- 15 Gardening Hacks That Will Trick Everyone Into Thinking You Have A Green Thumb
- 1. Plant Herbs
- 2. Coffee Grounds
- 3. Coffee Grounds (Again)
- 4. Distilled Vinegar
- 5. Start A Composter
- 6. Eggshells
- 7. DIY Watering Can
- 8. Cinnamon
- 9. Wooden Palettes
- 10. Newspaper
- 11. Wine Bottles
- 12. Recycle Cooking Water
- 13. Plant Forks
- 14. Coffee Filters
- 15. Epsom Salt
- Eight quick tips on spring gardening hacks!
- Amazing and easy gardening hacks anyone with a garden should know
- 13 garden hacks from the experts
- 1. Aerate your garden
- 2. Enrich soils with coffee grounds
- 3. Put egg shells to good use
- 4. Epsom salt is good for you and your tomatoes
- 5. There's an easy way to foil crawling insects
- 6. Keep pots moist with wick watering
- 7. Have compost piles pull double duty
- 8. Make your own insecticidal soap
- 9. Make a garlic-based insecticide
- 10. Try a baking soda solution for fungal diseases
- 11. Don't let a late frost leave you feeling blue
- 12. Share your cola with your azaleas
- 13. Grow your tomatoes in cinder blocks
15 Gardening Hacks That Will Trick Everyone Into Thinking You Have A Green Thumb
source: A Garden For The House / Cook'n
If you aren’t the most seasoned gardener (or even if you are!), you’re ly in search of some tips to make the whole process a little easier for you. Growing and maintaining a beautiful garden takes time and effort. So if you could learn some hacks to keep pests away, help your flowers to grow, and keep weeds from taking over, why wouldn’t you?!
Take a read through these 15 hacks to help your garden be the best that it can be this summer!
1. Plant Herbs
source: The Tao Of Tea / Wikimedia
Not only are herbs amazing for use in the kitchen, but certain varieties will also help to keep pests away. Plant herbs bay leaves, lemon balm, thyme, and fennel to deter flies, mosquitoes, aphids, and other bugs from your garden.
2. Coffee Grounds
source: Gardening Soul
If you drink coffee, you might be surprised to learn that your used coffee grounds can be sprinkled in your garden to keep pests out. All you have to do is sprinkle them around your flowers and in the soil!
3. Coffee Grounds (Again)
source: Breast Cancer Authority
Speaking of coffee grounds, in addition to deterring pests, coffee grounds also act as a natural fertilizer. You’ll never throw out your used coffee grounds again now that you know these hacks!
4. Distilled Vinegar
source: Healthy Food House / Cook’n
If you want to kill off those weeds without using a harsh, chemical-filled pesticide, just use distilled vinegar instead. Just pour the vinegar directly on the weeds and they should stop growing without killing the other flowers in your garden.
5. Start A Composter
Having a composter not only helps to eliminate food waste, but it will also help your garden to flourish. Instead of tossing away any fruit, veggies, coffee grounds, or eggshells, invest in a compost bin that you can sprinkle on your garden as fertilizer once the food breaks down.
source: Pinoy Health and Beauty / The Chic Site
Speaking of eggshells, don’t throw yours out! Sprinkling eggshells throughout your garden will help to fertilize the soil, and it will also deter pests slugs from eating your plants.
7. DIY Watering Can
source: Simply Frugal
Before you recycle those old milk jugs and pop bottles, why not get the most use them? Big pop bottles make for great watering cans when it comes to hanging baskets and planters, and poking a few holes into the lid of a milk jug will get you the perfect watering can.
source: /Gardening at Douentza
Cinnamon isn’t just useful in the kitchen. It actually has some anti-bacterial properties that make it great for preventing fungus and disease in your garden. Just sprinkle some cinnamon around your plants as a preventative measure against disease.
