back. There are several annuals and also dahlias which bloom for months, and these will span from summer to fall. Also the grasses finally sprout their seed heads in the fall.

The fall trick is to pick shrubs and perennials that have nice fall foliage. So even if they are not blooming, the foliage is adding some nice color.

NOTES:

Fall interest
clipped on: 01.31.2010 at 04:24 pm    last updated on: 01.31.2010 at 04:24 pm

RE: Tell Me About Overplanting (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: gottagarden on 07.05.2008 at 06:10 am in Cottage Garden Forum

OK, OK, guilty as charged. I do overplant because:
- it gives me more blooms
- it keeps the soil shaded, and therefore more moist
- it keeps the weeds out (well, less weeds anyways)
- I think it looks better, I don't want to see any ground

Spring bulbs (crocus, hyacinths, alliums, etc.) die down completely on their own and free up the space. Plant them with summer or later blooming herbacious perennials, because you want them to have died down when the others get going. The real trick here is to remember where they are so that you don't chop through them with a shovel when planting something else. I've addressed this a few ways
- I usually plant the garden first, then add bulbs last because they are easier to sneak in small places
- For small bulbs like crocus, I plant close to edges and other items so I can sort of remember where they are.
- For large bulbs, I plant my bulbs extra deep, especially daffodils and tulips which are at least 8 inches deep. This way I can put them in the middle of a bed and plant right over the top of them. I have planted alliums and others deeper than recommended, but the plants have never complained. I use a tree planting bar to get them in so deep while making just a small slit in the ground between those herbacious perennials.

- I bought smooth river rocks, and put them right next to the bulb on the surface, so next time I'm tempted to slice through my alliums, I will see those little smooth rocks and remember - oh, I don't want to chop those alliums again

When planning combinations of coordinated bloom time, I think of several different bloom times - mid may, early june, late june, july, etc. But for overplanting combinations, I think of just spring summer fall, because the foliage will die back or can be cut back in these basic seasons.

Here's trick that took me several years to learn: Plant spring bloomers in the back of the bed, so that later flowering plants will cover them up. For ex. My alliums and iris combo are in the back of the bed, and then I plant dahlias in front them. There is no competition during their peak growing season and the dahlias will completely hide the yellowing, aging iris leaves, and take over the space of the alliums which disappear completely.

I like to leave the leaves on the plant for a little while after blooming so that it is building up reserves for next year. But I do cut them back a bit early (if I get around to it) to free up space. Since they are crowded already, I don't care if the plant grows more slowly because of cutting back early.

In order to pull this off, you need good soil. Really THAT is my secret. I had good soil to begin with, and I mulch every year with any organic matter I can get my hands on for cheap. Last couple of years I'm using aged horse manure which really feeds the soil. I have never used fertilizer, I don't need it and suspect it would make the plants "burn out" from being pushed too hard. (ok, one of my kooky notions)

The downside is that you need to divide much sooner (every 2-3 years) because stuff gets too big. Then you have to find a home for all those extra plants.

Hope that helps some.

NOTES:

interplanting
clipped on: 01.31.2010 at 04:16 pm    last updated on: 01.31.2010 at 04:16 pm

RE: suggestions for gardening without Deet-ing my kids (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: medontdo on 06.12.2008 at 07:00 pm in Gardening with Kids Forum

i made some my own, my daughter is a skeeter magnet, and these past few years they have been huge and like skeeters on acid!! ya smack em and well they are back up!! and they look funny!! ok so here goes, i use olive oil, ya can get some at the dollar store and target for 99 cents. and i put in 1 or 2 t spoons of mint oil, you can use mint stuff that ya put in your food to taste. but then they say ya have to add alcohol as a diffuser, i don't cuz it don't seem to work as well, i just shake really well and spray on her, it works really good!! no skeeter bites!! and......she smells really good, also you can replace the mint with lavander oil. it works just as well, they don't like that either!!
or lemon. but the mint or spearmint works great for last year. i personally love lavender. ummmm it was
1 pt olive oil
2 t mint, lemon, spearmint, lavender (any of these) oils
in a spray bottle shake really well :')) smell awesome!!
i use the olive oil cuz its excellent for your skin!! the others smother your pores. this stuff won't smother them and it will carry the smell for a long time!! even when your working hard in the garden!! or playing in the pool!! if that dont' work sometimes i will double up on the mint for her, key thing is to put it on befor they get sweaty. LOL
she's only 6 but that girl can really attract them skeeters!! i told her its cuz they know that she loves the fairys so much!! LOL so she don't mind the oils so much, especially cuz of the smell!! LOL hope it works!! :'))

NOTES:

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clipped on: 05.23.2010 at 08:49 am    last updated on: 05.23.2010 at 08:49 am

RE: suggestions for gardening without Deet-ing my kids (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: brookiejunk on 04.26.2008 at 10:38 pm in Gardening with Kids Forum

I made my own mosquito repelent. I bought from a local health food store some eucolyptus oil. At home I put 1 cup of vinegar, 1/2 a cup of baby oil, 2 sprigs of rosemary, some lavendar and some marigold, some mosquito shoo plant which is a geranium that smells citronela like. plus added about 1 tsp of the oil. I put it all in a bowl and let it sit for two day. I stirred it a little. Then I put it in a squirt bottle and spray it on my self my kids, and if we are on the back porch I spray it around outside. It seems to work for us.

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clipped on: 05.23.2010 at 08:47 am    last updated on: 05.23.2010 at 08:47 am

RE: Do roses like company? (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: freddhead on 10.08.2007 at 05:19 pm in Organic Rose Growing Forum

I have had success with lemon grass, lemon balm, ladies' mantle and coral bells. Also, the ladies' mantle and coral bells have helped immeasurably with excess weed growth. They seem to have a chemical in them that retards broadleaf weeds.


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clipped on: 05.16.2010 at 08:33 am    last updated on: 05.16.2010 at 08:33 am

RE: Do roses like company? (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: judith5bmontreal on 09.22.2007 at 09:06 pm in Organic Rose Growing Forum

Roses look great with daylilies; also low-growing geraniums, catmint, salvia, and lavender. All of these companion plants need much less water and fertilizer than roses, so you have to be careful to skip over them with the hose.


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clipped on: 05.16.2010 at 08:32 am    last updated on: 05.16.2010 at 08:32 am

RE: Ok to use bananas and coffee on newly planted roses? (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: auburngardengal on 06.13.2007 at 07:38 pm in Organic Rose Growing Forum

Hello,
Also just joined today. Can't say I've put peels or grounds in the rose hole first. I have two compost piles filled with everything--beautiful dark stuff! Starbucks recycles their grounds and gives bags away for free. Been growing roses for 17 years and just found a good organic fertilizer recipe that I'll try next spring. 4 parts seed meal/alfala pellets, 1 pt dolomite lime, 1/2 pt bone meal 1/2 pt kelp. P.S. clematis love kelp meal!Happy rose growing!


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clipped on: 05.16.2010 at 09:03 am    last updated on: 05.16.2010 at 09:03 am

RE: Advice on support for flowering vines (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: julia on 06.03.2007 at 12:01 am in Vines Forum

Some thoughts:

If you care about the shed wall, leave space between the wall and the trellis for air circulation. If you have to maintain the shed wall (paint it? pressure wash it?) and you want to grow a perennial vine, use hinges or removable panels on the trellis support.

What vines you want to grow will dictate the type of trellis. Is the vine self attaching or adhering? If so you need a porous surface like unpainted pressure treated lumber. Is it a twiner? Then metal, painted wood or string will work. Select the one appropriate for the weight of the vine.

My personal favorite for flexibility (I may want to try different things!), economy, and appearance is pressure treated lumber with a colored wood stain applied. Stain - not paint. It lasts for many years without a redo. Stain comes in garden friendly exterior colors like green, barn red, and honey gold. Use 1x1s for the main part of the trellis and bigger wood like 2x2s or 4x4 wood fence posts as vertical supports. And decking screws that won't rust.

You are not overthinking this. You will get the last laugh when every else's trellises and vines are on the ground in a chaotic mound. Just don't get a yen for Chinese or Japanese wisteria. Now that is a major construction project involving iron pipes and concrete. Don't go there.


NOTES:

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clipped on: 04.19.2010 at 03:28 pm    last updated on: 04.19.2010 at 03:28 pm

RE: Ok to use bananas and coffee on newly planted roses? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: petalz on 05.20.2007 at 04:42 pm in Organic Rose Growing Forum

I just planted 26 HT, FL, CL two months ago and have been using a combination of coffee grounds 1cup, blended up whole bananas 1cup in 1gal h2o, chicken manure 3/4cup, bioflora dry crumbles 1/2 cup, alfalfa pellets 1cup, all scratched into the top dirt and mulched with 3" composted horse manure. Do this once every month and supplement with fish emulsion in between.
Very time consuming but some of my FLs have almost twenty flowers now!

look up alfalfa pellets on this site and you will see how great they are on roses.


NOTES:

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clipped on: 05.16.2010 at 09:01 am    last updated on: 05.16.2010 at 09:01 am

RE: Baking Soda and water (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: petalz on 05.02.2007 at 01:26 am in Organic Rose Growing Forum

I just used a baking soda spray on my new roses for white mold and aphids.
It actualy worked better than the ortho nasty gag spray.t he mold has not been back even though my don Juan clibers only get sun from 1-6pm. I used the ortho four times and it always came back!
This is the spray recipie I used
2 tbls baking soda
2 tbls dish soap
2 tlbs vegetable oil( I actualy only had extra virgin olive oil)
1 gallon water
or use an old 1 quart windex bottle rinsed very well and use 1/2 tbls each.
I would spray when it is sunny because it washes off easy every 2-3 days for fungus and every 5-7 for bugs.
drench plants getting undersides use as much as you want!


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clipped on: 05.16.2010 at 08:59 am    last updated on: 05.16.2010 at 08:59 am

RE: Help Needed with Peony Transplanting (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: maifleur on 03.24.2006 at 11:02 pm in Peonies Forum

Get a knife or sharp bladed trowel. At the plant select a blooming stem on the outside of the plant. At the base of that stem start scraping away the soil with the knife until you can located a root section that has knobby things near your stem(next years eyes). Try to separate that root from the mother plant. You may have to cut or break the root section off from the mother plant. Try to dig down far enough to have a root section 8-10 inches long if possible. At this point you may either cut or you may have to break the root. Take a break and allow the part in the soil to callus over to prevent rot. Replace the dirt and if you brought some give the plant a light fertilization. Cut off the stem and place in a paper bag for the trip home. If you are driving you can leave the stem on but I would pack with slightly damp packing. Plant immediately either in the ground or a large pot for potting later. The plant may or may not send up foliage this year but you should be able to see enlarging buds this fall.

By using a blooming stem you are assured of having the same plant and not a seedling that has sprouted over the years. By allowing the drying of the mother plant root you prevent any rot and will allow you or other members of your family to gather another start later. If several members of the family want sections you could use a spade and cut a pie out of the mother plant.

I lost my families peonies when the cemetary decided that plants got in the way of mowing and killed most of the plantings before someone noticed. I am still looking for a dark red peony with white edges on the petals. Good luck to you. May sound silly but talk to your grandmother while you are digging about where you are going to plant her peony. Your section may surprise you with its vigor.

NOTES:

Peonies
clipped on: 02.10.2010 at 10:23 am    last updated on: 02.10.2010 at 10:23 am

RE: Peonies and Stove ashes (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: GrassIsEvil on 04.24.2005 at 10:52 pm in Peonies Forum

The following is an opinion only:

Alrics, have you ever heard of lye soap? In the old-fashioned way of making lye soap, ashes from the stoves and fireplaces were placed in a wooden box and water poured over them. The liquid that came from it has a very high pH. This is 'lye' or 'caustic'. (It's then cooked with animal fat to make soap, but that's another thread.) The rainwater hitting the ashes in the outdoor fireplace will have leached some or even most of this lye. If the water could drain away, then it may have taken the lye with it, but it will also have lost the good stuff, such as potassium, also.

Bottom line, I wouldn't use the ashes from the outdoor fireplace.

As for the indoor ashes, I dust my peony beds with ashes regularly, but lightly, being careful to keep the ashes from actually touching the plants. I add sheep manure, which tends to lower the pH, regularly also. The peonies seem to like the regimen. (I have to admit, I do it this way because it's the way my mother does it. I started working on the explanations later.)

Ray


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clipped on: 05.18.2010 at 12:09 pm    last updated on: 05.18.2010 at 12:09 pm

RE: Banana Peels. Use or Toss? (Follow-Up #34)

posted by: Zone29 on 07.18.2004 at 10:25 am in Organic Rose Growing Forum

I not only use banana peels, but any fresh unused bits of produce, which I put in my blender and mix with water, I use it everywhere in my garden and what a big response - next day the plants I have used it on are standing straighter, look shinier and seem to be saying "feel good today".

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clipped on: 05.13.2010 at 04:02 pm    last updated on: 05.13.2010 at 04:02 pm

RE: Peony basics (Follow-Up #14)

posted by: oldroser on 04.25.2004 at 01:30 am in Peonies Forum

Even in zone 5 peonies should be planted shallow,with those red buds just below the surface of the ground. They are completely hardy and planting deeper can result in nice foliage but no flowers.


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clipped on: 05.18.2010 at 12:30 pm    last updated on: 05.18.2010 at 12:30 pm

RE: Peony basics (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: valeriegail on 04.17.2004 at 05:07 pm in Peonies Forum

I have peonies in full sun and in dappled shade. They do well in both situations. I plant mine as close to the surface of the ground as possible, any deeper and they will not bloom. So if, after a few years you don't get any bloom, you will know you planted them too deep. Try to keep the little red nubs level with the surface or maybe an inch down, but no more.

Peonies are lovely plants and they are scattered everywhere in my perennial beds and come the first of July you can count on a spectacular show. One of my favorite plants.

Good luck with yours.

Valerie


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clipped on: 05.18.2010 at 12:27 pm    last updated on: 05.18.2010 at 12:27 pm

RE: Peony basics (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: Blueheron on 04.14.2004 at 07:51 pm in Peonies Forum

Yes, full sun is what peonies prefer, so yours should do fine. If you like, you can top dress the plants with some dehydrated cow manure in the spring. The flowers should be deadheaded when finished blooming and don't cut back the dying foliage until October or November. That's about all there is to growing peonies, except for planting them no deeper than 2", but you probably know that.


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clipped on: 05.18.2010 at 12:24 pm    last updated on: 05.18.2010 at 12:24 pm

RE: Worm castings - miracle cure for diseases and pests? (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: ashkebird on 06.06.2003 at 06:09 am in Organic Rose Growing Forum

I agree with the above poster: Make your own worm compost.

Its not hard, its excellent for the environment, its non toxic, it reduces waste in the landfill (unless you already compost, in which case thank you!) and this moist black stuff really does an amazing job of retaining moisture. Free extra worms for fishing!

My tubs are made of rubbermaid plastic tubs. I use the smaller sizes, and have several of them. Sometimes a bin can go bad, especially when you are starting out, and I just think several smaller ones (10 gal size? Its a rectangular shape. Maybe 15 gal?) are better than one big one.

I used a dremel tool to drill lots of small holes in the top for air circulation (tops of the sides, not in the lid,) Also some larger holes are drilled in the bottom to allow for drainage.

For bedding I use shredded newspaper (office paper line shredder, not confetti,) and 1 bag of starbucks used coffeegrounds. They usually give them out free in silver 5lb bags, (or will save them if you ask,) and its the perfect amout for a smaller rubbermaid bin. I add no water to the paper, I mix those two together, put the lid on and by the next day, the moisture level is perfect. The ground are moist. I also mix in some leftover horse vitamins (not sure what else to do with them,) a handful of real soil ("for grit" its recommended,) a little bone meal, and little alfalfa meal for boosted nutrition, then I pile in all my old tea bags, pieces of leftover fruits and veggies and kitchen scraps, no meat.

Then in a few months, you'll have the richest darkest moistest worm castings. Have fun seperating them from the worms. :) (That's the hard part.)

But that book recommended above is excellent. There are a million websites and there is a whole forum here about it called "Vermicomposting" where they'll answer all your questions.

Aerated compost tea made from worm castings is just fantastic. But to me, especially for tropical plants or houseplants, there is no better product. Its not the fertilizer "rating", its the incredible biological activity in the castings which make them priceless. This breaks down nutrients already in the soil much faster and makes them more available to plants. It absolutely holds moisture better and yet has great drainage.

An example: Last year I went nuts and grew 15 different tomatoes in big 15 gal pots. I decided that I would use 3/4 potting soil, 1/4 chicken manure and worm compost mix (which had worm eggs in it, and some worms.) Plus about two cups of a mixed organic fertilizer.

Plants grew great and died and I put them aside without dumping. I need soil now and am going through them. Of course the roots of the plants died when I chopped them off and have been degrading. The soil inside these pots is like BLACK GOLD. It is FULL of worms, its RICH, when I pick up a handful, I really have to fight myself not to just lick it or something, it looks that good. :) I planted bulbs only in that and they were amazing. The "quality" of the soil, the feel of worm compost is just so perfect. Its about "the big picture" of available micronutrients, quality and biological life, rather than just NPK.

