A nice list of inexpensive garden tips that anyone can use today:
1. Heat up a metal coat hanger on a burner to punch holes in containers for drainage – makes clean holes that drain well. This works great for making homemade worm bins, if you can’t find your drill or just don’t want to. Be careful and keep your hands away from the hot tip (speaking from experience)!
2. Tie strips of Mylar balloon to branches holding ripe fruit – scares away birds. We applied to our apricot and fig and low and behold, we are saving our apricots. Too many were forced to the ground by the hungry little birds. And do we have birds, seems like every video we make has birds chirping in the background.
3. Plant onions at garden bed borders to repel pests. Did this too – WORKING!
4. Slices of old window blinds make great plant markers. Label with permanent pen. I gave all mine away, bummer!
5. Use coat hangers for S-hooks, pins or stakes. Yep, great technique for keeping the soaking tubes in place around the bean teepee.
6. Place wood ash around seedlings to stop pests in their tracks. Hmmm, let’s have a campfire, I need some wood ash…but maybe not, my snails went away and my borage plants are helping my tomatoes to fend off worms.
7. Open container of beer will capture snails – add brewer’s yeast to make the concoction even more irresistible. (A cartoon in the making!)
8. Use twigs to mark bulbs that we don’t want to dig up next year by mistake. Great idea because I stuck daffodil bulbs everywhere and will forget!
9. Spray leftover coffee on plants infected with red spider mite. Gotta get off my duff and find yet another spray bottle.
10. Put a ring of molasses around tree trunks to capture pests before they do their damage. My lemon, apricot, fig, persimmon and apple tree look like good candidates.
11. Bury match heads near the base of a plant that may be deficient in sulfur. If the leaves become greener, you may have a sulfur deficiency. Kind of an interesting experiment, now I need to go play with some matches…
12. 4 tablespoons of dishsoap to one gallon of water sprayed on infested plants will kill spider mites, aphids and other pests.
13. Upside down branches on a horizontal wire makes a great pea trellis.
14. Stack rock creatively to make a rock garden. Fill crevasses with soil and plant. We positioned the rock, just add dirt already!
15. Use that old kiddie pool for planting. Well, it’s sort of being used as a weed killer right now, so maybe…
16. Grow potato spuds in burlap bags filled with soil, either upright or laying on its side. Air flow and drainage better. Where is that burlap bag I had? My own alternative: I’m going to use the cutoff part of my jeans instead (tie the ends up) and will add some holes!
17. Visit your Army surplus store for neat ways to improve your garden such as parachutes for canopies, fatiques and boots for garden work and ammo containers to hold chemicals or supplies. I sure hope I didn’t give away my combat boots and camis from my stint in the Army. Where is all that stuff?
18. Bury old rusty steel to feed iron to plants that are deficient. The old wheelbarrow that we’re using as a planter will be supplying our orange tree plenty of iron. Husband gave me that smiling nod with an “okkk”!
19. To water plants slowly while you are away, make a pinhole in the bottom edge of a plastic jug, fill the jug while blocking the hole. Place the hole near the base of plant and use the cap to control flow. This is a cool idea, I’ll need a lot of jugs or just reserve this method for the most sensitive plants.
20. Bury unused fish parts at least 8 inches deep and wait a year to plant over it. OK, where can I get some unused fish parts. Maybe not such a good idea since we had a wild raccoon on our trampoline one evening rolling around with a giant beach ball. It gave us that, “whacha lookin at” look as the ball slowly deflated. Yep, not kidding!