Tips from a Gardener’s Garden

Cover Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

As a kid, every time we had fresh fish for dinner, my mom would have me bury the unused fish head by her roses. She said it was good for them. I never questioned her, I just dug a hole and threw the fish head in. Her roses were always healthy and bloomed profusely so it obviously worked. Of course, what I didn’t know at the time is that the fish head was a natural fertilizer and nothing really “magic” was going on.

This got me to thinking of other gardening tips that have been passed down by a family member, a neighbor or just the local busybody. Many of the tips I have tried and continue to use, others I tried once and wasn’t impressed with the results, others just haven’t tried yet and then there are a few I’m just too afraid to! Feel free to try these tips from a gardener’s garden!

Gardener Tested and Approved

Aphid Control

After washing the dishes I will collect the soapy water and pour it out over the leaves of the effected plant (usually my roses). This seems to work well and I don’t have to do it more than once or twice a season.

Slug Control

I fill a pie tin with beer and place the tin so it is at soil level (so it may require a little bit of soil removal). I fill the pie tin with beer (cheap) at night (that way I don’t have to worry about children or pets getting into it) and by morning there is an abundance of drowned slugs. Just dump the beer and slugs and do it again as needed.

Preventing Cat Waste

To keep cats from using your flower beds as a litter box, toss citrus peels around the beds, they tend avoid the peels.

Rose Food

I will pour any leftover coffee (cooled) at the base of my roses. They bloom on a steady basis. I put the coffee grounds and filter either in my compost or add them to my worm bin.

Bird Prevention

I hang blank (or old) CD’s from trees and other structures around my vegetable garden, berry bushes and fruit trees. The discs’ reflections in the light discourage birds.

Treating Black Spots on Plants

I’ll mix a 1/2 cup of baking soda with 4 gallons of water and spray the plant.

1/10; Would Not Recommend

Man giving a thumbs down
Photo by Daniel Páscoa on Unsplash
  • Adding pennies to a bird bath to discourage algae growth. Simply didn’t work!
  • Vinegar as a weed killer. Spraying weeds with white vinegar is supposed to kill them. Didn’t happen. I did read though, it works better on younger weeds. Haven’t tried that, probably won’t.

Untested, But Promising

  • Adding crushed eggshells to the hole a tomato plant’s going in. This is supposed to help with blossom rot.
  • Spraying plants affected with powdery mildew with 1 part milk to 9 parts water mixture.
  • Adding mouthwash to the water you are placing fresh cut flowers in. It’s supposed to feed the flowers while in the water so the blooms last longer.
  • Pouring boiling water over weeds. Keep in mind that the hot water could harm other plants nearby, so be wise where you pour it.

Hard Pass

  • Making an Epsom salt spray and using it to kill weeds. It just seems it wouldn’t be good for the surrounding areas to have all that salt seeping into the soil.
  • Pouring boiling hot water on a fire ant hill!

So use the advice/tips you are given with wisdom, if it makes sense then try it, but if it seems a bit off the wall, you might think again (or throw caution to the wind and try it anyway).

Who knows, it might not be so crazy after all? Let us know in the comments some off-the-wall things you’ve tried in your garden.

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