So spend the 10 bucks on the book and some worms, read the vermicomposting forum and get ready to really spoil your roses. Oh, also, I think what they were trying to say with "stronger roses" claim, is that a plant which is getting all the nutrition it needs is less likely to be attacked by insects (which its now being shown prefer weak new high N growth, often created when people really pour on those liquid fertilizers...) more drought hardy, more winter hardy, stronger and overall a healthier plant. The healthier you are (us too,) and less stressed, the better you can fight off disease and pests, period.

Definitely check out worm composting. Its super easy, its not smelly (it shouldn't be,) and the product is worth any trouble, for me at least. Good luck!

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clipped on: 05.13.2010 at 04:39 pm    last updated on: 05.13.2010 at 04:39 pm

RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips' (Follow-Up #12)

posted by: shadegardnr on 03.04.2003 at 09:30 pm in Favorites Forum

how many of you have weeping willow trees near by? I saw a show that said willow trees produce a natural rooting hormone and that you can cut some of the smaller branches off (1/2 inch long) and make your very own ! here's what you need
willow branches
cutters
1 gallon of water (save a milk jug , this is perfact)
large pot..
all you do is simmer the cuttings for 12 hours, let cool ,remove cuttings and place the water back into the gallon milk jug.. Store in fridge , but MAKE SURE you mark it.. We don't want any sudden "growth spurts" happening to the kids.. use this for shrubs, trees etc..

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pajuvedelik
clipped on: 01.24.2010 at 11:36 am    last updated on: 01.24.2010 at 11:36 am

RE: Banana Peels. Use or Toss? (Follow-Up #20)

posted by: Hawkeye_Belle on 09.16.2002 at 09:24 am in Organic Rose Growing Forum

Sorry I left out some vital information with the banana tonic. Yes you can freeze banana, peel and all. If it makes you feel better put them in a plastic bag.
When I have collected enough bananas, I place one banana, peel, too, minus the hard tip ends in the blender. (You can slice the banana easily if it is frozen). Put in enough water to cover the banana and liquify. Pour this mixture into a gallon container. (Milk containers are great, but you must use a funnel). Fill the container with water and pour this mixture on the rose at the crown and around the drip line. One banana per rose, one gallon of the tonic per plant. Simple.

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clipped on: 05.13.2010 at 03:50 pm    last updated on: 05.13.2010 at 03:51 pm

RE: Banana Peels. Use or Toss? (Follow-Up #17)

posted by: Hawkeye_Belle on 09.13.2002 at 03:57 pm in Organic Rose Growing Forum

I freeze the old brown bananas. Then, I collect them, put them through the blender to puree, pour this mix in empty gallon milk containers and give one gallon to each bush. They thank me with their blooms.
Bananas--great stuff.
PS. If you have too many bananas you can always make banana bread with those frozen then thawed bananas. Freezing intensifies the enzymes that heighten the flavor.

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clipped on: 05.13.2010 at 03:49 pm    last updated on: 05.13.2010 at 03:49 pm

Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

posted by: BerkeleyRose on 07.04.2002 at 06:22 am in Favorites Forum

July 3, 2002,

LET'S EXPAND ON THIS GREAT STRING OF HELPFUL HINTS!

Here's one to start anew:

Keeping soil and water in pots:
To keep the soil in a pot, put 1" of leaves or grass
clippings in the bottom before adding any soil.
To retain water, add water-retentive polymer crystals
in the middle-half of the pot, to reduce polymer costs.
Plant, grow, water, and enjoy!!!

L
BerkeleyRose

- * - * - * -

THIS IS THE ORIGINAL, FABULOUS STRING:

Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by Diana in WI - Zone 4 (amerherb@chorus.net) on Sat, Jan 23, 99 at 18:18

I'll start this off. I heard this on the radio the other day. When you're finishing up a gallon of milk, and have poured the last bit out, fill the jug with water right away, but don't rinse it. Save that water for your houseplants. The nitrogen in milk is a nice little boost for them. I now have 14 jugs of milk-water, and counting! LOL! What's a neat little trick you use, inside or outside in the garden? Diana :D

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Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: Shannon - 6 (SRob101959@aol.com) on Sat, Jan 23, 99 at 19:14

This is a great idea for a thread! The best thing I ever read is that if you want to make an instant(sort of) garden without endlessly weeding and cultivating then you do this- Put down newspaper(only regular-not glossy ads)about 10 sheets deep in the area you want to garden. Water it well then cover it with a mix of compost and soil about 4-6 inches deep then leave it for at least 6 weeks. At the end of the time you can plant directly in the soil(tearing thru the newspaper if need be)This has been a minor miracle for me as we moved into a yard covered in a brutal mix of ivy, pachysandra and poison ivy. I've made several raised bed gardens this way and it works like a charm

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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: beverly - mid mich - zone 5 (bevjim1@aol.com) on Mon, Jan 25, 99 at 22:53

One good tip I got from a friend was when planting a potted planted in the ground - fill the hole you've dug up with water and let in seep in before planting the new plant.(still have to water it in after planting) When I do this.....it seems that the new plants get off to a real good start.
I'll try to think of some more.

.....beverly


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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: Jen - SoCal-9/Sunset 19 (jimnjen@earthlink.net) on Fri, Jan 29, 99 at 12:08

Here's another use for those empty 1-gallon milk jugs. After rinsing, punch several small holes (about 1/8") across the whole area of the bottom of the jug. When you have a few of these jugs, you can then place the jugs between plants, fill them with water, and let the water seep out into the ground. You don't need a lot of holes in the bottom of the jug; if you have too many it will be difficult to fill it with water as it will be running out too fast.

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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: Wanda - sunset16 (Wandaworld@pacbell.net) on Mon, Feb 1, 99 at 22:47

Someone told my neighbor he could fill 'em with water and set them on his lawn to deter invasive dogs and cats. Talk about your "tacky" lawn ornaments...didn't work, either. But frozen in the summer and placed in bunny cages, they make great coolants for overheated bunnies!

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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: Steve - 6-3/4 Nashville (Steve.Meigs@juno.com) on Sun, Feb 21, 99 at 1:15

When planting a tomato, strip off all but the top two branches and plant it so only the top two branches show. It grows roots deeper that way, makes more fruit.
When sowing a wild meadow, kill the weeds first, then till or rake the soil to a shallow depth, an inch or two. That way you don't unearth the buried seeds of other weeds which are deeper than that, and wild meadows don't need heavily tilled soil.

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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: mj-ny5 (mjwarren@juno.com) on Wed, Mar 10, 99 at 9:50

Wear gardening gloves. And be extra careful when reaching downwards to gather a handful of dead plant heads with one hand and then cutting them off with pruning shears in your other hand. Easy way to lose the tip of a finger.


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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: Jen CA9-Sunset19 (jimnjen@earthlink.net) on Wed, Mar 10, 99 at 12:30

Ditto the last suggestion; I snipped two of my fingers within a few minutes of each other last weekend. When you do cut, make sure your fingers are out of the way.

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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: Andrea - 6 (alarmstrong@kih.net) on Wed, Mar 10, 99 at 13:01

I found a very inexpensive way to make those stakes to hold up plants ( the kind with the circle on top) Take an old coat hanger, the heavy ones, untwist the two ends but leave the half circle part, straighten out the rest of the hanger, bend the half moon down like in the advertisments. You can leave them long for tall plants on use wire cutters to shorten them any length you need. The best part is you can make dozens of these at no expense, they work good for house plants too.

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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: Cora Lea - 5-IA (bellsrus@dwx.com) on Sat, Mar 13, 99 at 11:30

OUch! Mj and Jen - Be Careful! Its hard to garden without fingers - and I don't "think" they grow back!
Several comments are being made on the plastic milk jugs so I will share two of my favorite uses.

1. Cut them into strips, the width of plant markers, pointed at one end, any length that you like. Then, use something to stratch or etch the name of your plants into them. (I use an inexpensive electric engraver.) Push them into the dirt behind the plant and forget them. When you need to know what the plant is, pull them out, wipe them off, and the indentations are filled with dirt which allows you to read what you have written. (Sometimes it helps if you moisten your fingers slightly, if your dirt is not showing - or engrave a bit more deeply.) The great thing about these is the sun won't fade your writing!

2. Many times I sow seeds in the middle of winter for perennials. This way, the seeds get an early start and go through the proper "cooling period" - and its easier for me to put the seeds outside and forget them, than to be concerned about proper watering, etc. in the house and transplanting later. The problem is remembering "exactly" where I put the seed so I don't plant over it or pull it out in the spring - thinking it is a weed! NOW, I cut both the top and bottom out of a plastic milk jug, and bend it into the shape I prefer, "rough up the dirt where I want to plant" - not deep at all, anchor the container down with dirt built up securely on the outside, or with wire hangers which I cut and bend to hook over the top edge of the container, and push into the ground in several spots - enough to keep it from blowing away. I then scatter the seeds inside, or put them in a row - whatever works for you. Make sure you put a marker down into the dirt along the inside of the container so you know what is planted inside each jug. I can make sure they get enough water/moisture=snow, by directly placing it in the protector. When the plants start to grow, they are not only protected from the wind, but have a miniture "hot house" and are also less likely to be eaten by young rabbits, which like the "new, young growth". They also seem less inclined to put their little heads into a container to nibble. (Did I explain that last use well?)


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Oops! There's more
Posted by: Cora Lea - 5-IA (bellsrus@dwx.com) on Sat, Mar 13, 99 at 12:14

I meant to add to the above, but my "trigger finger" got "happy"...
When plants are large enough for transplanting, I remove the milk "ring", water the soil VERY well (so the ground is very soft and there is less damage to roots), separate the grouping of plants and plant them where I want them to grow. (Poppies do not like to moved, so I tend to thin by snipping the weaker plants at ground level, and plant three "rings" close together.)

The adjustment to being explosed to the elements is no longer a factor - they only have to concentrate on setting root in a new location - though I DO try not to disturb the roots any more than necessary. Make sure you moisten the hole good BEFORE planting, with water containing a good root stimulant, as someone else mentioned, and again after planting. The plants REALLY "take off" when I use this method!

(The milk jug "ring" method is great for remembering where you sow any kind of seed, even if done later in the year, with perennials OR annuals, as it is one way to get things started in a small space - thus not ending up with "holes" where seeds don't germinate - and allowing for transplanting when the plants are of correct size.)


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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: Tara - 5 (HippOne@aol.com) on Sat, Mar 13, 99 at 20:53

Great post Diana. Hear are a few things I like or have read.
For inexpensive grow through supports I cut a length of chiken wire and bend it in an arch. When plants get to be 1/3 their mature height place the arch over it and secure the bottom in the soil with pieces of a coat hanger bent to hairpin shape. The plants will grow through them so you will not see the supports.

I also lay pieces of chicken wire flat around plants that rabbits like and cover with a thin layer of mulch. (they don't like standing on the chicken wire.)

For those in drought areas I read of burying a 1 litre bottle with tiny pinholes poked in the bottom 1/2, around plants that want more water. With the bottle burried by the roots, when you fill the bottle water is delivered to where it is needed.

A rural type mailbox in a garden is good place to keep extra garden tools to save a trip when the desire to prune, deadhead, or weed hits you.

I like to sow seeds in the flat tray you get when you buy a flat of plants. Much easier to prepare than individual pots or six packs.

If you do not have a mulching mower but do have one with a side discard chute: keep the chute on the side of the next pass to be mowed. You will then be mulching the last pass's clippings. No raking.

Before getting down and dirty in the garden. Put hand lotion on and scrape a bar of soap with your fingernails so it gets under them. Makes cleanup a lot easier. I wear gloves but still end up looking like Pigpen.


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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: marilyn - 5 (herbs@nbnet.nb.ca) on Fri, Mar 19, 99 at 20:36

This is for gardeners who live in areas that have SNOW.
Make markers using venetian blind (cut about 1 foot long). You can write the name of the plant or any message using an HB lead pencil on the inside curve of the blind and it will not erase - in fact I have markers 2-3 years old and the messages are still clear. We have a large field of herbs so I keep track of where the herbs are (as they are hidden under straw for the winter). I put messages such as: "32 lovage"; "40 thyme - pot up spring '99"; "garlic chives - divide and move to row X", etc. etc. ML

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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: Bill - 5 (bhrost@yahoo.com) on Sat, Mar 20, 99 at 1:40

There's one that I read in a tree book that I've found works really well concerning tree pruning. If damage occurs to the bark on a tree (say a lot of woodpecker holes that create dead areas), or any type of wound that creates a blocky exposed area - this type of wound often callouses very slowly.
A pruning cut that is narrow at the ends and widens gradually in the middle (sort of like an eyesocket shape)heals much faster - I guess because the sap flows much more readily with this shape. So it is often better to take a utility knife and actually create a larger wound (though no larger than it needs to be to achieve this shape) with it's long axis parallel to the trunk or limb which includes the block shaped or patrchy wounds within it. Wounds which would otherwise take a half dozen years or more to heal may take only 2 or 3 years to callous over.


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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: Diana in WI - 4 (amerherb@chorus.net) on Tue, Mar 30, 99 at 15:50

WOW! I knew you guys were full of it...full of GREAT ideas! Let's have more! Here's one: Start perennials from seed in large containers in the late summer (for your area). They'll be about half grown by the time the hard freeze hits. Overwinter them in your (unheated) greenhouse or in a cold frame for the winter. (This gives them the "down time" they need.) When you notice green coming up the following spring, start to water, and move them to a warmer place. You should have good, sturdy and practically FREE perennials to plant the next spring. I'm going to give this a try this fall. Diana :D

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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: A Luft - 5b (alofpa@webtv.net) on Wed, Mar 31, 99 at 17:14

For anybody in a deer zone, like me, when your tulips first show signs of munching, take a bar of Irish Spring Soap (the original) and a cheese grater and grate it using the half moon side around the plants. I've had wonderful tulips the last four years in a heavily deer populated park. The soap lasts for weeks, as long as you can see the shavings there is no need to redo the process. I guess it's the pungent smell that masks the plants odor and the deer can't find the low growers.

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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: Joe (king@positive-thinking.com) on Thu, Apr 15, 99 at 11:24

I've had trouble in the past finding reasonably priced supports for perennials such as peonies that don't get REAL tall, but need support because they are so top-heavy when they bloom. Here's what I did: I took the standard, three-ring tomato supports (that are in reality too small for tomatoes) and cut them down to size to make two supports. I cut the "stakes" on them that you drive in the ground, cutting them just above to lower ring. This leaves the top two, larger rings with supports to drive into the ground, the perfect size for peonies. The bottom ring with the original stakes can be used for smaller clumps or plants with a single top-heavy bloom, such as parrot tulips. Use heavy-duty wire snips to make the cuts, but be careful ... you may get jagged edges that can cut.

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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: dirtpig - 4a (dirtpig@hotmail.com) on Thu, Apr 15, 99 at 17:20

Hi,
I too use tomatoe cages for support for taller plants . I cut up the side through the three rings and bend them open . I put the cages out early so the plants grow around it or should I say through it so you can't see the cage and the plant gets the support it needs . I also use milk or oj jags for watering pumpkins and tomatoes that like lots of water . I bury the bottles where needed , also use for plant food for the fussy plants that have specific needs like rhododendrons and azaleas .

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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: Diana in WI - 4 (amerherb@chorus.net) on Thu, Apr 15, 99 at 21:16

Moving post to the top. I know there are lots more ideas out there! Diana :D

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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: Lisa - Zone 7 - 7a (elisa1@arkansas.net) on Sun, Apr 18, 99 at 21:30

I think the one I've used the most is to cut your panyhose in one inch rings, stretch,and cut the ring. These are the softest things I've ever used to tie up plants and my kids love to do the stretching part.

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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: marilyn - 5 (herbs@nbnet.nb.ca) on Wed, Apr 21, 99 at 19:18

Put styrofoam packing chips in the bottom of a large patio pot before putting in the soil and plant - saves on soil but also makes the pot much lighter and easier to move around.
See also
http://tv.cbc.ca/canadiangardener/intro.htm


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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: Paula - 8-SC (PaulaCat@aol.com) on Thu, Apr 29, 99 at 17:05

Two earlier suggestions were also good for people with outdoor pets. Milk jug rings (or soda bottle rings) placed around small plants discourage cats from digging them up. And...cats, like rabbits, don't like standing on chicken wire...and they can't dig through it, so I often place it over areas where I'm planting seeds.
2 or 3 liter soda bottles make great mini-greenhouses if you experience a later-than-normal cold snap. Simply cut off the bottom and place over plant, twisting to push it down in the soil a little. I usually leave the top off, so that if I leave the bottle in place during the day, it doesn't get too hot. (If you can't push it down in the soil, you can secure by sticking a long metal skewer through the open top down into the soil.)


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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: Dianne - 8 (Joesye@aol.com) on Sat, May 1, 99 at 22:07

I've also tried the newspaper for detering and killing weeds, but better than newspaper is cardboard which most stores compact or throw away. It has helped with my weed in zone 8. It takes longer to break down than newspaper. The only problem is that you need to plant your plants first. Then place the cardboard down so it overlaps. This is very much like putting together a jigsaw puzzle. After putting down cardboard, then cover with mulch. So far it has worked for me.