9. Wooden Palettes
source: New England Today
The uses for wooden palettes are pretty much endless. You can use an old palette to make perfectly spaced-out rows of vegetables, herbs, and other plants! Click here to find out how to make your own.
source: A Garden for the House
Once you’ve completed your first weeding of the spring, sprinkle your garden with fresh mulch, then put down newspaper. Sprinkle on a little water, and the degrading process has begun! Although this will look a little funny at first, the newspaper will eventually disappear and your weeds will be gone for good.
11. Wine Bottles
source: Frugal Upstate
If you have some empty wine bottles hanging around, why not use them in your garden? Simply fill a wine bottle with water and place it face-down in your planters. The soil will absorb the water as needed. This hack is especially useful if you’re going away for a weekend and don’t have anyone to water your plants.
12. Recycle Cooking Water
source: /Grig Stamate
Whenever you’re boiling a pot filled with water and vegetables, don’t just toss the water when you’re done with it. Wait until it cools down, then sprinkle it in your garden. The water will be packed with vitamins and nutrients that your plants will soak up.
13. Plant Forks
source: David Wolfe / Smart School House
If you have seedlings sprouting and don’t want your pets or other critters to stomp all over them, stick some plastic forks throughout the area. This won’t harm any animals, but it will dissuade them from trampling all over young flowers.
14. Coffee Filters
source: Fabulous Betty / Simply Diy 2
Before potting your plants, place a coffee filter on the bottom of each planter before adding soil. This will keep the water and dirt from leaking the planter and help the soil to retain moisture.
15. Epsom Salt
When transplanting flowers and plants, add a tablespoon of epsom salt to the bottom of the hole, then cover it with a thin layer of soil. This will help the plant from going into transplant shock and ultimately dying.
Eight quick tips on spring gardening hacks!
TaskEasy is all about saving you time and money so it may not come as a surprise that we want to share some of our favorite spring gardening hacks with you.
We love those clever little tricks that you can use to transform your garden into your own personal paradise. To make things even easier, most of these hacks involve everyday household items.
Chances are you have everything you need in your home already!
Combining eggshells and coffee grounds and mixing them into your soil as compost serves two purposes: it provides your soil with much needed nutrients and it prevents blossom-rot on fruiting vegetables. That’s a win-win!
Why not reuse those K-Cups after your morning cup of joe instead of just chucking them into the garbage? K-Cups have a little mesh strainer at the bottom of each container which makes them perfect because the water will drain through but the soil will stay put.
Simply remove grounds, add soil (you can mix some of the grounds in for extra nutrients), plant seed, cover with more soil, and water. We recommend covering your seed-starters with plastic wrap in order to block in the moisture.
Make sure to put your seed starters somewhere where there is sunlight and you should see your seeds sprout within just a few days.
Cold weather at night can kill little seedlings in your garden. Try covering them with the top half of a milk jug in order to create their own personal greenhouse.
Start by cutting off the bottom half of a milk jug and place over plant and push into the soil so that it stays put.
Remember, they will only need the protection when it’s cold so you’ll want to remove the milk jug when temperatures are above 40 degrees.
Maybe you’ve never thought about saving your cooking water but think about it, that water is loaded with nutrients.
Instead of dumping it, why not water your garden with it? By doing this, you’re giving your plants a little something extra to help them grow and stay healthy.
If you don’t plan on watering right away, just save it for the next time you’re watering. Also, let that water cool down, let’s not scald our plants!
This one is super simple but sometimes it’s all about the little things in life. Getting dirt under your nails is not ideal but it’s almost always bound to happen when you’re gardening. Try scratching a bar of soap before heading outside, the soap will prevent any dirt from getting under your nails and as an added bonus the washup is super easy.
Early spring is a great time to plant your roses because it’s still early enough and the weather is mild.
Here’s a trick for getting even healthier and more beautiful roses your rose cuttings — Plant them in potatoes! This may sound strange but it’s super simple.
Take your cut rose and push it into a small potato before planting it into your soil. The potato will help keep your rose moist in addition to regular watering.
