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Tips for Gardeners



Outdoors
 Disposable aluminum roasting pans make great containers for starting  
   seeds indoors. Cover with plastic wrap until the seeds sprout.
Poke holes in a bag of fertilized soil and place seeds in the holes.
   Transplant seedlings when they are  ready and discard the bag.
Use golf tees to mark spots to plant bulbs. You can mow over them.
Before sowing fine seeds in your garden, mix them with a little talcum
   powder so you can evenly distribute them.
Mark inches on your garden trowel with red nail polish so you can plant   
   seeds and bulbs the proper depth.
To mark seed rows, put planting date on empty seed packet and insert
   into clear soda bottle and stick bottle neck down into ground.
Tomatoes: To prevent blossom end rot, add 2 or 3 tablespoons Epsom
   Salt per plant hole before planting. Each month, sprinkle a tablespoon    
   around the base of each plant and scratch into the soil.

Lawn Care
Spray lawn mower blades with vegetable oil so cut grass won't stick.
Use salt to kill weeds in the lawn or in the cracks of your sidewalk. Let
   the salt sit for a few minutes, then pour hot water over it.
Spray the whole lawn with a mixture of ½ cup children’s shampoo per   
   20 gallons of water.
Apply any kind of liquid weed killer, but ONLY to the weeds. Use a 20-
   gallon hose-end sprayer. One with an on/off button would be best so
   you can go from weed to weed without getting the weed killer on grass
   or other plants. Later on, spot treat the weeds with a mixture of 3
   tablespoons white vinegar and one pint warm water. Squirt from a
   spray bottle.  

For nicer lawn: Mix 1 cup Epsom salt, 1 cup Listerine, 1 cup liquid soap, 1 cup ammonia, 2 cans of  beer. Use 1 quart of mixture for every 2500 square feet of lawn. Apply using a hose and spray  attachment.

Summer Lawn Food:
   Feed every 3 weeks through the summer. Every third “feeding”, throw ½ cup clear corn syrup or molasses into the mixture. Mix together 1 can beer, 1 cup children's shampoo, and ammonia to fill the  jar of a 20 gallon hose-fed sprayer.

A lawn needs one inch of water a week to stay healthy. Water in the morning or evening so the heat of  the sun won't evaporate the water before it is able to do its work.

Natural Pest Control Liquid
For the base:
1 head of garlic
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
1 cup water
For the pest control liquid:
2 tablespoons base mixture (above)
½ teaspoon liquid dish soap
2 cups water
   Make the base: Remove the garlic cloves from the head. Removing the peel is not necessary. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, and 1 cup of water to a blender and blend until it forms a wet paste. Pour the mixture through a fine sieve to remove any small from the mixture. The remaining liquid is the “base”.
   To make a batch of insecticide: Mix 2 tablespoons of the base mixture, with ½ teaspoon liquid dish soap and 2 cups water. Put it in squirt bottle and spray.
   This mixture will also deter rabbits and deer.

Make Decorative Garden Stones
What you need:
12" round plastic flower pot drain tray works the best
Cooking spray oil
Quick drying concrete
Glass beads, broken tile, shells, decorative stones or rocks
   Spray the inside of the tray with cooking oil. Prepare the concrete using the directions given on the package. Pour the mix into the tray. Decorate. You can write out your initial, or make random designs to suit your taste and style. Or place hand and foot prints in the concrete and decorate around them. Let the stone dry overnight and remove from the tray when it is completely dry. Place in your garden.






Random Hints
To entice butterflies and bees to your garden, plant oregano, catnip and
   hollyhock.
An old wheel barrow makes and interesting flower planter. Drill a few
   holes for drainage, if needed.  Rust holes work just as well.
Wastebaskets make inexpensive and attractive outdoor planters. Cut out
   a drainage hole in the bottom  and add a small  layer of stones to help
   with drainage.
Plants love the nitrogen in coffee grounds. Add coffee grounds to your
   compost or add to flower beds.  Pour left over coffee on roses or  
   azaleas.
Dissolve an aspirin in a quart of water and use in your garden or flower
   beds to help plant resist diseases.

Indoors
Make mini-greenhouses from plastic milk jugs with the bottoms cut off.
   Leave cap off for ventilation.
To check if your plant in a clay pot needs water, tap your fingernail on
   the side. A thud means plant is okay. A ringing sound means it needs
   water.
Every time you water your potted plants, rotate the pot a quarter turn.
   This will encourage new growth  to come up evenly and your plants
   won't lean towards the sun.
Rub mayonnaise on the leaves of your houseplants to clean them, or
   clean the leaves with a rag dipped in milk.
Once a month, water your houseplants with weak tea to help balance the
   acidity in the soil.
When you go on vacation, punch a few small holes in plastic bags, one
   for each plant. Enclose each plant in a bag and fasten with a twist tie
   after watering. Plants will stay moist for a couple of  weeks.
Force Bloom Bulbs: buy bulbs from your local garden center. Arrange
   them as close together as possible in a shallow bowl or dish, filling it
   completely. Add water just to touch the bottom of the bulbs and
   maintain that water level at all times. When roots start growing, add a
   small amount of plant food to the water. Soon there will be blooms.
Some ways to keep cats out of houseplants:
   Sprinkle a heavy coating of pepper on the soil.
   Place pine cones around the plants
   Place a few yards of adhesive backed paper, sticky side up, on the
   surfaces where you put your houseplants. Once the cat learns to avoid      the area, remove the paper.

Fertilizers
If you have an ill plant, once month adding to tablespoons of maple syrup to the base of it.

My roommate in the Navy was given a plant. She had it on the window sill and it fell, three stories down. She added one of her Geritol tablets to the soil, after she rescued and replanted the plant. It revived beautifully!

Dilute one part beer to two parts water. Add to the soil of azaleas and ornamental bushes to help enrich the soil.

Sprinkle Epsom Salts around the base of plants to enhance the blossoms. 

Add cereal crumbs to the soil in flower boxes or around your garden plants. The sugar feeds the microorganisms and adds nitrogen. The cereal adds other nutrients.

Add used tea bags around plants. Cover with dirt or mulch. Each time you water the plant, nutrients from the tea will seep into the roots of your plants.


I add my coffee grounds to my plants for added nutrients


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