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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: Evelyn - 34432 (evelynMP@gardenweb.com) on Tue, May 4, 99 at 21:47

IT WORKS! HEY GARDNERS , IF BOTHERED WITH SNAILS /SLUGS ,JUST START CUTTING YOUR HAIR AND PUT IT AROUND YOUR PLANTS. HAIR NOT ONLY PREVENTS SNAILS/SLUGS,BUT IS A GOOD SOIL BUILDER.DON"T FORGET IT TICKLES THE RABBIT NOSE ALSO! HA! (YOUR HAIRDRESSER WILL BE HAPPY FOR YOU TO SWEEP HER/HIS FLOOR!(:

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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: Jenra - 9 (corko2@ix.netcom.com) on Wed, May 5, 99 at 0:13

Evelyn:
Would you by any chance know if dog hair would work as well as human hair? Our dogs are shedding their winter coats and it seems that there should be some use for it.

Jenra


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Moving To the Top
Posted by: Diana in WI - 4 (amerherb@chorus.net) on Thu, May 13, 99 at 10:15

Any more ideas out there? I don't want to miss any!
Diana ;D

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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: Kim - Chicago 5 (ksterr@aol.com) on Fri, May 14, 99 at 22:00

Jenra -
Dog hair WILL help deter rabbits. Good thing I've got a shedder, it makes it a little easier! My friends request the dogs' hair for their gardens as well!


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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: Jenra - 9 (corko2@ix.netcom.com) on Sat, May 15, 99 at 0:03

Thanx, Kim. I don't have a problem with bunnies, but I do have snails and slugs. Since hubby is in charge of brushing both dogs (not that they mind, they love it) he now knows to save the hair so I can give it a try.
Maybe someone can answer this question for me? Why do husbands have to give big sighs and roll their eyes to the heavens when we make these type of requests of them? LOL!

Jenra


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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: jane - 7 (zeugmatics@aol.com) on Sun, May 16, 99 at 18:24

To clear an area that's full of brambles, weeds, vines, etc., cut everything down as best you can, cover with flattened cardboard cartons, and cover this with a thick layer (six inches or more) of leaves, grass clippsings, straw, or anything you would be putting on the compost heap. Next year, you have a plot all ready for planting. (Ruth Stout just used 10" of hay, but the cardboard cartons really smother the tough stuff.)

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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: Evelyn Smith - Georgia (alsmith@ellijay.com) on Wed, May 19, 99 at 17:44

Plant supports----I use small bare branches(especially those from Mountain Laurel)Trim a point on the end and stick it next to the plant. It is almost invisible, unlike the wire supports. And it is free.

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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: dicken - 5 - SW mi (bkeech@remc11.k12.mi.us) on Thu, May 20, 99 at 15:22

my goodness!! someone else who's read Ruth Stout! there may be hope for us, after all!!
-d.


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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: June T - 8-9 TX (junett@hotmail.com) on Fri, Jul 16, 99 at 4:13

to sow small seeds directly in the garden:
cut the top and bottom off of a cardboard box (1'x1'x 6")
you now have a 6 inch rim of cardboard. place this directly over the area you wish to sow. sow your seeds. place a piece of glass or plastic on top. this is like a mini portable greenhouse. your seeds stay moist until they germinate, then you can remove and use elsewhere.

you can make it any size you want, and using any material.
another suggestion is to remove the bottom of a large fiber pot,leaving only the rim.

i make my own using two by fours for the frame, a convenient size is 1.5 ft square.


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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: Dee S. - 5 Michigan (dsadro@iavbbs.com) on Fri, Jul 16, 99 at 16:12

Instead of soaking my morning glory seeds I place them between wet paper towels. Just keep the towels damp until you see the seeds sprouting. Then plant in pots, flats, or whatever. This way you know you've got 100% germination. Sometimes I put the wet paper towels with seeds inside a plastic bag..they don't dry out as fast. The bag needs to lay flat so the seeds don't fall into a heap at the bottom. This really works for me.

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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: Chris - 5 (hinton@vax2.concordia.ca) on Sat, Jul 17, 99 at 21:16

Use copper plumbing pipe to make arbours or any support. It will last forever. When it oxidizes it turns that pleasant green colour. There are many angle connectors available, and it is possible to purchase a copper pipe that bends reasonable easily.

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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: Penelope - 6,Ontario, Canada (penelopea@sprint.ca) on Mon, Jul 19, 99 at 13:22

i have a fairly large garden and am forever planting and transplanting. trouble is, when you do this (especially in the middle of summer LOL) you must water frequently until plants become established and i often forget where i've planted what. now, after i have planted something, i stick a 3' bamboo stake in the ground next to the new planting and tie a piece of flourescent plastic tape to the top of the stake (can be purchased at safety supply stores). when watering time arrives, no problem remembering those new plantings!! i leave the stakes in place for a week or two until i feel plants no longer need 'special' attention.

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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: Zeigler - 5 (jzeig104@inxpress.com) on Sat, Jul 24, 99 at 14:39

i heard about the use of hair for deterring squirrels from digging up spring bulbs, so i got some from my hairdresser. she said lots of people ask for it. my bulbs all came up the next year! the year after, i got some dog hair instead from my friend who is a pet groomer. didnt work at all with the new plantings of bulbs and the squirrels got many. go figure. all i can think of is that human hair has a different scent or something. also to make this work, when applying in fall before the snow flies--you have to reapply if it is a very wet fall. dont know why--this has just been my experience.

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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: Jul - 3/4 (Hansonhome@webtv.net) on Mon, Jul 26, 99 at 0:27

When I am spring planting. I roll up a fat roll of newspaper and soak it in water. once it wet it doesn't unroll. Then I lay in down in the hole under my tomatoes. The idea is that the newspaper retains water, and will aid in watering the plant throughout the season , and then degrade over the winter to supliment the soil.

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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: Lee Ann - 6 (lee_ann_barnhart@hotmail.com) on Wed, Jul 28, 99 at 16:02

I tried the newspaper mulch and it disappeared in one season, what a bother for me. If you have a huge area to cover, like I do, call a furniture store and ask for their cardboard - it's huge. I also asked what days were best for picking it up, what days their trash pickup is, so I can be there first. I remove any metal staples (few are stapled) and peel off any tape (most boxes are taped), toss back into their dumpster, and fold cardboard to fit in back of car. I've gone so long that the employees now ask about my gardens. The bonus is there are often filler pieces inside shipping boxes to keep furn. from getting rub marks. Bigger boxes can be torn down to smaller sizes if that's what you need, but it's sure great to not wrestle small boxes when covering a large area.
When transplanting new flowers from pots, I dig a hole bigger than needed and add a couple of trowelsful or shovelsful of peat moss/humus to hole bottom, put in plant, fill around plant w/more peat, add water, pull soil from hole over top and make a dam of any left-over dirt to get water down to roots when watering. I also use the boxes draped over tomato cages laid on sides to give shade to newly transplanted plants to shield from too-hot sun. Also keeps the ground around them moist w/fewer waterings.

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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: Shirley Cleveland - zone 4 (bookworm@superior.net) on Thu, Jul 29, 99 at 16:45

What a great thread!!

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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: kathy - ky (jatkins2@webtv.net) on Fri, Jul 30, 99 at 1:56

The linning from baby diapers can be added to your soil when planting in the ground or in a pot .
they hold water and are much like what is used in nurseries to help hold water for the plants.
Use tomato cages to support your tomatoes they hold mulch well and give support for cucumbers to be planted around them making more use of your garden space.

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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: Daphne - Zone 8 in Tacoma, Wa (dmstannard@home.com) on Sat, Jul 31, 99 at 1:58

TRANSPLANTING -- I make sure the rootball of each plant is wet when I plant it. I use a large, shallow plastic bowl to soak each plant that is really dry when I pop it out of its container. This only takes a few minutes of soaking time. I just pop 4-6 out, check the moisture content, and put the ones that are really dry into the bowl of water. Usually by the time I've planted a few moist ones, the dry ones are now wet and ready to go. (I squeeze out excess water if they have gotten too wet.) I also make sure the hole is damp, too. I keep a watering can with me to make sure.
I cringe when I see TV gardeners planting a dry plant in dry soil. They always say to water in well after planting, (which I do, too), but I know from experience how hard it is to get totally dry soil to absorb water. I started planting this way after I had to dig up plants I had recently put in (to move them) and found the root balls to still be totally dry, even though I had 'watered in well after planting'.

For the small plants that come in 4 or 6 packs - I try to remember to split the rootball vertically through the middle from the bottom up about halfway. Then I spread the two halves out and plant this inverted 'T'. This is supposed to give the roots a bigger area of contact with the new soil. Seems to work. (Saw this on TV somewhere.)


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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: Suzy - SC(coastal area) (sc@sccoast.net) on Mon, Aug 9, 99 at 23:55

These are wonderful tips! I want to keep this on page 1 so I can get to it quicker.

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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: andy - NJ (adutko@amesrubber.com) on Wed, Aug 11, 99 at 10:11

Hi. Thanks for this posting Diana. great idea.
Has anyone used the emply egg carton method of starting seedlings? I read it in a book and I'm going to try it next spring.

You take the egg carton, tear off the top and you are left with 12 holes where the eggs rested. Into each hole you put half an egg shell with a hole punched in the bottom for drainage. Fill the shell with seed starter mix and add your seeds. Once they start, remove shell and all and bury it, crushing the shell as you plant it. I'm going to try it on my poppies next spring even though I know they don't like to be moved. It should allow me to better space the plants. But that's that old saying? - If it sounds too good to be true...


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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: tony - 8b (tony128@canada.com) on Thu, Aug 12, 99 at 19:39

Hello there:
When opening up a new plastic jug of herbicide or pesticide, they usually come sealed with an aluminum flap glued onto the lid. Don't peel it off! Poke a small hole in it with a toothpick. This way it doesn't spill out all over the place when all you need is 5ml per litre of water.

How do you measure 5 ml without contaminating you measuring spoons? Get a clear film canister (from Fuji Film) and measure in 5ml gradations with water. Mark each 5ml gradation with a Sharpie. A film canister can measure out 25ml. You now have an accurate measuring cup for those herbicide/pesticide/insecticide concentrates you can use over and over.


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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: Dot - 7 (dcdevore@home.com) on Sun, Aug 15, 99 at 12:02

Marilyn - Great idea about the styrofoam, but WATCH OUT!! They are now making biodegradable styrofoam - it dissolves in water. So, before you fill the bottom of your pot with the chips, take one and wet it and see what happens - I almost used a bunch of it myself. Fortunately, somebody warned me to check before I put the dirt on top of it!!

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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: Tan Boon Kiat (boonboon@mbox2.singnet.com.sg) on Sun, Aug 15, 99 at 15:06

What a good thread with lots of ideas and amazing tips! Any objections from the contributers if I ask my gardening society editor to publish some of these ideas in this coming September issue newsletter 'GRAPEVINE'?
regards,
Boon Kiat
Singapore


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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: Cathy D - 7b (juddster@mindspring.com) on Fri, Aug 20, 99 at 21:58

I LOVE YOU GUYS!! As a fairly new gardener, these tips are so wonderful! Picked up a great one from my mother-in-law: my daisies & mums bloomed this spring with very small, wilted looking petals. Mom told me to put my used coffee grounds around the plants, and now that they're blooming again, they're beautiful! Apparently my plants have taken on my personal traits--can't function properly without some caffeine! :)
Happy Gardening, everybody! Keep these wonderful tips coming!

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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: Jo-Anne - 8 (jsturch@direct.ca) on Sun, Aug 22, 99 at 17:08

Soap Ends: Put those annoying pieces of soap ends into a mesh bag (the ones onions come in) and hang the bag by the outside faucet. Rubbing wet hands on the mesh bag full of soap ends creates great lather and some of the soil is left in the garden, not down the drain.

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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: Marilyn (herbs@nbnet.nb.ca) on Tue, Aug 24, 99 at 20:50

Dry rot at the stem end of your tomatoes? They need calcium. Next year, sprinkle some powdered milk and work into the soil around your new tomato plants and you'll have the sweetest, healthiest tomatoes. I learned this from an experienced farmer.

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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: JonPen - 8 (jonpen@vicksburg.com) on Mon, Aug 30, 99 at 23:44

Handy plant rot-proof markers can be made out of the slats
of a discarded mini-blind. With scissors just cut the slats
into various lengths. I use 6 inch ones and with a #2 pencil or a Sharpie permanent marker you can write info such
as plant name, source, date of planting, etc. These are
handy for future reference when you want to check on a plant's data. I stick them into the ground behind the plant
so they don't show. Also they are useful to stick in flats
of seeds you start and cuttings you are propagating.

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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: Chris - 6 (GUSOOME@AOL.COM) on Thu, Sep 2, 99 at 16:28

For new gardeners or the clueless: Green side up. :-)

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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: Min - 7a (the_fitful_gardener@yahoo.com) on Tue, Sep 21, 99 at 2:15

1. Are squirrels raiding your bird feeders? Next time you fill up the feeders, be sure to add one or two table spoon fulls of hot chilly powder with the bird seeds. Birds do not seem to taste the hot taste, and will be happy to eat the seeds. Squirrels, however, will be bothered by the hot taste, and will be suitably deterred. (Like human beings, though, there are some squirrels who like it hot - so be warned.)
2. Squirrels robbing your fall/winter planted bulbs? Put chicken wire over the top of the soil and hide this with a layer of mulch. Once the shoots have emerged, you can remove the mesh (or else, leave it alone, if it doesn't bother you. It's best to remove it if you intend to plant something else on the same patch of soil).


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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: Steve - 6-3/4 (steve.meigs@juno.com) on Thu, Sep 30, 99 at 1:27

Next time you have a garage sale, add some plants, and mention it in the advertisement.
I sold every plant I had potted up, including the orange ditch lilies.


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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: tammy - indiana (garya@one.net) on Fri, Oct 1, 99 at 15:46

Hello everyone. I found this out by mistake, and maybe many of you already know this, but I've only been gardening a few years now and just learned that lavendar roots easily from stems laying on the ground and covered with leaves, mulch, or dirt. What a nice surprise it was this past spring to see that I had more lavendar to share throughout the yard. Happy Gardening.

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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: tanya - CT-6 (namastegardens@hotmail.com) on Sat, Oct 2, 99 at 1:09

when dividing or moving plants shake excess soil off roots and place in a bucket of water in the shade. let sit in the water for a bit before planting again. i've left things for days and planted with great success.


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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: Trish - 6 (mjlsr1@famvid.com) on Tue, Oct 5, 99 at 23:35

Here's something people don't think of: keep a garden diary. Oh, not every day, of course, but once a week or so write down the weather conditions, what plants are doing well, etc. I've been doing it for three years now, and seeing what happened in previous years has been a big help to me.

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Free lumber for garden structures ....
Posted by: Ann Zone 6 - 6 (af@msn.email.com) on Mon, Oct 11, 99 at 19:08

I rarely pay for wood for garden structures. Instead, I stop by local construction sites and get free wood from them. Most construction companies put wooden planks right into the dumpster and have to pay to have them hauled away. They are frequently happy to have local people haul them for free. I've gotten wood to use for informal wooden fences (I garden in a rented plot in a field) and also for raised beds or compost bins. You can also get small pieces for use in building bird houses.
I also got a free end-of-the-roll of cement support wire. It's at least 10 feet long and over five feet tall and made of very heavy wire. It's going to make a great trellis for heavy cherry tomatoes.

'Reusing *is* recycling.'


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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: di - 6 (stanolbernchance@hotmail.com) on Sat, Oct 16, 99 at 10:19

I always seem to have trouble finding string when I want to tie something up. But, it is always easy in summer in my garden to find wilted iris leaves, and they are extremely fibrous and strong. I use them to tie up roses, clematis, or whatever else needs attaching to a fence or support.

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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: Clairabelle - 4b (claire.kingston@ppg.ulaval.ca) on Tue, Oct 26, 99 at 20:58

Tips to save you time and money:
1. Compost compost compost !
2. That funny rubber hose with all the holes in it! "Plant" one just under the surface of hard-to-get, usually dry areas(like under eaves, for example)for instant --well almost-- gratification! Instead of standing around for hours watering, this automatic system lets you get on to better things, like more planting, hammocking and cool-drinkizing!
3. Your old pantyhose is just right for securing delicate vines and branches in place. Cut in strips and store in pocket!
4. Yes, human hair works to ward off the hungry varmints. Also try dryer softener sheets tied around the base of plants, the critters hate the smell.
5. Don't pull the plug on your dishwater! Throw it in the garden!
6. Hold on to the water you've cooked your veggies in, and throw that outside too!
7. Don't be shy... take pictures and document your achievements/learn from your mistakes!
8. Share your passion (especially with the neighbors!)
If at first you don't succSEED, plant plant again!
Now: aren't we SPECIAL! LOL


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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: Susan Carroll - No CAZ9 - 9 - sunset 17 (arib@ix.netcom.com) on Mon, Nov 8, 99 at 21:16

Forget regular gardening gloves! -Playtex household "living gloves" are the way to go. You can tell what you're doing and aren't clumsy at all, but your hands stay clean, warm and dry.