Epsom salt has many healing uses for people but did you know that it can also benefit your garden? For one, it can act as a fertilizer for your garden and eliminate the need for chemicals. All you have to do is sprinkle it onto your soil in addition to your organic materials and it will help improve nutrient absorption. As an added bonus, it helps deter pests too!
Don’t have anybody to water your plants while gone for a few days? No problem. Here’s a solution that’s almost too easy to be true. All you need is some paper towels and a glass of water.
Take some paper towels, roll up as tight as you can, lay besides plants and leave the end in the glass of water. The paper towels will soak up the water and distribute evenly along the soil.
Just make sure that the end of the paper towel hits the bottom of your glass.
There you have it! Our goal here at TaskEasy is to make your life easier so we hope you find these hacks handy. Remember — if you are ever in need of help around your home and yard, we’re here for you.
Amazing and easy gardening hacks anyone with a garden should know
Gardening is a fine art, and often learning to get it right is a process of trial and error. However, there are top tips and tricks you can learn from professional gardeners – so, whether you want to stop slugs eating your plants, or learn how to keep your soil moist for longer, read on…
1. Coffee, grapefruit, eggshells, tea and beer all fend off snails and slugs
If your plants constantly fall victim to garden snails and slugs, these common household goods are a great (and eco-friendly) way to discourage them! According to Peter Burks, horticultural expert at Potter & Rest, coffee grounds deter slugs and snails.
Using grapefruit skins (cut in half and turned upside down) around your plants also helps keep slugs away from plants, according to Nicola Macnaughton of The Bonnie Gardener.
And, as slugs and snails don't rough territory, they can be deterred by using crushed eggshells around the bottom of precious plants, says plant advisor Jane Earty from Monkton Elm Garden & Pet Centre.
Another clever way to discourage slugs is with rooibos tea leaves. Katie Gilbert, founder of BloomBox Club advises breaking up a bag of tea and spreading the leaves around the plants base.
And finally, one sure-fire way to get rid of them is to create a beer trap – apparently slugs and snails can't resist it! Find a container (something a Philadelphia cheese carton or margarine tub), and bury it so the soil level is just below the top of the carton, then put beer in the carton.
'The slugs are attracted to the smell and they fall in and drown,' says award-winning garden designer Nikki Hollier. Rather unpleasant, but helpful advice nonetheless.
2. Grind eggshells into a powder and sprinkle in the garden for a calcium boost
Much humans, all plants need calcium for fresh growth. Calcium is important in plant development and processes and also helps reduce risk of plant diseases. 'It can reduce disease such as bitter pit in apples, and clubroot in brassicas,' says Peter. To give your plants a calcium boost, try feeding them eggshells – or even milk!
'Powdered eggshell is good for this, but it's best mixed in with potting compost before planting,' advises Jane. And apparently milk works just as well! 'Powdered milk can again be used in a potting mix for a good source of calcium,' she adds.
MORE: 5 TIPS FOR GROWING PERFECT ROSES
3. Baking soda can make home-grown tomatoes taste less tart
'Baking soda can make tomatoes sweeter – but only in tiny amounts as overdosing can poison the soil,' advises Jane.
4. Rotten cider helps wisteria grow
'Wisteria that refuses to flower should be treated by pouring rotten cider over its roots,' advises Barry Burrows, managing director at Bartholomew Landscaping. However unly this seems, he promises it has produced some remarkable results!
MORE: TOP TIPS TO STOP SLUGS AND SNAILS FROM EATING YOUR PLANTS
5. Coffee grounds, pine needles and mushrooms can change the colour of your hydrangeas
Hydrangeas are fascinating in that, un most other plants, the colour of their flowers can change dramatically – and it's all down to the pH level of the soil. If the soil is acidic, then the hydrangeas will turn blue, and when the soil is alkaline, then the hydrangeas will be pink!
'Add pine needles to make your soil more acidic and mushroom compost to make it more alkaline,' advises Nicola. And coffee comes in handy once again. 'Coffee, being acidic, will also alter the pH of the soil and so in turn (depending on volume used and the original pH of the soil) can turn the flowers blue,' explains Peter.
