Longtime gardener Nancy James has discovered some gardening tricks along the way that will help make life easier for your flowers. Here are a few of her favorite gardening tips:
Use a gallon milk jug with the bottom cut off to create a temporary greenhouse when planting seeds. It keeps the seeds protected from frost and from animals. Remove the cap and stake the jug to keep it in place until the seedling is about six inches tall.
To avoid a kill from early frost, rinse off the plant covered with frost with room temperature water before the sun hits the plant. It’s the sun that will burn the frost-covered leaves.
Frost-tipped plants may come back if the temperature is above 25 degrees or if they are covered with cloth. Don’t use a plastic tarp, as the plastic will still let the plant freeze.
Bone meal, blood meal or garlic crystals should keep animals out of flower beds. Garlic crystals last longer when it rains.
Use rooting hormone to start new plants from cuttings.
Use “water crystals” in newly started plant holes and in pots. You won’t need to water quite as often.
Use diatomaceous earth, a natural insecticide, to prevent insects from taking over your plants. Also use Neem oil, an organic insecticide, to spray for the same reason. Neem oil can be effective against aphids and Japanese beetles.
Instead of throwing perennials away when you divide them, try to find an organization and donate them.
— Marylouise Sholly
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