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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: vickie - 8 (fairytern@aol.com) on Mon, Nov 8, 99 at 21:54

My dishwasher soap comes in large 3 gallon buckets. I reuse them in my potting shed and they come in handy for all sorts of things.Toting compost to the beds, picking up doggy doo, storing plant foods and slug baits. One of my favorite uses for them is to fill with medium grain sand and add a little mineral oil. Then I can just shove in my trowels and pruning shears and other metal garden tools when done using them and the next time I go get them they are clean!

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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: Rose - 5 (Msbierne@aol.com) on Tue, Nov 9, 99 at 0:21

Hi Everyone! I'm fairly new here and certainly enjoyed this post. It's printing and has been for a long time. There goes a ream of paper, but well worth it. I wish I could commment on everything because everything was great! I have a couple of comments:
Jenra, my husband does the same thing, but deep down inside we are making them feel useful, don't you think?

Chris, you talked about copper trellises. I've seen this idea before and think they are beautiful--what about the metal retaining heat? Does this not hurt the plants?

To everyone else, Hi. Enjoyed it!

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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: Mary - 5 USDA (rwforest@eoni.com) on Thu, Jan 6, 00 at 18:27

Use your grass clippings around your plants to help retain moisture while they gradually break down and add to the soil.

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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: Susi Torre-Bueno - 10 (jdelatorre@ixpres.com) on Sat, Jan 8, 00 at 19:01

Never go out into the garden without a pair of scissors in your hand - you know you always end up wishing you had them!

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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: karen z6 - 6 (karen@apo.nmsu.edu) on Mon, Jan 10, 00 at 23:12

Since I have a lot of pine trees on my property, my favorite tip is a way to get pine sap off your hands.
To remove pine sap, rub your hands with petroleum jelly. The sap will come right off and the petroleum jelly will leave your hands moisturized.


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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: Kim El Paso (kawn1955@yahoo.com) on Wed, Jan 12, 00 at 23:17

Great Tips... My favorite is planting a banana peel next to our rose bushes. Also put a large tin can open at both ends.
Fill up with water. They really like it. Gets to the roots.
Good Luck....

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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: Mindy - 5/6 SE Indiana (mjdaily@seidata.com) on Thu, Jun 8, 00 at 4:13

I think this has alot of great tips even tho' so old. Thought I would keep it going.

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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: Margaret - 7 VA (abemar@widomaker.com) on Tue, Jun 13, 00 at 20:50

I hate wearing gardening gloves, and it takes me ages to scrub my nails clean, so I dig my nails into a bar of soap -washing my hands afterwards is a breeze.

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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: Doris - 7 - AL (muff55@juno.com) on Wed, Jun 14, 00 at 7:49

To grow vines on a privacy fence or the like, use plastic fencing (sold in a roll). Staple on top, stake a few inches away from fence so that the vines can grow through the mesh. The mesh disappears in no time.

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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: Steve - TN (steve.meigs@juno.com) on Wed, Jun 21, 00 at 1:22

There is a kind of ladder looking wire used to reinforce concrete. It is quite pliable, will bend. You can get it at any home improvement place. It's great for any kind of plant that climbs. It's also galvanized and resists rust, and costs 99 cents for about eight feet.

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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: Sudha - 6 (sudhaturaga@hotmail.com) on Tue, Jun 27, 00 at 13:42

I make plant labels from yogurt cans. Use Sharp permanent markers.

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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: Elfrieda (elf@brevard.net) on Fri, Jul 14, 00 at 21:54

We should keep this one going. I have quite a few tips in my files and will dig them out to share. But, meanwhile, don't throw your eggshells out; wash them I then leave them in a bowl for a few days to dry. Then I mash them by kneading them with my fingers until pulverized. Sprinkle in your flower beds. It's calcium !. If you time it right and realize that the birds are nesting/producing in your area and are coming to your feeders ; put some of those pulverized egg shells out as a little "side dish" with, or by the bird feeder.
Another; sometimes it is so good to soak your feet. Isn't it ? Year-round living in Florida helps ! Anyway; sometimes when I relax on the patio and decide to treat my feet to a little relaxation (in a foot bath)- I always use Epsom Salts. It's been touted for years as a wonderful balm to soak feet in. The plus is that you just throw that water out - preferably around your roses. They love Epsom Salts. I have just noticed recently that in the W-M's and H-D's place they actually have cartons of "fertilizer" containing --- oh, my gosh ! Epsom Salts. It's going to cost you more, of course, more than if you went to the pharmacy section and just bought a container of Epsom Salts ! Gotta check out my files and post some more good hints.

Regarding using water that your vegetables have cooked in, to use in your flower beds; this should not be done if you use salt to cook your vegetables ! No ! No !

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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: Steve - 6-1/1 (steve.meigs@juno.com) on Sun, Jul 16, 00 at 22:48

Do you ever use a long extension cord in the garden? If so, you know how it gets tangled and twisted while making those big round loops (like taking up a garden hose)to take it back inside. You decide how big the loops are going to be, and you make loop after loop and somehow the doggone thing looks twisted and starts fraying after a few trips to the garden and back.
The secret is put on every other loop backwards. Assuming you've got the loops in your left hand, and you're gathering a loop with your right hand, every other loop, right before you drop it into place, reverse your hand and drop it in. Describing this is a test of my technical writing skills, though it is very simple really.

Holding loops in one hand, the other hand comes bringing a new loop of extension cord and drops it into place. The next time the hand comes with a loop, right before it drops the loop, rotate your hand so you drop the loop into place with that hand facing the other way.

Oh well, that's the best I can do for an explanation. The wires inside an extension cord, looped like a hose, are twisting over and over again (and this is what causes extension cords to get all bent out of shape). If you reverse each loop, that takes the tension out of it. It may seem odd when you first do it, but it really works. (I learned this while taking a course at a cable access television station).

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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: Muffi (sandrap@epix.net) on Mon, Jul 17, 00 at 16:36

What a great thread! I used to always end up cutting spring bulbs when planting in the fall. Now I cut large plastic pots into 2" rings and when I plant new bulbs, I cover with soil and near the top of the planting area, place the ring. When I plant in the fall, I am careful with the first plunge of the spade,carefully checking if there is a ring in sight. If I dig near one, it pops out before I am able to damage the bulbs below. It has really saved my bulbs.
Muffi

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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: Elfrieda (elf@brevard.net) on Mon, Jul 17, 00 at 21:33

Got to add one more that I feel is really important -- will try to add more if this thread keeps going and my memory doesn't fail. Anyway, for all you southern gardeners who have had their run-in with fire ants. I don't have a "fire-proof" way of getting rid of them. BUT, when you are bitten, slosh on some WHITE VINEGAR. I can't remember where I read this years ago; but honestly it works. I keep a large SAM's size bottle in my garage and a spritz bottle of the white vinegar which I take out with me when I'm gardening. I just can't stand to wear sneakers out there (too hot); so I usually end up with the "flip-flops" not good I agree - especially with all the other critters one might encounter on the ground. But I can't emphasize enough how instantly the white vinegar will put an immediate end to the painful bite; let along the postules that come later and the unbelievable itching. It just stops it all right away. I have told so many people about this, especially those with small children and some co-workers have even made sure that their day-care centers have the white vinegar on hand. Some years ago I remember reading about a small child (somewhere in Florida) who had fallen into a fire ant's nest; her little head and face were covered. The mother just couldn't get them off and couldn't wash them off either. The poor child died. I will never forget reading about that and thinking if only she had a bottle of white vinegar handy she might have had a chance.

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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: DeaMN (higg@rconnect.com) on Tue, Jul 18, 00 at 9:58

And here's one more tip..I haven't used it as yet as I am new to gardening and haven't started anything from seed as yet, but it sounds like it would be a good idea. It has to do with egg shells as well...use them to plant your seeds in and when the seeds are ready to be planted, just plant shell and all. Gives the seeds a little extra "something".

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Preventing tangles & kinks in garden hose
Posted by: Cajun Joe - 9 - New Orleans (cutebuns@bigfoot.com) on Thu, Jul 20, 00 at 10:48

To prevent tangles or kinks in a garden hose =
When rolling up a hose on the ground, roll it up in and S shape each time. Thereafter when you go to use it, it will uncoil straight.


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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: Elfrieda (elf@brevard.net) on Sun, Jul 23, 00 at 20:37

The plastic stuff that comes in a pack, with a couple of strips that you break a piece off -- usually used to "tack" your kids' posters to the bedroom wall - without using thumb-tacks --I just can't remember what it's called. Anyway; its great for fastening vines to a wall or wherever you want to train it until it gets to where you want it to go !!! It can also be used, with or without a stick, to bind up a plant that is bent or partly broken.
And for slugs -- apart from the beer suggestions; here's a couple more; a small amount of bran placed around the garden will attract slugs and kill them quickly (don't know how !); also after squeezing oranges, keep the empty halves and put them in your garden face down, along a flower bed containing seedlings. slugs will crawl underneath and can easily be removed each day.

And, for you northerners who have a fireplace; to revive tired roses; take soot from a chimney or stove where wood has been used as a fuel. Put it into a container; pour boiling water over it and when cold use every day to water the roses. The effect is remarkable; it deepens the color and produces the rapid growth of shoots. Try with other plants as well. Remember my mother in England though, using horse or sheep manure (collecting that is a whole other story !); in a bucket and pouring boiling water over it, making a sludge/slurry. When cooled she used some of that, with regular water in another bucket to water the roses; she swore it was the best for her roses. Got to admit, she had the best in our neighborhood; huge blooms.


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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: Tom - 5 (tomwenzel@deseretonline.com) on Tue, Aug 1, 00 at 2:18

I put some well composted manure a few inches under each plant I transplant in my garden as well as under seeds I sow. By the time the plants need a fertilizer boost they get it!

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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: Kate G - 6 (Katherippy@hotmail.com) on Thu, Aug 3, 00 at 16:26

I've said before that the ABSOLUTE best place you can plant most plants is in a compost pile. If you ever have an old compost pile (mostly made of grass clippings, newspapers, etc..) and don't really want to keep adding to it but you know how unsightly it can be.. go on, and plant your prettiest flowers in it. The newspapers and grass clippings keep everything underneath so moist and warm, even in cold spring weather or fall weather! So if you plant, say.. some Columbines and some Daisys in early Spring, and you have a drought-like summer, you flowers will have lots more water underneath those composts than any other flower around!!

Here is a link that might be useful: KaterTater's Homepage

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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: Evelyn - 7-8/N.CA foothills (email4evelyn@netscape.net) on Sat, Aug 12, 00 at 13:55

In order to weed in between perennials and any other plants that are fairly close together, I use ordinary steak knives. I try to find some on sale and buy a quantity of them as they eventually get dull and cannot be resharpened. They get the whole weed, root and all! I cannot even imagine using any of the commercial weeders, as they are too clumsy for me.

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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: Helen - 6 (helenh@netins.net) on Tue, Aug 15, 00 at 23:26

Carry a large plastic container in your trunk or a large sheet of black plastic so that you can buy half price broken bags of potting soil or mulch at Wal Mart and Lowes.
Plant easy flowering shrubs like Diana rose of sharon for elderly parents who love plants but can't garden any more.

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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: OUTABE - elf in Florida - 9 plus a little (elf@atlbrevard.com) on Wed, Aug 16, 00 at 22:12

Plastic in your trunk - good advice Helen. I am on a waiting list at my office for those huge long bags they use in our manufacturing area that hold the styrafoam peanuts. Fits beautifully in the trunk. I also keep a large cardboard box there; you know, the carton the copy paper comes in; great for newly purchased pots or plants so they don't slide around in the trunk.
And, my final gardening tip; please, please don't do what two people did this past week (one a co-worker and one a neighbor); after carefully selecting, digging and wrapping plant roots in wet paper towels in plastic bags, or in a bucket with some water-- plants they had admired -- and wanted to have in their gardens -- PLEASE don't tell me that they died because you FORGOT to plant them ! I could have given those plants to another person who would not have forgotten to plant them


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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: Trudi Davidoff - Long Island, Zone 7 (sdavidof@optonline.net) on Thu, Aug 17, 00 at 21:34

How to Winter Sow Seeds Outdoors
First, let me give you a little background as to why I sowed the
seeds during the Winter. I live in a very small house, a cottage
actually and I simply do not have room for a light set up, also
any window space I have must be fought from the cat and "Prinny"
likes to look out on the street and watch the world go by, so I
have to give her a windowsill. She's a good cat and deserves her
place in the sun.

I got hooked on seed trading, and as you all know seed trading is
like Pokeman......you gotta have 'em all. I had tons of seeds, I
had them all. Though I am not a novice at gardening I am a novice
at growing seeds, this was my second season doing so. Because of
my lack of experience with growing seeds, and not having a light
set up, I always traded for "easy to grow" seeds: I had to start
them in the windowsill or out on the patio in flats during Spring
and Summer which I did the previous year with good success too.

I was thinking a lot last Winter about how I was going to start
all these seeds, I needed an easy way out. I knew that many seeds
needed to be pre-chilled, and I knew that many plants will reseed
outdoors without our intervention. I thought about this for a few
days and put 2+2 together. I would so them into flats, and take
them outside for the Winter, if all went well then they would
germinate in Spring.

I am a true believer in "recycle and reuse". I had been saving my
take-out containers from the Chinese restaurant (not those typical
white boxes that have a metal handle and white rice inside), I was
saving the foil pans that have a separate clear plastic lid,
they're usually round or rectangular. These containers were just
perfect......plus I didn't have to go to a store and open up my
wallet (hmm, look at all the moths fly out), if I can get away
without having to lay down a buck I will. I did need soil though
and so I went to Walmart and got their brand which is the cheapest
I could find.

Seed selection:

Take a look at a seed catalogue, most will have some sort of
notation about a seed's germination requirements, or you'll pick
up a few clue-in phrases. Look for these terms:

Needs prechilling (freeze seeds, refrigerate seeds, stratify for x
amount of days or weeks)
Needs Stratification
Will Colonize
Self Sows
Sow outdoors in Early Autumn
Sow outdoors in early Spring while nights are still cool
Hardy Seeds
Seedlings can withstand frost
Can be direct sown early

Look for names that might indicate an origin in a temperate climate:

Siberian
Chinensis
Polar
Alpine
Orientale
Canadensis
Russ (or variant indicating Russian origin)
etc

Think about your own garden, and your neighbors' gardens too. Do
you find plants that have volunteered each Spring and shown up as
seedlings that you didn't sow? These are very good choices. (let's
say that your orange marigolds have returned in Spring as
volunteer seedlings.......you can then be pretty well assured that
gold, or lemon, or African or French varieties will also reseed
for you too, when it comes down to it a marigold is a marigold is
a marigold).

I like Park's Seed Catalogue, it has a great germination table
right in the middle of the catalogue. They have a numbered guide
indicating the best germination requirements for seeds. I took a
yellow highlighter and went down that numbered list and
highlighted all the numbers that would be appropriate for Winter
Sowing, then I carefully went through their list of seeds and
highlighted the varieties that corresponded to the correct
numbers. This is how I chose which varieties I would Winter Sow. A
lot of catalogues, not just Parks, will have a germination table,
or some sort of info like that, look at them, study them, and
learn.

To make a flat you take the foil container (of course it's clean,
washed in hot soapy water) and a paring knife. Stab a few slits in
the bottom of the pan, this is for drainage. Now fill the pan with
soil to about a half inch from the top. Give it a real good drink
and let it drain. I do this in my kitchen. (I have a sprayer on a
hose at the sink and I use this for the watering, works well and
doesn't gouge out holes in the soil.). After the pan has drained
sow your seeds and pat them down. Cover them with more soil to the
correct depth if necessary. I like growing plants with tiny tiny
seeds, they're really just the very most easiest sow. Sprinkle
them on top of the soil, pat them down, and that's that.

Now you need to put the lid on BUT FIRST.........and this is the very
most important step.......take the knife and poke several slits in
the clear plastic lid. This is for air transpiration. Think about
it, you're making a little mini greenhouse. If you don't vent the
air that is heated by the sun then you'll cook your flat and the
seeds won't germinate. You've baked them to death. Okay, put the
lid on secure by folding down the foil rim. Now the seeds are
sown.

Uh oh.......back it up, I forgot a step that you may wish to use:
labeling. I didn't label mine as I like suprises, however this
concept may pop the heads of gardeners who enjoy having everything
"just so". Get some freezer tape, or any tape that you know will
work well after being frozen. Pull off a six inch piece and write
on it with a laundry marker (or a sharpie) the variety name. Stick
it to the bottom of the flat. You can do this before or
after sowing, if you do it after make sure you wipe the bottom of
the flat well, freezer tape doesn't really adhere as good as you'd
like to a damp surface. The label is on the bottom of the
flat because the sun can't bleach it down there. I haven't yet
found a marker that won't bleach out in my strong Long Island sun.