6. Lay nappies in your flower-pots to keep the soil moist for days
Going on holiday any time soon? A clever way to keep soil moist for days is by using a (clean) nappy. 'The granules used in nappies absorb a large amount of water and so will release this water to the pot or hanging basket as the plants need it', explains Peter.
MORE: 7 CHELSEA FLOWER SHOW GARDEN TRENDS YOU CAN REPLICATE AT HOME
7. Soak your seeds in warm water 24 hours before sowing
If you're planting seeds, it could be worth soaking them in warm water 24 hours before sowing. 'It is a method, for some species, of breaking seed dormancy. All seeds will need to absorb water before germination takes place, so soaking them will speed the germination process up in many plants,' explains Peter.
But it depends on the seed – 'Soaking large, hard seeds helps break down their outer coating (this especially applies to Sweet Peas), but small seeds do not need soaking,' says Plant Advisor Jane Earty. 'Not all seeds need to be soaked,' adds award winning garden designer Nikki Hollier. 'Some need to be put into refrigeration to imitate cold weather.'
MORE: HOW TO PLANT A JAPANESE INSPIRED GARDEN
8. Some sprigs, twigs and cuttings can grow a new plant on their own
Some plants will grow well from cuttings, particularly Cornus alba and lavender, explains Nicola. 'You will need to cut it in a specific way and use a good quality cuttings compost.
Beginners should consult a reliable gardening book if they want to do this as different plants will require different growing conditions and cuttings will need to be taken at different times of year if they are going to grow effectively,' she advises.
This time of year is great fro take cuttings to create more plants, says Nikki. 'When ginger starts growing (it’s a rhizome) you can pot that on and grow a ginger plant!', she says. You can also get more basil from your leftover store-bought cuttings – although it’s fairly labour intensive.
MORE: 5 REASONS GARDENING IS GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH
9. Plants can protect each other
Nasturtium has a reputation for keeping whitefly at bay, chives can prevent lightning strikes, and horseradish provides protection for potatoes from Colorado beetle, says Barry. 'Alliums, so often used for their stately plumes, are widely credited with suppression of red spider mites, so could be used in conjunction with many of the plants plagued with this tiny pest,' he adds.
10. Rice and nettles can be used to make your own plant feed / fertiliser.
You can cut nettles, put them in a bucket, add water and leave for a few days, then pour the liquid on your plants. Fill a bucket with nettles (remember to wear gloves!) and fill the bucket with water.
Cover with a stone to keep the nettles underwater and leave in a corner of the garden for two weeks, then empty out the nettles and keep the water, which can be used, watered down at a ratio of 20:1, on plants. It will provide an excellent source of nitrogen for leafy plants and vegetables such as kale and broccoli.
Another top tip for making your own plant feed: the next time you cook rice, keep the water to use as a natural fertiliser in the garden!
MORE: HOW TO HAVE YEAR-ROUND COLOUR IN YOUR GARDEN
11. Make your own compost
Making your own compost is easier than you may think. Use mixed layers of soft organic waste such as prunings and grass cuttings, and place in a big bin or pile at the back of your garden.
'Every six inches, sprinkle a layer of Garotta compost maker or add fresh farm yard manure, as these feed the microorganisms that break down the green waste – it will get hot as it does this and that sterilises it, meaning you get no smells!' says Peter.
Food waste also works well – raw veg scraps, eggshells, coffee granules, tea bags and even pet fur, just put it all in a compost heap (locate it away from any seating areas just in case it smells a little, or use Peter's tip) and add grass clippings and any annual weeds.
'Give the heap a good mix every few weeks and you should get some good compost in 12-18 months,' says Nicola.
12. Vodka can help flowers stay fresh longer
Vodka inhibits bacteria growth, so a few drops in a vase of water would help to keep the water clean for cut flowers, explains Jane.
A teaspoon of sugar can help too, as will pennies: the copper works as an acidifier and inhibits bacteria that way.