All right, the flat is now sown and covered (with little slits in
the top, yes? don't forget!!). Now take it outside to somewhere it
will be safe for the Winter. I put them on a picnic table top away
from my curious puppy. I learned my lesson, I lost a flat of
daylilies, the first I sowed this way, because I put them on the
ground under a bush and the puppy found them and thought the flat
was a toy and she promptly killed it by shaking it to death. After
that all the flats went up on the table out of her reach. Sad
loss, but an excellent lesson.

Now you just wait it out. When the weather warms the flats will
freeze and thaw repeatedly as Winter gives way to Spring. This
action of freezing and thawing out helps loosen the seed coat
(you'll often see the term "nick or file seeds prior to sowing" in
germination databases: this is to duplicate Mother Nature's work,
now you don't have to do that anymore).

Amazingly, just when Winter is about to break, and you're still
getting nightly freezes, the first of your flats will begin to
germinate. When I saw this I thought that the seedlings were
goners, but they thrived. I guess the seeds know when it's okay to come up.
Now is the time to check the moisture in the flats, on an above
freezing day open them up and if they look like they need a drink
give them one. The excess water will drain away. Don't forget to
replace the lids tightly.

As your seedlings grow start widening the slits in the covers, once
a week or so make the slits a little bit bigger, eventually you'll
have more open areas than covered and you'll be able to transplant
the seedling into the garden because they are completely hardened
off. I have put in seedlings that barely had their first set of
true leaves and they thrived in the ground.

After transplant care is typically the same as for indoor sown
seedlings, they need a drink, just a little bit of food (10%
strength after their first week in the ground, then increase
slowly as the season progresses. After about eight weeks and a few
feedings your seedlings will be able to take a full strength
feeding.

Alternate seed flats:

I have used plastic milk jugs and 2 litre soda bottles too, just
cut around the middle almost all the way through. Make the
drainage slits. Fill with dirt, water, drain, sow, cover with more
dirt (the same procedure as above). Tape the cut edges together
and simply remove the cap for air transpiration.

Cardboard orange juice or milk containers can be used with a
baggie too. Cut them in half, horizontally or vertically, make the
drainage slits and sow your seeds by the same method above. Slip
the flat into a baggie, tie it closed with a twist tie or a knot
and use the knife to make a few slits for air transpiration, put a
few slits in the bottom of the baggie too (drainage).

Coolwhip tubs: Make the drainage slits, sow your seeds as above.
Take a scissors and cut out the center of the lid, leaving about
an inch around the inside of the rim. Put a piece of saran wrap
over the tub, put on the lid. This holds the saran wrap "window"
snugly. Take the knife and make some slits in the saran wrap for
air transpiration.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

So that's how to do it, if I remember something that I have
forgotten I'll post an addendum, but I think I have it all
covered. The major principles of outdoor Winter Sowing are
selecting the appropriate seeds, and providing adequate drainage
and adequate air transpiration. Do all these and you'll have a
success.

Did all my flats germinate? NO! I had about eighty or so of these
made and I had eight not germinate. Was it the seeds? was it the
method? was it me? I don't know. But I did have around seventy
flats that did germinate. Outside!

I forgot to mention that I also used four kiddie pools too. These
were used the summer before as container gardens (lots of soil,
lots of big slits for drainage). I simply direct sowed these, and
didn't cover them. They got snowed on, the snow melted, it rained
while the base of the kiddie pools were still frozen and the rain
didn't drain. They all were frozen with ice at least an inch
thick.......aarrgghh, panic Panic PANIC....I couldn't do anything
about it. The warmer weather came, the pools thawed and drained,
and the seeds came up! YEAH!

That's it. As you see it's not hard to do at all and I sowed these
flats at my leisure throughout the Winter. Everyone talks about
going bonkers in January and February because they can't get out
and do any meaningful gardening, and there are only only a few
varieties of seeds can be successfully sown this early
indoors....frustration and gardening fever sets in. While all the
other gardeners were chomping at the bit I was being self
indulgent and playing with dirt and mud and seeds at my own lazy
bones pace.

I took a leap of faith doing this, I kept the faith, and I was rewarded. I
believe in this method, it works, it really truly works. Too much
emphasis has been made on indoor sowing under lights. It takes up
time, it takes up space, white flies take to the air, damp-off
kills your effort, your seedlings, your spirit. Did I forget to
mention that there was NO EVIL DAMP-OFF? The freezing action
killed whatever nasties that are in the soil that cause young
innocent seedlings to perish so tragically, so sadly. And it is
sad, you take a lot of time and care, they're sometimes like
children, it's really depressing when they don't make it.

I encourage everyone to try this Winter Sowing method, if you want
to hold back some seeds the first time you try it that's great.
Save some seeds to sow indoors of a variety you have placed in a
Winter flat, compare the differences in the seedlings, and then
the compare plants when they mature. Learn from what you observe.

Trudi Davidoff

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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: Barb - 5 - Mich (crafty_crafts@email.com) on Sun, Aug 27, 00 at 18:09

I just wanted to let you say something about the suggestion of pepper powder in the bird feeders to ward off squirrels....in some places it is now illegal to do this. Research has found that the pepper burns the squirrles eyes, nose, and mouth, the same as it would any of us. They use their "hands" to eat the seeds, then "wash their faces" with the pepper on their paws. Ever touch your eyes or nose after handling hot peppers? I did once...OUCH!!!
I have learned a nice watering tip though - I keep the water I boil my pasta in and 'fertilize' my potted plants with it every 2 weeks or so. But I DON'T add salt to my water to make it boil faster (I don't think that trick saves much time anyway). Of course, if anyone else knows of this possibly hurting any particular plants, please let me know. I don't want to hurt my plants, just help them to grow. - Barb

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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: L.A. Allen - 7 (laallen@tds.net) on Sun, Oct 1, 00 at 10:51

Eggs shells,
My mother would save them and set them in the oven, bake for a bit, cool, crush and feed them back to the chickens.
This would kill any bad thing on the shells. Would it hurt to bake before planting seeds in them? L.A. Allen

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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: Weedwacker - 5 (homegardener@yahoo.com) on Wed, Jan 24, 01 at 8:24

When I got tired of birds and rabbits picking on my seedlings, I sought for ways to outsmart them. Going through a desk drawer, I discovered a few computer CDs that we had gotten in mail advertisements. The hole in the middle of the CD made it easy to tie on a length of string. I tied the other end of the string to a metal plant support, which is tall enough to dangle above small plants and twirl with the slightest breeze. The reflection of light on the CD really annoys the birds, and the rabbits have left this area undisturbed.

Here is a link that might be useful: The Best of Home Gardening

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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: Anne, Outer Banks, NC - 8a (jawhite1@mindspring.com) on Wed, Jan 31, 01 at 22:00

Often plants are rootbound from sitting too long in six packs. Use a dinner fork to fluff up roots - pulling them out in all directions. This helps them spread out instead of continuing to circle, which helps them grow better. I agree with writer who said water the hole first, then place the plant in it, then water bed again after you get everything planted.
If you dig up perennials you can separate them better if you use a bucket of water to clean off the roots. Helps you see most effective place to divide the root ball. I use a butcher knife to divide clump. This trick can also be used if your perennials have weeds growing up through them so bad that you have to dig up the plant to pull out the weed - in my yard that confounded bermuda grass is the worst culprit. I had a broken foot last summer and have had to dig up most of my perennials to pull out that pesky grass this winter. It got away from me bigtime.

The bucket dunk and swish works for multiple seedlings growing close together in a starter pot too. Dowse them up and down in the water and pull gently to separate seedlings with minimal root loss. I'm always throwing a bunch of old seeds in a pot and sometimes get way more seedlings in a small space than I counted on - dowsing is the way to get them into the six packs with a minimum of damage.

Love winter seeding idea from Trudi. This should work great here where winters are usually mild - don't forget to try local wildflower seeds this way. Plant them in pots in the fall when you gather seeds and leave them outdoors all winter open to air, rain and cold. Often they will germinate in spring just as nature intended. When I lived in zone 6 I used to pile leaves around the pots in an open coldframe, with just tops exposed. I even grow native shrubs, vines and trees this way. If it is a seed I really want to germinate, I place seeds in soil in refrigerator for the winter and pot them up in spring.


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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: Zanne - Eastern KY(6-7ish) (Zannedjinmonet@aol.com) on Tue, Feb 20, 01 at 13:22

Just remembered this one as I had to do it today.... Before and after digging or whatever backbreaking thing in garden, stretch,(slowly and carefully), all leg, arm, back, neck, etc. muscles for at least 15 min. And if it's digging, take a short walk somewhere before coming in and stretching. Do not come in and sit down. (Arghhhh! I know!lol!) This is not just for old people,:) , I'm 26 & have done this with my Mom many times as a child and teen! This little thing makes it sooooo much easier to get up the next day and do it again! Also, drink a good bit of plain water an hour or so before heavy exertion.

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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: Diane - 5 (jfrankl@earthlink.net) on Thu, Feb 22, 01 at 11:19

I saw a seed saver box in one of my gardening catalogs for $20.00 and used their description to make my own and I love it.
Take a plastic tote box (many kinds are avialable) that will hold hanging file folders. Put the file folders in with lables on them describing what will be in that folder. Keep your seeds in zip lock bags. I have even put those little dessicant-silica gel packets inside the bags. I find them in new shoe boxes etc.
You can make a file for notes and pens and plant markers etc. also.
I use zip lock bags with paper towels (single fold so you can easily seed when they sprout) for sprouting seeds and reuse them so they are stored in this box also.
This keeps all my seeds in one place and easy to find. For a few dollars I made something that would have cost me $25.00 to order.
I put a tool in my garden last year that was wonderful. It was something for cutting carpet and has a curve to it. Someone suggested it for cutting sod when I bought it. It stayed in my vegetable garden all summer. I have found that I will be just walking around the yard not intending to pick anything but often end up picking anyway. This tool was always there waiting to be used. The curve in the blade made it handy for cutting broccolli and summer squash. It sat out in the rain but it didn't hurt it. I also started leaving buckets out in the garden for unexpected picking.
Happy Gardening- Diane


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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: Ronda - 7a-upstate SC (RonJonRJ@aol.com) on Fri, Feb 23, 01 at 14:02

Fishing twine makes a great 'trellis' for clematis etc to climb and it is invisible from a distance. Works great on the front of houses or other areas where you wouldn't want a noticable trells.
Eggshells crumbled around plants deter slugs. I microwave mine to make them extra crunchy and crumbly. Sandpaper can also be consealed under the leaves of a hosta and also deter them. Grapefruit rinds work. Cut grapefruit in half and eat...then place half-rind face down in flower bed. Throw your slugs in the trash the next morning. This is good for you...and bad for slugs!!

Peroxide and water 1:4 to water seedlings. I never have damping off anymore. Also misting with Chamomile tea works. Chamomile tea has anti fungal properties.

Want snapdragons to self sow. Bury a brick half way in the soil and sprinkle seeds on the shady side of the brick. Keep brick moist and the snaps will pop right up!! Then you can transplant where you want them. Notice I said soil and not dirt...moisture is key here.

Store seeds in stamp envelopes. They can be purchased at office supply stores. Silverware baskets..plastic or wicker hold them perfectly!

Store seeds in fridge in a ziplock bag over winter. They stay fresh!! This also gives seeds that need cooling, the 'winter' they need!

When picking cosmos for indoor arrangement burn the end of the stem with a match or lighter. They will last over a week!!!

I got more...um.....let me go walk thru the yard lol
Ronda

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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: Zanne - eastern KY (6b-7a) (Zannedjinmonet@aol.com) on Sat, Mar 3, 01 at 8:13

For those using jiffy pots, or those peat with netting starters, Before putting in ground, really soak the outside of jiffy pot in some non-clorinated water (in a wash pan near hole is easiest), and soak the planting hole. Otherwise they won't break down! Tear of that netting around the peat things. I've tried other less drastic ideas and the plant was still in the netting long after it should have expanded and left.

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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: Barbara B 5or6 (candybar13@msn.com) on Tue, Mar 20, 01 at 20:03

Well, considering that I stumbled upon this forum, I can honestly say that this is by far the most interesting and informative one of all. If my memory were a little better, I could thank so many of you by name. Each idea is so useful and workable. I've been gardening for umpteen years, and can't think of a thing to add, but will work on it. Please accept my sincerest thanks for all the interesting reading, and I sure do hope this forum doesn't end here. Barbara


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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: dawn_quixote 7 (My Page) on Thu, Mar 22, 01 at 2:08

If you have to fix a broken pvc water line or faucet, right
before you get ready to glue the pcv together, stuff the
leaking side (unless you have all day to wait,) with as much
bread as you can and it will stay dry long enough to seal
and then it just disolves..I was the 6th female Irrigator
in Texas...


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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: Eddie-GA--Zn 7A 7A (eddie@greenthingie.com) on Fri, Mar 23, 01 at 7:53

I have two tips: The new polymers like Water Grabber or Super Sorb can be pulverized to a powder, soaked and used to dip roots in for transplanting or shipping plants.This eliminates shock and promotes better growth.
The backs of those zinc metal markers can be used for information such as planting date (many times people ask how old is that plant), price, and source.
More tips on link below

Here is a link that might be useful: Bittersweet Gardens

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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: Carla vashon 8 (kiiskila1@excite.com) on Tue, Mar 27, 01 at 23:18

Rubber gloves for gardening
Go to Goodwill or Salvation Army and buy old sheets - great for collecting weeds as you pull them, dump grass clippings from the mower, rake leaves into it, then gather up and carry to compost bin

Use Dacron sheer curtains over PVC pipe hoops in place of reemay - cheaper and more permanent block to carrot rust fly


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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: Marie 6 (Cricket@hotmail.com) on Fri, Mar 30, 01 at 17:29

I drench compost in my garden. I collect cut up banana skins, orange skins, coffee grinds, tea bags, egg shells, etc. in a large empty coffee can. As soon as the coffee can is full I dig a drench 5 to 6 inches deep in my garden and add these ingredients and they melt away in the soil. The earthworms do the work. Try it -- it definitely works. My soil is working all the time.


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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: Mary (Mtchbx1@home.com) on Fri, Mar 30, 01 at 18:58

Love pickles? We do, and when they're gone, I pour the juice around my acid loving plants.


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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: judi va-8 (vixen281@yahoo.com) on Fri, Apr 6, 01 at 18:20

I live by the sea and every year I collect garbage bags of seaweed;take home and dump on driveway and put the sprinkler on it for awhile-I use the seaweed,crab,shrimp and lobster shells and aged manure in the planting hole before placing tomatoes,peppers etc,works great!


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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: Steve TN (star-stephen@juno.com) on Wed, Apr 25, 01 at 0:45

If you have a window air conditioner, the type that drips water, plant impatiens beneath it, even in the sun they do fine.


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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: Steve TN (star-stephen@juno.com) on Thu, May 17, 01 at 0:44

The best place to plant impatiens is under an air conditioner that drips.
The best place to plant mint is by a faucet. Keep it contained unless you want it to spread all over. A bucket with the bottom cut out is good, an inch or so sticking up above the ground.


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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: Linda 7 Ga. (LDuncan121@aol.com) on Sun, May 20, 01 at 22:45

This is a great thread. So many wonderful tips. I get the large wall calenders every year, and keep track every day of what I planted, where, and also what is blooming that day. I have done this for about 9 years, and it's so handy to know when you planted what; and where you planted what; and what blooms when. Also you'll have a record over the years of what, where, and when you planted say-that dwarf apple tree, and shouldn't it be making fruit by now.


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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: Debbie P. (Debbie337@msn.com) on Tue, May 22, 01 at 21:13

I'm new here and have been WAITING for three days for my conformation number to become a member offically!!!! I would like to share my favorite gardening tip with everyone...Take a stroll every evening through your gardens and admire the collaboration of art and nature you have created!!!! Thanks!! I love this fourm and site!!!


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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: MRobbins 6b - Brooklyn (My Page) on Tue, May 29, 01 at 19:57

I've just started a sort of Hindsight Diary. Every time I finish a garden task I wish I'd done earlier, I take out my 2002 calendar and pretend it's this year, and write down the weekend I wish I'd got it done. Hopefully next year I won't be such a dunderhead as to look at "Order Tomato Seed" in February and wonder, "Now why would I want to do that so early?"


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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: sherri 6 (sherribruce@hotmail.com) on Sat, Jun 2, 01 at 19:20

A tip from my grandma: Save eggshells in a container, cover with boiling water, let cool. Water indoor & out door plants with the water. I do this always with my houseplants & they LOVE it! Then crush the shells and place around your slug attracting plants!


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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: Lois Barton NY (ljblib@aol.com) on Sat, Jun 2, 01 at 20:28

My thanks to Trudi Davidoff who posted last Aug. 17, 2000 in the Garden Hints her method of seed sowing ,OUTSIDE, in winter. It worked great and I transplanted lupines, poppies, morning glory, snaps, alyssum etc. into the garden this week. No damping-off, no watering constantly and no clutter of artificial lights for indoor seed starting ever again...It was fun to plant in February when all was covered in snow outside, just stick containers out on the snow covered picnic table on the patio, and let nature take its course. Only a little watering was required and enlarging the vent holes as the weather warmed. It's great to have no problem of "hardening off" when you put seedlings out for the first time. Thanks Trudi for your detailed directions! The post is still on this list if you go back to August...
Lois Barton


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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: Precious z6 KS (My Page) on Sun, Jun 3, 01 at 13:49

I also have that pesky bermuda grass in my yard. I found out by accident one way to get rid of it. I have 2 large trees in my front yard, plus the wind seems to blow all the neighbors leaves in my yard in the fall. :(
My husband raked up the leaves into 2 large piles. He said he was going back out to bag them up. He never did & that pile of leaves sat in my yard all winter & into the spring.
Other than a few dandelions, that wiggled up, nothing lived under those 2 piles of leaves. The bermuda grass was completely dead under there. I think i'm going to leave a pile or 2 on purpose this fall.


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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: Lee Anna z8 (ldarby@wolfenet.com) on Tue, Jun 5, 01 at 17:11

I don't think I've seen this one yet - keep the tags that come with your plants. I keep mine in a photo album along with the date they were planted. That way, I always know what specific variety I have.


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RE: Favorite Gardening Hint or Tip
Posted by: Rita_NH z4 NH (My Page) on Wed, Aug 29, 01 at 22:09

So many good tips!
I have always picked all the leaves off my tomato plants except for the top 2.... Then lay the tomato plant lengthways on the soil, with the soil dug from underneath it and the cover up the plant leaving the top 2 leaves above ground, large plants with lots of fruit :)
my pop (grandfather) told me to do it this way..works for me :)
hope this made sense, not good at describing lol

Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

popsicle sticks work wonderfully as tabs in seedling pots so you know what you planted....and you can enjoy eating the popsicles all summer long guilt free :)


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

Hi,

What would you like to add?

And, more suggestions are . . .


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

*bump* keepin it going.. and thanks!!


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

  • Posted by ARUM 7 MD (My Page) on
    Mon, Dec 16, 02 at 21:45

I just came upon this thread, and wow!, am I impressed! Do you realize how much you would have to pay, or where you would have to go to get all of this great information? Theres a good suggestion that I have concerning slugs. I haven't read all the comments on this thread, but if you save your eggshells, in a paper bag, you can crush them up and sprinkle them around, and they will cut ther poor little bodies. Sad huh? ---- We can now grow lettuce! Arum.


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

  • Posted by ARUM 7 MD (My Page) on
    Mon, Dec 16, 02 at 22:48

Oh- what does lol stand for? Arum


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

I have got to try the hair thing for slugs!
Here's a few of my tips:

1. If you can get your hands on a pair of Trauma Sissors (most nurses and ambulance staff have a pair), they make a great pair of sissors for the garden. They are serrated and have big hand grips and won't rust. you can usually find them at a nurse uniform store.

2. Tongue depressors make great plant stakes. they are bigger and longer than popcicle sticks and you can get a box of 1000 for $5. Henry Schien medical supply is just one of many places you can get them.

3. If you have some tin snips (or those trauma sissors!) you can cut up soda cans into squares and punch a hole in them for plant labels. I cut up coat hangers into 8" lengths and curve one end into a "U" shape and stick them into the ground next to what I want to label. Mine have lasted 3 years now. You can emboss the metal and it never goes away!

4. If you have one of those handheld microcassette recorders, take it with you into the garden and you can quickly record what and where you just planted something. Later, you can always transcribe it onto that great wall calendar idea!

5. If your 'silver mound' artemisa is a floppy mess, make a dome of chicken wire and place it over the plant in the early spring. You will have these perfect little orbs of gray-even after a rainstorm!

keep them coming!
becky


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

  • Posted by palyne Zone6 NE OK (My Page) on
    Thu, Feb 6, 03 at 23:40

Although I'd read a bazillion posts around gardenweb, I didn't find this one until I happened to search on something, and it was a link on the second page in. I wanted to post something so it'd bump it back up, I'm not sure when posts fall off into binary oblivion, but this one is worth keeping forever!

PJ


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

February 6, 2003

Labeling rose cuttings:
Bush-by-bush, I use my permanent
black Sharpie pen and write the
name of the rose on a leaf of the
first cutting. Then, I proceed to
make my cuttings, bundle them like
a bouquet using garden twist wire,
and stand them in pots, boxes, or
whatever else is handy.

Every five or ten bushes, I pause
to prepare and "stick" my cuttings.
At that point, I often label only
one or two of the cuttings in each
pot, grouping them 5 to 10 per pot.
I put the date on this label so I
can keep track of how long the rooting
takes, and I write the date I pot
the baby plants up on the same label.

This way I end up with a modest record
of how long they took to root enough
for potting, and I can correlate this
time span with the weather conditions
at the time I made the cuttings.

I make individual labels with this
information for each rose as I pot
it up. This method reduces the number
of labels I end up making and then
having to discard, as only the ones
that survive to potting get labels.

Have fun,

L
BerkeleyRose


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

My favorite garden tool is a masonry tool that masons lay bricks with, it has a pointed end and is flat. You can do anything with this! I never use a trowel anymore. I keep a huge looseleaf notebook labeled with my favorite plants like roses, daylilies, etc. When I come across something interesting on the computer, I print it out on paper with holes already punched, then just add it to my notebook. I have a great collection of information! Happy Gardening!


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

  • Posted by jkom51 Z9 CA/Sunset 17 (My Page) on
    Fri, Feb 7, 03 at 22:56

For those of us who still use vinyl shower curtains -- these periodically stiffen up from soap scum, etc., and even washing doesn't work any more, so they have to be replaced.

Finally realized one of them made the perfect planting tarp! I was going to throw it away, but now it's become one of my regular transplanting equipment items. Keeps my paths much cleaner!


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

Just stumbled into this forum this morning...One of the best threads I've ever seen. Thank you all. The joint wisdom here is enough to run a country!


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

how many of you have weeping willow trees near by? I saw a show that said willow trees produce a natural rooting hormone and that you can cut some of the smaller branches off (1/2 inch long) and make your very own ! here's what you need
willow branches
cutters
1 gallon of water (save a milk jug , this is perfact)
large pot..
all you do is simmer the cuttings for 12 hours, let cool ,remove cuttings and place the water back into the gallon milk jug.. Store in fridge , but MAKE SURE you mark it.. We don't want any sudden "growth spurts" happening to the kids.. use this for shrubs, trees etc..


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

I only had time to read through about 1/4 of the postings, so I hope someone else hasn't already mentioned this. I use the plastic milk jugs in the garden, too, but I cut off the very bottom, keep the cap on, drill a hole in it, then bury them in the ground next to my plants, bottom side up. This makes a much easier container to fill because of the large opening and by burying it, the water drains closer to the roots of the plants. We bought a shredder a few years ago and we shred everything from the yard. Our next door neighbor even gives us his Christmas tree to shred (a real one, of course). I make my own garden paths with shredded tree branches, and if there are evergreen branches mixed in it smells so good when you walk on them. There is so much information on all these forums, I can't believe I never took time to read this particular one before.


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

Wow I just found this thread, about an hour and half ago, LOL and have been reading ever since! These are great tips!

Here is one for every one in the south who battles fire ants. It might sound crazy and disgusting but it really works. It's organic and it's free. Human urine. "Collected" indoors and poured on the mounds, they disappear within 24 hours. I didn't believe it when I first heard it, but tried it and it works. Supposedly the humun hormones both male and female does something to the ants.

Oh and Arum LOL= laughing out loud or laughing on line


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

The black plastic concrete mixing troughs sold at Lowe's in the cement product department are excellent to have in the trunk of your car. Excellent for carrying wet or dirty plants. A small plastic tarp comes in handy too. Pre-fold it so it's ready for use in your trunk.


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

Here is a tip from a HGTV gardening show. I tried it and it worked great, when we were cleaning and remulching our beds this spring. We save all the flimsy plastic pots that you get on a purchased plant. Take them and place them over small plants and plants that are just starting to come up in your flower bed. It is a lot easier to mulch the bed. When you are done throwing the mulch on the bed, just remove the plastic pots and you have a great looking bed.


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

I found this from a link on the container garden site. Wow! This is a great thread. I've gotten some very useful ideas.
And if you don't have a willow tree and you can't beg any from someone else use aspirin in water for rooting hormone, because it is actually made from willow bark.
Sandy


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

  • Posted by Nad3 z5-6 MA (My Page) on
    Thu, May 8, 03 at 7:02

Sandflower, what is the proportion for aspirin and water? I guess, it's easy to overdo here.
And here is my tip. Want to have baby-soft hands after digging in the durt? Take half of lemon, squeese juice ( drink it with honey - great for you!), and rub the rest over your hands for a minute or two, wash away. Gentle oils in lemon peel, probably, do the trick, I don't even use hand cream.
Nad


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

For free seed starting pots, cut a toilet paper rolls in half, or a paper towel roll in 3rds, fill with potting soil and place on a tray. When it comes time to plant your seedlings, you can bury the whole thing and it will break down in the soil. If you are losing too much soil out of the bottom stuff a little crumbled news paper in there. I save mine up all winter and have plenty to start my spring plants. You can also make biodegradable seedling pots out of newspaper. Wrap it 4 sheets thick around a cylinder shaped item (I use spice bottles) and tape.


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

Turn a tomato cage upside down over a eugenia or boxwood in a 5 gallon or larger pot. Tie the ends together with wire as far up as you can. Let the tree grow up through it and prune it into the shape of the cage. Instant mini christmas tree for decorating your front porch! Just add lights, and voila!

You can also use ivy or creeping fig to make this topiary. It takes some pinning and tying to the support for those, though.

I saw one that was made from honeysuckle vine. She let the vine grow up through the cage and it twisted all around it until it hid the cage wire entirely. When it did, she simply poured salt into the pot to kill the honeysuckle. It was a beautiful outdoor tree at Christmas with white lights.


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

My best gardening tip is to take the Master Gardener's course offered by your local agricultural extension office. I was intimidated just a little by the title, because I knew that a few hours of classes and some volunteer time wouldn't make me a "master" of gardening (is there such a person?). But the fact is, I learned TONS of information, and even better yet, I met some great gardening folks in my area. Many brought plants/seeds to share, we took field trips, visited each other's gardens, and really had a great sense of fellowship. I still don't consider myself a "master" gardener (and haven't kept up with my certification), but I have no regrets at all for investing the time to take the course and complete my volunteer hours.


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

I don't plant with a shovel anymore. I took the back wheel off of my minitiller. I simply run the tiller where I need a hole. Without the back wheel, the tiller just chews straight down into the soil. Then I put in the plant and backfill. I've done all sizes from quart to 5 gallon, adjusting the size and depth of the hole according the size of the plant.


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

I support peonies with chicken wire. When the peonies just start poking through the ground in spring... I put down a piece of chicken wire which has been cut into a circle that approximates the grown up size of the bush. Just flat on top of the little shoots. As the Peonies grow taller... the chicken wire comes up with the shoots, and helps hold up the branches. No more peonie rings showing until the peonies have grown up, Looks much neater. Some branches do escape but then, it looks natural all season.


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

I do the same as Loboto ,with my tall growing sedum , only I use heavier woven wire . It disapears as the plants grow , and keeps the plants from flopping open in the middle.
I've dug holes with my tiller , like stressbaby , but just raise up the drag-bar so it stays in one place while I hold it back.
I use the woven wire rings around all my plantings that the deer love to eat, espacially trees and shrubs , and such perenials as hibiscus (which they love!!).
I've used lots of flat rocks as borders around my flowerbeds.(Rocks 'grow' here!!LOL)


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

Advice from a little old Italian manwho saw me buying geraniums in the garden center.GTive them a good drink of tea once every two weeks.I couldn't believe how much difference it made.


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

I'm a Chef and get all kinds of good things from work. Need a good size bucket? Most restaurants have plenty of 5 gal. buckets they'll be glad to give you. Pickles and kraut, etc. come in them and in smaller sizes. If you're friends with someone in the business they might be able to get you lots of composing material. I bring home large bags of lettuce & veggie scraps, coffee, large tea bags, etc. almost every night that would have been dumped in the landfill.
Tarheelgardener


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

I've got a few easy and quick tips:

Ants: To get rid of a nest of pesky ants, use GRITS. Southerner's know about grits :o) Place a handful all around the ant hill and wait. The ants love the free food, but as soon as it gets wet the grits puff up and kill them off.

Hydrophonics: I grow several plants in a fish tank. Get the small tank kit that includes an air pump. Running the air pump helps to keep the water moving and lengthens the time between water changes. This is a nicely controlled environment for plants. Glass marbles at the bottom make for a nice showpiece. A few drops of Miracle Grow in the water does wonders as well.

Apartment composting: We can compost too :o) Saving eggshells, tea bags, coffee grounds, filters, dead leaves, etc. all make for easy indoor composting. At the least, grab fallen leaves to use as mulch for your plants.

Outdoor plants: A good number of them can grow perfectly well indoors. A short bit of trial and error and you can keep hostas and others indoors.

Apartment gardens: Make the most use of your space. Instead of keeping tons of medium-sized pots, plant several similar plants together in larger pots. 'Similar' meaning same lighting and watering requirements.

Mailboxes: Be nice to your local mail carrier! Avoid planting plants that attract bees and other potentially dangerous fliers. Also, some suffer more strongly than others from allergies. All that extra pollen at their stop is not the best idea.

divaone :o)


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

oops last one...

Corn plant dead? Don't throw those tall dead trunks away. Use them to stalk vines of sweet pea or morning glory. May take a few tacks, nails or swatches of old pantyhose to keep the plant trained on the trunk.


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

Look for wire ground stakes for Christmas lights on the after-Christmas sales (the kind that you use for big-bulbed Christmas lights - c7s and c9s. They usually come in packages of 25, and in 2 different lengths. I pick mine up when the stores are practically begging you to take them off their hands and they are 75% off. I use them for everything from plant supports to staking milk jugs around stuff. They are much heavier than coat hangers, are already cut to short lengths, and already have the 'u' shape bent into them. I don't know how I gardened for so many years without them!


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

I love big terra cotta pots overflowing w/ flowers! But I hate buying tons of potting soil to fill them and then trying to move them around to different locations.

So, I decided one year to buy bags of large chunk pine mulch and filled the pots 1/2 to 3/4 full with the mulch. Then I get a heavy duty trash bag, punched a bunch of holes in the bottom, filled the bag w/ potting soil (I rolled down the the sides of the trash bag until it was about 1 1/2 inches below the rim of the pot). After I planted my flowers in it, I topped it off with sheet moss to hide the trash bag.

Voila! Now I have attractive large pots, filled with flowers, that are easy to move. I save $$ on potting soil and the sheet moss mulches the flowers so I have to water less often!


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

This is another tip for container planting. Put empty milk jugs (lid attached) in the bottom before planting. They take up space, save on soil, and reduce the weight of the container. I put some landscaping fabric (cut to fit)in first to keep soil from running out the bottom when watering.


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

WOW, great info!!!


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

About a month ago I read Trudi's method of winter sowing seed and was able to "borrow" a part of her idea for another application.

We are in the midst of terracing our sloping backyard. A portion of one new retaining wall runs up the property line very near to my neighbors bed of daylilys. I told my neighbor I would dig them up and replant them later once the work was completed. I didn't want to risk having them trampled. (They were done blooming!)

After already exhausting every useable pot, box, and crate I had potting up my own perennials I set off to Walmart in search of something inexpensive to pot up the daylilys- cheap being the key. No luck. As I was leaving the garden department I passed a stack of "kiddie" pools. I remembered that Trudi had used kiddie pools for winter sowing seed. Perfect!

For 6 bucks I got a huge planting container. I punched holes in the bottom for drainage and was ready to plant. I cut the lilys to 6" tall and was able to fit them all in the one pool filling in with more soil as needed.

I'm getting ready to replant and they have faired very well. They are growing and in fact they look better than MY lilys that I potted in separate pots.

Thanks Trudi for a great idea!


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

I don't remember where I got this tip, but it really works for me. To get rid of ants, mix half borax (as in laundry detergent section) and half sugar, put in a used plastic container with holes (I used an old large spice container). Sprinkle the mixture over ant hills, within two or three days, they are gone.
Thanks for all the Great ideas, has been a fun and informative read!


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

This is an idea I thought up two summers ago and it worked great. I wanted to create and plant a few subtle berms in my garden to create more depth; the only problem is that when you mound up your compost, dirt etc. in an already preexisting garden area it tends to flatten out and lose it's shape as soon as you start to water due to it's friable nature. So once again cardboard boxes to the rescue! For each area that I wanted to create a berm I placed a cardboard box (depending on the length and width of the berm you can place as many boxes side by side as you need). Cut the box sides down to however high you want the berm to be and then cut away the four top corners using a v-shaped notch. Once you have the box adjusted to your needs, pack them to overflowing with soil. Now pack more soil around the outside of the box to create gently sloping sides. As your doing this you can cut more pieces of the box that might stick out to much etc. Once you have finished you can plant your plantings right into the box. The cardboard of the box will eventually break down but will hold off just long enought to keep your berms form until its "hardened off". The ones I made 2 years ago are still the same size (no runoff), the box is gone (I poked a trowl around in their and checked ;) and the nursery perennials I planted in their are the best performers in my garden.