'Putting a copper coin in the bottom of a vase can help your tulips stand strong, rather than drooping around the vase,' explains Katie.
You can help roses and hydrangeas last longer by cutting the stem at an angle, and pour boiling water over the fresh cut ends and then putting them into the vase.
MORE: 10 WAYS TO MAKE THE MOST OF A SMALL GARDEN
This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io
13 garden hacks from the experts
As with all new procedures, test them out on just a few plants – and at your own risk! – before applying them to large sections of your garden.
If you have a hack we haven't listed, be sure to share it in the comments section.
1. Aerate your garden
Don't have a cordless drill? Aerate your lawn the old fashioned way with a gardening fork or a manual aerator. (Photo: Paul Maguire/Shutterstock)
Lawn care professionals recommend you aerate your lawn at least twice a year. Cultivated garden spaces would benefit from the same treatment. In the spring, before things wake up, take an auger bit on a cordless drill and puncture holes throughout the garden.
Back fill some of these holes with a grit such as expanded shale or a squeegee-sized gravel, an angular gravel that is smaller in particle size than pea gravel. Leave the other holes open as they will fill in naturally. Creating the holes will increase oxygen to the root zone.
This is especially important for Western native plants to improve their longevity and bloom.
Tip from Mike Bone, curator of the Steppe Collection at the Denver Botanic Gardens
2. Enrich soils with coffee grounds
Coffee grounds provide soil with nutrients that improve its quality. (Photo: ThamKC/Shutterstock)
Used coffee grounds are an excellent organic resource, providing nitrogen to compost piles and improving soil structure and tilth. Coffee grounds are about two percent nitrogen by volume and are not acidic — the acid in coffee is water-soluble, so the acid is mostly in your mug of coffee.
When adding coffee grounds to a compost pile, add leaves and grass clippings in equal amounts. When adding them to a static compost bin, add an equal amount of a carbon source, such as shredded paper or dry leaves. Mix all components together well.
Mix the grounds into the soil while still wet (when dry they will repel water) and add a nitrogen fertilizer at the same time. Adding nitrogen is important because coffee grounds encourage the growth of microorganisms in the soil, which use nitrogen for their growth and reproduction.
Anecdotal evidence suggests coffee grounds repel slugs and snails and attract earthworms, which greatly enrich garden soils.
Tip from Oregon State University Extension Service
3. Put egg shells to good use
Cracked egg shells make a natural slug deterrent. (Photo: ThamKC/Shutterstock)
If you have a problem with slugs in your garden, there's a simple and organic way to discourage them from feeding on your plants and vegetables. Place crushed egg shells around your plants.
There's no secret ingredient in the shells that slugs don't or a scientific reason behind this hack. Instead, there's a very practical reason to use the egg shell strategy: Slugs don't the sharp edges of the crushed shells.
In fact, the jagged edges will puncture their soft bodies and kill them. Slugs can cause unsightly damage to leaves and seedlings, especially in the parts of your garden that are shady and tend to stay moist.
They are particularly active after rains and in gardens that are watered well. They also are attracted to fruits and vegetables as they ripen. Slime trails are tell-tale evidence that slugs are present.
Tip from Amanda Bennett, manager of Display Gardens, Atlanta Botanical Garden
4. Epsom salt is good for you and your tomatoes
It's no secret that Epsom salt, which gets its name from a bitter saline spring at Epsom in Surrey, England, has health and beauty benefits when added to bath water.
A perhaps lesser-known use for the salt, which is not a salt at all but a naturally occurring combination of magnesium and sulfate, is in the garden. Adding Epsom salt in limited quantities to tomatoes helps the fruit develop better because magnesium and sulfate are key ingredients for plant growth.
Michael Arnold of Stone Avenue Nursery in Greenville, South Carolina, said he has heard adding Epsom salt around stressed plants will help them recover.