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

OK I have 2 tips; forgive me if someone has already posted them. 1) every summer when I look at how high some of my flowering plants get, I wonder if I could have pinched them back when they were small. So I've been bookmarking every site that mentions a particular flower, and whether you can pinch it back, and WHEN. I change the name of the favorite to "pinch back balloon flower" (or whatever) and then I have it in my favorites, in writing, from an expert! 2) I chop up all my banana peels and throw it in the garden. All my plants love it.....bluemirror


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

I had several old plastic slatted window blinds. I took off the string, cut the 1" wide slats into 8" long pieces and used them for plant markers, writing on them with a paint pen. Works pretty well.


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Oops, sorry

Oh darn, I see I've duplicated two other's with my mini-blind markers. Here I thought I made it up. Sorry. I'm going to use the ideas about carboard to smother ivy. I sure hope it works. I have a whole bed of it and it's very woody.


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

If you ever have guests or children who touch a hot pepper from a pepper plant and then rub their eyes, you know how miserable that can be for them. A piece of bread held against the stinging area will soon diminish the sting.


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

Here is a tip for a tomato loving gardener, with a small yard. This combination can even be planted in the front yard, and the neighbors won't object!

Prepare your soil, plant the tomato, and place a cage around it. On the outside of the cage, leave a good amount of space, and plant a ring/semi-ring of annual red salvia. Now, in front of the salvia, add another ring of marigolds. Very soon, the cage will be hidden by the tomato plant. The salvias should grow to almost mid-level, and the marigolds will stay low, creating 3 levels of interest with compatible plants.

The whole effect is wonderful. Everyone will soon want to know what those green/red balls are, hanging in the air in front of red and gold flowers.

The added benefit is, marigolds deter many insects -- at least that's what my grandmother told me!


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

When you clean your aquarium, save the water and use it for your plants.


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

For the veggie growers:
Tomato cages aren't just for tomatoes! Actually, they aren't very good for anything other than patio tomatoes, are they? ;oD My former tomato cages have a new life as *topiary* bases for my cucumbers.
Just turn the tomato cage upside down around the hill where you have planted the prerequisite "3 plants to a mound" of cucumber seedlings. Tack the lowest circle of wire down using cut wire hangers bent in a u-shape, or use those old tent pegs that are hanging around the garage or attic. Periodically train the cucumber plant to the cage and if necessary give it a little assist with cut up panty hoses as ties. The cucumbers stay clean and are easy to access. By the time the cuke plant has grown up to cover the cage it is quite attractive and *topiary* in appearance !

Kathie *ReddKatt*


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

For rose gardeners (and other plants with thorns): I can't count the number of times I got nailed on the top of the head by my roses before I did this. Take a "gimme cap" and line the top with sturdy cardboard, then wear to work with your roses (especially when pruning tall ones!). The bill of the cap will keep canes from whipping into your face, and the "hard hat" top will save you from getting a sharp one in your scalp. Also, don't forget to get a tetanus shot every ten years. Rose thorns actually carry the tetanus bug! And of course we all get an "owie" out in the garden once in a while anyway.

One more tip, this one a trifle morbid. My husband and I do feline rescue, and once we lost a very young kitten.(We have been lucky not to lose more, but sometimes I think Someone is looking out for the pusses!) Anyway, this was at the beginning of August, and I buried the poor baby kitty at the foot of a young bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa) that was about four feet tall at the time. That tree grew THREE FULL FEET in the next six weeks. Granted, Q. macrocarpa is a fast grower when young, but it hadn't done anything at all earlier in the summer. So if you have *small* critters to bury (such as a mouse or dead sparrow), try interring them at the foot of your young trees. (I wouldn't try this with a larger creature, though. In order to get it deep enough, you would have to disturb the roots too much. Also, no more than one critter per tree per year, I think.)


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

If you have a Starbucks coffee shop nearby, stop by regularly and get their free, used coffee grounds. It's a corporate policy to give them away to gardeners -- they're packed into old whole-bean bags and labeled "grounds for gardens -- free" and if they don't have them prepacked already, the staff will just give you a garbage sack full for the asking. Wonderful dark brown mulch and nitrogen-rich fertilizer, for free!


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

Stepping stones! Put enough throughout your garden beds so you never have to step on the soil directly. It keeps the tilth of the soil light and crumbly and you don't have to worry about crushing some little treasure that is just emerging.


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

My children love to grow sunflowers, and when the birds have finished feasting on the seeds during the winter months I cut them down and use them the following summer as pea/bean supports. They're really sturdy, a great bamboo cane substitute!!
Lisa


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

Add non molassed alfalfa pellets around your rose bushes and other shrubs if you like. You can buy them at the feed store for a good price. Just toss them around the plant and water. They will remain there for a time breaking down..you can cover them with mulch if you like. They are good for roses.


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

I put on Baby Oil gel after washing hands from gardening while they are still wet. They shrivel up like prunes from the dirt, and letting the oil soak on them for a few minutes puts them back to normal.

DO NOT use cat litter in the bottom of pots for drainage. It CLUMPS.

Something I learned this summer... when within reach of a swarm of bees or yellow jackets, lay out a bowl full of orange juice. Come back later and there will be many of them floating, drowned in their attempt to drink. Must be replaced daily.

I keep all of the plant tags in a cigar box. Sometimes years later, I'll wonder what the name of something is, and there it is!

We were trying to kill weeds by spraying round-up here and there. One summer day we made ice cream in the ice cream maker, and hubby dumped out the rock salt water on a weedy area. Was shocked to come out later and see everything completely dead... Not sort of dead, not edges of leaves dying (like with the sprays) but completely dead!

Winter sowing of seeds - I have a large wheelbarrow filled with dirt. I sprinkle whatever seeds I have from the summer and cover with soil. They sit there all winter in the rain and snow etc... In the spring little sprouts start popping up. I have no idea what they are or what they are going to be. It's a nice surprise come the summer to see what made it. I dig up the largest of the plants and put them around the yard...

I had some bags of bulbs last fall that completely molded when I left them out in the rain. Black fuzz and everything. I was heartbroken because they were expensive. I said the heck with it, and plunked them into a big pot of water and bleach. A day later, I peeled off all of the rotten parts, (like peeling an onion) and had much smaller albeit non-moldy white bulbs. I figured they were goners anyway, so it was just an experiment. I planted them like normal bulbs and waited. Yes, they all came up and look completely normal... Very happy I be :)

I also had lots of iris fans that got moldy from sitting in the 'waiting to be planted' bin for too long. I sprayed the roots and any blackened areas with bleach and planted as usual. They are all still green and should be blooming soon.

I had about 300 bulbs that I didn't get in the ground last winter. I left them outside in a rain free area. I planted them this spring as soon as the ground unfroze. They are all coming up, later than usual, but who cares. They will still be beautiful, and will bloom normally next year...

I have transplanted plants at all times of the year. I dig up the root ball and plant in the new place. Then I trim the plant to be the same size as the root ball. Water daily until you see new growth. It will take a year to get back to where it was size wise, but at least it is in its new home...


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

I have found that if I soak caladium bulbs in a large pot filled with lukewarm water and a bit of plant fertilizer....they need much less time to sprout and show!


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

Here are a couple of tips from my great grandmother the nurse. If you get bitten by a poisonous spider, apply a compress of bread soaked in milk. It should help draw some of the poison, slowing down the spreading while you get to a doctor. This tip actually saved my father from a brown recluse once.
I have another use for white vinegar, also. It works great on burns, as well as on fire ant and other stings. In high school, my mom lives on the coast, and i was always getting sunburns. A washcloth, wet with vinegar, will actually come away hot from a fresh burn. It draws the heat out of your skin, keeps the burn from getting worse. It will get rid of that feeling that you're radiating heat from your skin. Vinegar only works if the burn still feels hot, though. For a set in burn, Aloe Vera is still the best answer. That goo inside is so cool and refreshing. We have some planted strategically right next to the bar-b-q.


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

Awesome list!

1) If you work at a large organization, organize a garden club to meet over lunch. No fees, just chat, sharing stories, and inviting guests to speak over lunch (volunteer Master Gardeners can address a variety of topics)

2) Organize a plant swap in the spring with your new garden club, or host a plant swap brunch and invite all your gardening friends.

3) cut up old milk jugs to make seed markers

4) Poke a few SMALL holes in the bottomg of a milk jug. Set it near a plant that needs watering, and fill the milk jug to the brim. The water will slowly seep out, rather than running off.

5) Save yogurt cups or cottage cheese containers to start seeds.

6) Use large translucent plastic storage boxes to start seeds. Set the seed cups in th box, water well, and snap the lid on. I find this MUCH easier than those flimsy black plastic six-pack trays. For seeds that need light to germinate, put the seed cups on the LID and cover with the box bottom. When the seed starting is completed, wash everything well and store it in the plastic boxes.

7) A clip on lamp with a 25 watt bulb pointed at the seed box will warm it nicely. Much cheaper than a seed starting mat, and very effective in the three years I've been using this method. (I start well over 100 plants per year this way).

8) Keep a garden journal. I use a 99 cent "composition book" and keep plans of the garden, write notes of what I did when, make up lists of seeds to purchase, note what birds arrive when in spring, when things bloom, etc. Useful and a great reason to sit down in the shade during the hot part of the day.


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

I forgot my favorite tip!

Install a rural type mail box near the garden. It is perfect for storing extra hand tools, garden twine, hose accessories, etc.


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

To keep dirt from coming out the bottom of container plants - for small pots use a coffee filter, for big (12" or over) use a white paper towel. You can usually get both items pretty cheap on sale or at dollar stores.


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

I couldn't bring myself to dispose of lots of packing peanuts (styrofoam kind) because they never degrade in a landfill. So I've saved them in a large lawn-waste bag in the basement. Whenever I want to use a large, deep container, I first cover the drainage holes with landscape fabric (used dryer sheets also work great). I then fill the container with the peanuts until roughly 8" from the top & cover it with more landscape fabric. I cut the fabric large enough to go up the sides until it's about 1-2" from the top. Add potting soil & mix in some water-retaining crystals so it won't dry out so fast. You'll save money on soil & the pot is so much easier to move since it's lighter.


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

Oh my all the wonderful advice! Thanks all! Well, my gardening tip is to make a sketch of your home and shed or garage or permanent trees etc. and shade in the areas of shade that occur at different times throughtout the day. Do this every season at least once and you will notice a big difference in where the sunlight is each time. This helps for planting somewhere that looks sunny in late fall, only to realize in summer when trees have bloomed that it is really a shady area. Happy gardening! Great tips.


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

one more use for those old pantyhose. I cut them up to use in the bottom of flowerpots to keep soil from "leaking".


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

I found a cheap "Composition book" that my daughter didn't use last year. I've been using it as a sort of gardening diary, - I write down when I sowed which seeds, when did they come up, when I divided the daylillies or fertilized the roses, etc. All the stuff that I'll wish later I could remember!


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

ruth stout has been my guru for years, but i've just found out to stick to her gardening books, i'm reading "i've always done it my way"and i just cant agree with her there, so--i'll stick to her way of gardening--now, when i plant my tomatoes,(always deep, as suggested above)i put a tbsp of epsom salts in the bottom of hole, mixed with dirt--no blossom end rot.and last year, despite reading that sunflowers are like black walnuts to a garden, i planted sunflowers all over my garden--birds were so thick, i never had bugs or worms!!even when they werent blooming, they liked the height to perch on, and watch for bugs. beauty also


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Shovel up some Free Leaf Mould RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite

In Fall and Spring I nab all the leaves I can from the curbs near my home...trying to get a blend of flavors.

In fall a light, wide rake works great - and leaves are used everywhere as mulch, and in a couple great piles to make leaf mould - and for compost layers in between every kitchen bucket dump.

In Spring - be sure to use a flat edged-snow-shovel - that makes it is easy to skim along curbs and lift finished leaf mould compost and curb weeds right onto a big plastic tarp to pull home.

You get a real bonus doing this in Spring (before the street-cleaners come around) as the bottom layer is rich and fertile finished humus - lavish with earthworms, all ready to blend into your planting mixes, or for use as a rich dark top-dressing around the garden. The partly-finished stuff layers nicely to refresh or finish compost, giving you an excuse to turn your stack and check its status.

Feeding the compost or mulching plants you love is a rewarding experience in itself. Clean curbs, and Everybody wins. I just did the Spring snow-shovel thing to tidy up 5 neighbors curbs yesterday. This will keep our storm-drains flowing freely - but I love getting all the free humus the most. And got a great workout to boot. Get out there!


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

  • Posted by Maryliz 5b/SE lower MI (My Page) on
    Tue, Apr 19, 05 at 15:39

If you make hard boiled eggs, let the liquid cool, and then take the pan out to the garden to water your tomatoes or other garden plants. It is calcium-enriched water.

Also, pour boiling water directly on weeds growing between the cracks of your sidewalk. You could do this every time you have a cup of tea.

Plastic tubs such as yoghurt or sour cream containers make great plant pots. Just use a 1/4" drill bit to make drainage holes.

To kill fungus gnats that live in your houseplants and slowly kill them by eating the roots ... get a mosquito dunk, dissolve it in tap water, and use next time you water your house plants. If at all possible, let the soil dry out more between waterings, as constantly moist soil makes fungus gnats thrive.

Plastic plant markers fade in the sun, even if you use one of those permanent markers. Pencil lasts longer. Even better, shove the marker down into the soil so that only the tip shows. When you need to read it, pull it out and wipe it off. Put it back when you're done. It will not fade for a long, long time.

If you have trouble with rodents eating your bulbs, plant them inside a chicken wire "cage" and they'll just grow up through the wires.

A free, if temporary, planter box for the veggie garden: Get a large cardboard box and set it in position, with the bottom flaps folded underneath the box, to hold the soil. If the bottom is not taped, no need to poke drainage holes. Fold the top flaps down and inside the box. Fill with soil and plants. Makes it easy to saturate the soil, since the water stays inside the box until it leaks out the bottom. You might be able to use the planter box a second year if the sides don't collapse.

Save the cardboard tubes from toilet paper and paper towels. Depending on what you'll be growing, you might want to keep the toilet paper size ones their original length, or cut them into smaller sections. Stand each on end in a plastic tray left over from meat or some such, carefully spread a small piece of newspaper in the bottom to keep the soil from falling out the bottom when you eventually lift it out of the tray, and fill each tube to the very top with soil. Use it to plant things that don't like their roots disturbed, such as cukes, squashes, beans, poppies, etc. Every time you water, pour a small amount of water into the tray, and let the soil take it up by osmosis. Plant the whole thing in the ground, being sure to bury the cardboard tube completely. Leaving it above ground might cause it to wick moisture from the tiny plant growing inside. Over the summer, the cardboard will decay. The roots just grow out the bottom.

When you start seedlings indoors, you can increase the amount of sunlight they receive through the window. Cover sheets of cardboard with aluminum foil, shiniest side out, and place next to the seedlings, facing the window, so that the light is reflected back at the plants. Also, if your seedlings are in tiny, individual pots (not flats) line the drip tray--or the shelf they are on--with aluminum foil. Every little bit makes a big difference.

Learn how to propogate plants vegetatively from cuttings. This works for shrubs, and even trees. Start with something easy, like Forsythia, which will root in a glass of water after it has leafed out.

Go to your local library and look for gardening books by Rodale Press. I have seen several that are chock-full of gardening tips like these. Great thread! Keep it going!


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

Time to get this thread going again...I just love all your tips.Keep them comming.

Eliza ann


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

Here's a tip for seeds that suggest you soak over night. Place the seeds in a wet paper towel and place in a zip lock bag. Then I put the bag on the floor in front of the refridgerator. The heat helps with the germination. This is also the best place to place wet tennis shoes. The heat/air will usually dry them overnight!!!


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

I'm trying a few things this year. I'm taking the ashes out of my fireplace and putting them in the garden to help amend my heavy clay soil.

I have an experiment going on right now. I had read that tin foil at the base of plants was suppose to distract some garden pests and give additional light to the plants. Instead of tin foil, I cut CD's (from an unsolicited internet provider)in half and put them around the base of the plant, shiny side up. Hopefully this will reflect light that the plant will like, distract the bugs and keep down the weeds near the base of the plants.

I also save empty ice cream pint containers. I rinse them out and start seeds in them.


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

Plant early.


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

Use your computer for everything!!