Tip from Amanda Bennett, manager of Display Gardens, Atlanta Botanical Garden
5. There's an easy way to foil crawling insects
If you have a problem with crawling insects in your vegetable garden, wrapping a collar of aluminum foil around tomatoes and squash can help ward off unwanted critters that want to munch on your goodies before you do.
As with the egg shell hack above, there's no science involved with this trick; it's just a practical tactic. Many crawling insects do not to cross metal, and, in this case, foil has the added benefit of being somewhat sharp. It also acts as a physical barrier.
For instance, if you put it on squash, the borer can't get to the base of the stem, which is where they would normally burrow in.
Tip from Amanda Bennett, manager of Display Gardens, Atlanta Botanical Garden
6. Keep pots moist with wick watering
If you're a plant collector or a small-space gardener who has a lot of pots, especially small pots of ornamental ferns and tropical plants that can die if the soil dries out too quickly, there's a way to keep their roots moist. Wick water them from old plastic food containers with lids or 2-liter plastic soda bottles using acrylic string or cord.
This watering method also can be used on larger pots if you're going on vacation for a short period. The idea is that the capillary action created by drawing water from a reservoir into the soil will maintain soil moisture at levels that will keep the plants happy.
Here's how it works (the video above is a little different, but the basic principles remain the same):
- For smaller pots (4 to 6 inches), use about an 8-inch length of acrylic string or yarn pushed up through the drainage hole in the bottom of the pot. At the time of planting, several inches of the string can be wound around the bottom of the pot. If the plant is already potted, the string can be pushed up through the drainage hole several inches with a pencil or crochet hook. The pot can then be placed right on top of the water container, resting on its lid, and the string should dangle through a small hole cut into the lid.
- Larger pots may need several lengths of string tied together or a larger synthetic cord to wick water up well. Old nylon hosiery or even strips of old T-shirts or polyester blankets can be used, too. For very large and heavy pots setting a 2-liter soda bottle or bucket next to the pot can work. All you have to do is dangle one end of the wick into your reservoir and push the other end into the soil of your pot.
Hint: Make sure that whatever string, cord or strip you use is already moistened with water so that water can be pulled by capillary action.
Tip from Brent Tucker, horticulturist of Seasonal Designs and Events at Powell Gardens, Kansas City's botanical garden
7. Have compost piles pull double duty
Hugelkultur gardens are essentially long-term compost piles of wood covered in soil. (Photo: Karen Blakeman/flickr)
Building a hugelkultur garden instead of a traditional raised bed can be an easy foray into the world of permaculture. A hugelkultur garden consists of mounds of rotting wood covered with soil. The more rotten the better when building this type of bed, but any level of decomposition can be used.
Essentially, you're building a long-term compost pile of wood covered in soil. Once your mound is built, you plant it just you would any other raised bed. Not only is a hugelkultur mound a great way to use your yard waste as a resource, but the best part is you're eliminating the need for constant irrigation.
The wood acts a sponge, absorbing moisture and releasing it slowly into the surrounding soil. It tends to stay moist, but not soggy, even in drought conditions.
Worried about watering your garden while you're on vacation? A hugelkultur mound watered before you leave will ly still have adequate moisture when you return a week (or more) later. You can even do this with large pots and planters.
Tip from Gabe Perry, horticulturist of Grounds & Natural Resources at Powell Gardens, Kansas City's botanical garden
8. Make your own insecticidal soap
Dissolve 1 teaspoon of liquid dish soap in 4 cups of water. Spray on plants infested with spider mites, whiteflies, aphids or thrips. Insecticidal soap is not a preventative.
It acts on contact and kills insects by suffocating or dehydrating them, which means that the solution must touch the pest to be effective. Another use for insecticidal soaps is to use them to wash honeydew, sooty mold and other debris from leaves.
Insecticidal soaps are considered among the safest pesticides because they are low in toxicity.