-- Take your garden breaks at your computer
----check out GardenWeb Forums, answer your email,
--- have your lunch in front of computer.
---Create several computer documents with valuable tips, etc., keep in folder called Gardening Stuff,
--- Use your digital camera DAILY to record what is happening in the garden, if you download pics daily, vital info is kept along with the picture, date, time, etc. (just click on properties of each picture to get this info)
--- Download pictures to Garden Monthly folders you can then click on slide show to see what happened each year during the Month of May, June, etc., Easy then to compare garden from year to year

--Create a document called plant labels and type all info on plants you purchase and pitch the tag,

-- keep info on what you buy and where from.
-- Research every new plant you purchase on the internet and cut and paste the info into your computer Journal (along with pictures if you want).
-- Use your digital camera to "save" all the pictures from your gardening magazines, After reading the magazine, take it outside and click away, eliminating all the ads, etc. don't worry if you get some glare, when you look at the magazine you always get glare, then download to your computer in folders that identify the magazine, then donate the magazines---create CD's for backup of documents/pictures/journals. Then when you are having lunch at your computer, click on slide show and look at all the great pictures to stimulate ideas, etc.,

-- Use Win2PDF a free tool to convert long documents to Adobe PDF to share with others friends(smaller files--easier to email, etc.), (My yearly Gardening Journals are huge files when I am done with pictures embedded, etc. (I use a two column style of journal on the computer).

--Send emails to yourself when you are on a favorite site with great info but don't have time to read it right then. My "favorite" sites get too long, so I just go to File when at a great site, then click on Send, then either send the whole page to myself, or just the link.

--Use your digital camera to create panoramas of your garden, stand in one place and just move camera to next lateral picture then use software to stitch the pics together.

--Preview garden changes/additions by using software like Adobe Elements to clone plants fron one part of your garden into another to see the result, or to add gate you have seen, cut and paste into your own garden spot, etc.,

OK that's enough for now.
Pauline


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

Something that I found quite lovely, was growing climbing peas among my corn plants, with a few cosmos thrown in for color. (Since I'm still too sick (tetanus) to do much in my garden, this is wishful thinking right now, "wishful remembering" really.

The other thing, is planting tansey below grape vines. I lost a whole grape vine last year because the pests weren't driven away by tansey... At least I think that's the reason because I never lost a vine when I had tansy.

Here is a link that might be useful: Health-Boundaries-Bite


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

For MAC users:

Following up on Pauline's notes above, an absolutely wonderful piece of software is called Sticky Brain by Chronos. [I don't work for them.] It lets you set up files of infinite categories--my "Garden" file has sub-folders of everything from Annuals to Aroids to Filler Ideas to Rose Care..etc. Then, whenever I'm online & find a web page or a forum thread or whatever, relevant to something, I can copy/paste its contents right into a new Note in a given folder, & it's always available to me. You can drag & drop a photo of a plant into a note. It also has many other handy, wonderful features, like capacity to add check boxes to To Do lists, etc. It looks like "Mail", with all the folders clearly lined up on the left hand side.

And you can keep all the stuff Pauline mentions above organized in an easy-to-find-later fashion. I can't rave enough about Sticky Brain--for gardening & the rest of my life!

Karen

Here is a link that might be useful: Sticky Brain website


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

Gee I wonder is there a Windows version of Sticky Brain? I sure could use it.
Pauline


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

  • Posted by katbird Z6 SW Ohio USA (My Page) on
    Tue, Jun 21, 05 at 21:41

Ok, things that I have heard and some of which I have actually tried:

1)Visit your favorite barber, hair salon and have them save hair cuttings for you, put them in and around your hosta; this will keep rabbits away from them, they smell the hair and think someone is nearby..

2) A saucer of beer in your hosta bed will attract slugs into it and they will drown, eliminates them ..

3) Save your spent dish water, pour it over your roses, rids them of aphids.. make sure it has cooled to room temp of course..

4) Spent coffee grounds sprinkled around the bases of hosta will also keep slugs off them.. and rabbits away, they don't like the smell, taste..

5) At least once a month, give your houseplants a shower.. they love the humidity and it cleans and refreshes them, cool water only, just set them in the tub, turn on the water at a mild setting.. don't wanna beat them down!

6) Yes you can use the empty Folgers Coffee Cans (red plastic ones) for winter sowing!! drill holes in the bottoms for drainage. Fill with dirt and your favorite seeds, tape clear plastic wrap over the top, pop some holes in it and voila!! Did coneflowers this past year that way!

7) Offer friends starts of your plants when they visit, but then get them to dig them up and do some weeding a little around what they want.. cheap garden labor lol, do the same when your kids are visiting!!

Just off the top of my head..
Have fun and happy gardening!
Katbird


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

always do your weeding right after a good rain (or, if you're crazy like me, while it's raining). the soil is loose then and weeds come up easily - roots and all.


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Preventing Cutting Root Damage When Potting On

I like to root cuttings in damp, coarse builders sand. But, when a cutting roots and is pulled out, sometimes the delicate new roots break off. To avoid this, hold a canister of warm water in one hand, pouring the water gently at the base of the rooted cutting. With the other hand, gently tug the cutting. As the water reaches the cuttings roots, you will feel it loosen. At that time, pull harder and bring the entire cutting out of the sand while you are still pouring water. The roots will be intact, hardly ever any damage. Pot cutting as you normally would.


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

When planting a second row of roses this spring, I discovered that underneath 1 feet of good dirt was nothing but clay-bad for the roses, who don't like wet feet. I had hubby dig down extra deep, then we added layers of grass clippings (we store it around the dog's pen, where it doubles as storage and mulch to keep the grass under control around the pen) with shovelfuls of worm dirt we keep piled up in the very back of our yard (just good dirt we keep on hand, salvaged from various garden/yard projects, which is always crawling with worms-no additional help/feeding needed from us). Drainage is great now and these roses are doing better than the first row we planted.

bren


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

There are scissors with very long blades sold as wallpaper scissor at HD or Lowe's. I use mine to snip dead leaves or to prune unwanted shoots from deep inside bushy plants that I otherwise would not be able to reach with common clippers(pruners). Not having to cram my hand into the plant mean less damage to the mother plant.

Kristi


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

These were fun to read. Here are a few from me.
A suggestion about using the packing peanuts in the bottom of large containers to save soil. I put my packing peanuts inside a plastic bag and tie it shut before putting it in the bottom of the container. This way you can remove the soil later and it isn't all down in the packing peanuts and a big mess.
When planting water loving plants I create a "crater" at the base of the plant with a soil rim around. Then when I water the plant gets it all with no "run off".
Never fertilize morning glories as you will get a lot of foliage but few flowers. Also, once they are established water sparingly.
To keep cutworms from severing your young plants put a wooden toothpick next to the stem to keep the worms from wrapping their bodies around it.
If you collet seeds and need a great place to store them try the new Gerber baby food Gladware type plastic containers. They are small and clear and stack great! Be sure your seeds are very dry before snapping on the lid. If you don't have a baby ask around your neighborhood or at church. People are usually happy to save them for you.
Plastic strawberry baskets work well to deter bunnies. Turn them upside down over your seedlings and they'll still get sun, air and rain but won't be nibbled.
Squirrels always dig into my container plants every spring. So I have collected a lot of sea shells(from garage sales and thrift stores) and broken colored glass. After I fill the container with plants I top the soil with the shells and pretty glass pieces. Keeps them away.
When planting hosta seeds plant about 10 seeds in a circle the size of a small yogurt lid. Then add three more seeds in the middle. Each seed will only create one leaf stem so you need them planted together to get a "hosta plant".
The greatest idea to come off of Gardenweb is Winter Sowing. If you haven't heard of it please go to the Winter Sowing forum and check it out. You will find that Trudi has designed a way to save tons of money on plants and it's fun too!
That's all for now. Keep them coming, it's great to share ideas, helps everyone.
Tina/TrowelGal


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

I recently tried air-layering for the first time on a schefflera plant that had gotten way too leggy. Holding a bundle of wet coir to the stem while wrapping the whole thing in plastic was just about impossible with only two hands. I was about to give up, but I'd already cut the bark, so I had to do something. Then I had a brainwave: I grabbed one of those polymer-infused seed-starting plugs, cut it lengthwise (halfway through), wet it, and wrapped it over the cut area clam-style. Tied with a twist-tie, it stayed in place very nicely by itself, and I was able to wrap the plastic easily. Much easier!

Plus, the plug stayed damp for over two weeks, even though it was much smaller than the orange-sized clump of coir that was recommended. Roots appeared in about 9 days. Now I'm going to air-layer everything I can get my hands on!


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'2

Here's another one for all you kind cat lovers:
If you grow catnip outside, get one of those round-bottomed green-enamelled wire baskets that are meant to hold a coir liner. Put it upside-down over the catnip plant, and it will quickly grow over it into a neat little mound. Then neighborhood cats can come over to nibble at (or roll on top of!) it all they want without killing it-- they can only get at the bits that poke through the basket, which is plenty to get them, uh, intoxicated.


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

ConsiderThis, you should have reminded us to get our tenanus booster shots!

I live in a dry climate and can't grow a thing without a watering system. On the deck and indoors I plant things in "self-watering" pots, the kind with reservoirs, then pop those inside the pretty pots. I do this for flowers, herbs, and even lettuce. --Kris


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

Heres a great one for you folks who love your outside birds! In the heat of summer,(or almost any time really), take a gallon milk jug and put a tiny pin hole with a needle in one end at the very bottom corner. Fill with water and put a string around the handle to hang in a tree, on a clothes line,etc..., then put over a shallow dish of water. The slow drip drip of the water will attract the birds to a refreshing bath and drink. Cool huh? :) Arum


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

Thought is was time to bump this up again.

I recently put in a raised garden because of bad drainage and compacted sticky clay. It really wasn't high enough, but I couldn't afford any more loads of dirt, so my husband & I rented a 4" diam one-person post hole digger for $20.00 at the hardware store. I selected the sites where the holes would go and he drilled them by leaning on the machine. (I tried to do it, but didn't have enough heft)

The holes were about 3 feet deep, deep enough that we should have called the utilitiy company before we dug, so I would encourage anybody trying this to "call before you dig".

I any case, I had 3 dozen holes that I filled with compost to the brim and then stepped on to really pack it in so it wouldn't settle. The bad soil that had been displaced by the auger from down in the holes was raked over all. This raised the bed some more and the drainage is GREAT now! Naturally, I am mulching so the bad soil on top will shortly be good soil.

Lime


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

Fabulous!

Don't throw out those used dryer sheets...They're great for putting over the bottom holes of containers before filling to keep soil in and letting water out. Also, if you save enough of them (who doesn't have tons over winter) they make GREAT under-mulch lanscaping fabric for small flowerbeds, or even large if you have enough.


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

Time for a bump up for this great thread. Thanks for all the tips of those who have left them and those who will.

To deter our city monkeys known as squirrels from your bulbs and from uprooting your plants be sure to use the a pure white colored blood meal. We recently acquired bags of it that ended up almost 95% other darker stuff of which was not clearly stated on the bag but in much smaller printing elsewhere. Be sure it's Blood meal and not Bone meal too. Sprinkle liberally on the soil of your balcony/potted/garden plants. Works great!!! Tomatoes plants would probably benefit from a sprinkle of it around leaves near tomatoes reachable to the squirrels.
After a month or so the squirrels will give up for a time but especially if you have a bird bath for them to reach and drink from. Loving my birds and squirrels too!

Also: great link to find out germination data for different seeds at http://backyardgardener.com/tm.html I personally would not take this as the only opinion but I'm sure it's of great value as a general reference tool.

I personally value the damp paper towel in baggy method for most of my seeds. I really want to try the winter sowing methods suggested back in this thread in one of the Augusts'

Happy Gardening! -Sandy


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

During the warmer months we buy about 1 box of "surgical gloves" the thin latex type that medical offices use that is sold in the pharmacy areas of WalMart and drug stores at a cost of about $5.00 for a box of 50 although my latest purchase was a box of 100 for about $7.00. I shove several pair in my pockets when I go outside, and put them on before weeding or doing anything. They let you use your fingers better than cotton although if I am using a tool with a rough handle I will slip a pair of cotton gloves over them. If I am handling large rocks or thorny plants then I slip leather gloves over them. With just the latex gloves you can handle even delicate jobs as if you were bare handed and when its time to come in, just snap them off and toss in the trash. Saves a lot of time scrubbing nails and your hands don't dry out from the dirt.


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

I have found a cheese slicer, such as this invaluble as a garden tool. Use for tender seedlings...getting dirt out of pots..etc.
The kind of slicer that you run across the top of the block of cheese and take off a very thin slice.


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

Great thread. Deserves to be sent back to the top...


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

Outsmarting the tree rats (squirrels) around my house is a full time job. This past spring I hit on a new idea. When I plant a container I invert an empty wire hanging basket over the container and the plant gets sun and can be watered but the squirrels can't dig in it. Another idea: I bring in a lot of plants to "over winter" under lights in my garage. I have so many that it is hard to reach my hand under the lights (4 shop lights) to the middle for watering. So I bought a pump sprayer with a long wand and it works great! In late winter I add a little liquid Dawn detergent, few drops, to each gallon of water and not only does the soil get wet easier but the worms that are waiting to hatch into distructive pets just don't hatch. Don't know what it costs me to run those four shop lights all winter but I don't care. It is a small price to pay to be able to "garden" every weekend in the garage.
Many people have mentioned that they mark their outdoor plants with a "permanent Sharpie". In my experience there isn't a "permanent Sharpie", they all fade and quickly too. A grease pencil/china marker or expensive "no fade" garden center marker are the only markers I have found that won't disappoint you by fading.
Eight years ago I decided to learn about gardening so I tapped into my local library. I checked out nearly every book they had on gardening and learned so much. The Gardenweb forums are also a wealth of information and entertainment.
There is always something new to learn and I appreciate all of you who take the time to write in your ideas. One last idea from me...I keep a small notebook on my computer table and jot down any idea I find that's new and I will want to try. Little pieces of paper get lost but I always know where my notebook is and also use it when I order "on line" so I will remember the name of the company and the order date.
Tina or Trowelgal


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

I use broken terra cotta pots as garden labels. THe marker holds up really well on the surface. Over time they will break down into the soil but it takes a while.

I put an upside down plastic pot or closed pop bottles in the bottom of larder pots before i fill with soil. It uses less soil and keeps the pot much less heavy.


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

BUMP


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

Bumping this one again.
Kath


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RE: Please Add MORE 'My Favorite Gardening Tips'

  • Posted by win586w Zone 7 NC-Texas (My Page) on
    Mon, Sep 28, 09 at 0:22

I've enjoyed all the tips. Looking forward to starting some Rose cutting. I'll be using some of the great tips in this posting.
Winnie


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Favorite Gardening Tips

Those broken pottery plant labels will last a long time if you use a Sharpie for the lettering, let it dry overnight, & seal with a clear sealant from a craft store.


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TIPS
clipped on: 01.24.2010 at 11:25 am    last updated on: 01.24.2010 at 11:25 am

RE: Banana Peels. Use or Toss? (Follow-Up #12)

posted by: WkendWarrior on 05.20.2002 at 01:49 pm in Organic Rose Growing Forum

Chop up the peels, scratch them a few inches into the soil, cover over with soil. Your roses will thank you. If you use coffee, bury the grounds with the peels. A great snack for roses, a 'nana and a cuppa. Slurp*!
WW

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clipped on: 05.13.2010 at 03:47 pm    last updated on: 05.13.2010 at 03:47 pm

RE: Banana Peels. Use or Toss? (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: Juanita on 04.21.2002 at 08:42 pm in Organic Rose Growing Forum

Hi.. Bananas are great! They give the plants a good boost of potassium. I keep them planted just around the roses I have under the soil. Actually, I have found they are best if you put the banana peels in the oven and bake until crisp. Let them cool and them break the pieces. This will speed up the natural decomposing process....
Good luck. Oh, also use coffee grounds around roses and in compost as well.

Tanya

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clipped on: 05.13.2010 at 03:44 pm    last updated on: 05.13.2010 at 03:44 pm

RE: Vinegar for black spots (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: The_Dark_Rose on 02.11.2002 at 11:09 am in Organic Rose Growing Forum

I have used this recipe after finding it at one of your rose forums last year and it has worked wonders!!!

3 tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar to 5 litres of water. I couldn't begin to tell you how impressed I was at the results! Double Delight, which used to get riddled with blackspot looked lush and healthy with no b/s to be seen!

Also as an experiment I sprayed on the vinegar spray and waited to see how long it would take for more blackspot to appear, and it took approximately 3-4 weeks for the more blackspot prone roses and even longer for the healthier ones,( the Austins ) if at all!

As for only spraying in the early morning or early evening, I found that that didn't matter either. I sprayed during the middle of the day ( in spring, mind you! ) without any burning.

Another method I have adopted now is to spray with the vinegar spray and then alternate with the milk spray - 1 part milk to 7 parts water. Works a treat! I'm so happy to find such a cheap and harmless solution, and by harmless I mean that you can get away with having your skin exposed, but I still wear sunglasses as the vinegar solution could burn your eyes if it blew into them I suppose! All the best and happy gardening!

Here's another method I adopt to occasionally. When your rose leaves are showing sign of deficiency, like yellow leaves etc, simply spray on a solution of either liquid seaweed and water or fish emulsion and water and the leaves bounce back within the week of spraying. I use a small hand sprayer that is about 450 mls. Add only half a teaspoon of the liquid seaweed or fish ..... that's all you need! And that's all from me ......... over and out!
:-D

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clipped on: 05.13.2010 at 04:53 pm    last updated on: 05.13.2010 at 04:54 pm