Tip from Montreal Botanical Garden
9. Make a garlic-based insecticide
It's important to make sure your DIY pesticide solutions are properly mixed and diluted. (Photo: Yuriy Rudyy/Shutterstock)
Place a clove of garlic in a blender and add 2 cups of water. Blend until smooth. Pour the liquid into a container, cover and let sit for 24 hours. Filter the solution through a cheese cloth or a strainer into a large container.
Dilute the garlic solution with 12 cups of water, and add one or two drops of insecticidal soap to help the mixture adhere to plant leaves. Garlic kills some insects by contact, which is why the dilution is necessary.
Dead insects are a warning that you haven't diluted that the solution enough (it can even kill the good bugs). It can be a preventative because the pungent odor of garlic repels a wide variety of insects.
Note: A clove is one section of the garlic bulb. When mixing the solution, be careful not to touch your eyes when handling the garlic as it can irritate them..
Tip from Montreal Botanical Garden
10. Try a baking soda solution for fungal diseases
Dissolve 1 teaspoon baking soda in 4 cups of water and add a few drops of liquid dish soap to make the mixture adhere to plant leaves. Spray the solution onto plants as a preventative against powdery mildew, rust and black spot. Repeat every 7 to 14 days or after a rain. The sodium bicarbonate properties of baking soda make it a natural fungicide.
Tip from Montreal Botanical Garden
11. Don't let a late frost leave you feeling blue
Here are three simple tricks to protect blueberries from a late frost.
- Water them well. Plants are less susceptible to frost damage if they are hydrated. Wet soil absorbs more heat during the day than dry soil and, thus, radiates out more heat at night.
- Cover the plant. Drape fabric all the way to the ground and anchor it with boards or rocks. This will capture the warmth released from the soil under the blanket and hold it around the plant. Do not gather the fabric around the trunk. This will have the opposite effect of forcing all the warmth from the soil to go out around the outside of the blanket. Be sure to remove the cover during the day.
- Trap heat near the plant. Place five 1-gallon buckets, or even milk jugs, full of water near enough to the plant that they can be under the frost cover. Water is a heat sink, radiating out heat at night that was absorbed during the day.
Tip from Lucy Bradley, extension specialist in urban horticulture at North Carolina State University
These last two tips fall under the category of “old wives tales” for gardeners.
12. Share your cola with your azaleas
Buy your azaleas a cola to improve their growth. (Photo: rlat/Shutterstock)
Pour 4 ounces of cola onto the soil at the base of your azaleas to boost plant performance. Supposedly any cola will work, so go for the less expensive stuff rather than a name brand.
What's the science behind this? Does it balance the pH and acidity of the soil for azaleas? Does the sugar in the cola feed microorganisms in the soil, increasing the organic matter in the soil? Can an audience member who is a chemist provide an answer?
Tip from Jamey Whitaker at Chelsea Gardens, Grayson, Georgia
13. Grow your tomatoes in cinder blocks
Place cinder blocks in your garden with the holes facing up. Plant a tomato in one hole, removing leaves that are beneath the top of the cinder block. Fill the hole with garden soil.
Fill half of the other hole with 10-10-10 fertilizer and fill the rest of that hole with garden soil. Thoroughly water each side. After that, just water the fertilizer side.
Then get ready for the biggest, heaviest-producing tomato plants you've ever grown!
Why would this work? Does the cinder block leach water and fertilizer into the root zone of the tomato since roots will grow from tomato stems buried beneath the surface of the soil? Does the cinder block add warmth to the root zone of the plant that's inside the cinder block? Is there a chemical compound in the cinder block that is beneficial to tomatoes? All of the above? Has anyone tried this who can offer answers?
Note: You may still need to stake the tomato plant or put a cage around it to support the sprawling plant, which is actually a vine. Determinate, or bush, tomato plants, which grow only to a certain height, depending on the variety, may not need support.
Indeterminate tomato plants, however, grow as vines and will continue growing and producing fruit until frost.
These tomato plants will definitely need support to keep them from running along the ground where the fruit would be susceptible to rot or being eaten by rodents.
Tip from Jamey Whitaker at Chelsea Gardens, Grayson, Georgia