Tips From Past Posts

Every week I try to post a new tip for gardening. Instead of deleting them I am now going to add them to this page. Hopefully I figure a way to organize them as well!

Get Creative About Watering Your Gardens
1) Have a rain barrel? Keep you barrel free of mosquitoes by adding some cooking oil. The oil will keep any larvae from hatching.
2) Don't just throw away that milk carton: fill it half way with water and swish around, your houseplants will love the extra boost of nutrients, especially African Violets.
3) Treat plants to aquarium water. The water you empty out of your aquarium is rich in nitrogen and phosphorous, minerals plants love.
4) New life for a leaky hose. Transform a leaky garden hose into a multipurpose soaker hose. Simply puncture the underside of the hose at regular intervals with a hot ice pick. Lay it down, pinpricks down, in your garden with a plastic end cap, the other end connected to your new hose. Cover with mulch, turn the tap on, water should drip out of the small hose and thoroughly soak your flower beds.
5) Direct rainwater where it is needed. Dig a trench, about a foot deep, around beds closest to your house and line with gravel. Cut a length of 4 inch pipe long enough to reach from the downspout to your trench. In the trench, lay down a slotted or punctured pipe covering it with dirt. Attach the downspout extension to your slotted pipe and viola! You have a simple, but effective, watering system. The rain from your roof will run down the spout, through the extension, and out the slotted pipe into your beds.
6) A perfect slow release system: Using unglazed terra-cotta pots with no drainage holes dig a hole about 20% bigger than the pot. Fill the hole partially with manure, then sink the pot in up to its neck in the center and fill with water. The pot will "sweat" and provide a steady supply of fertilized water to nearby plants.
7) Rain Barrels: One inch of rain can yield up to 625 gallons of water running off a 1,000 square foot roof, enough to fill 50 rain barrels. If possible put the barrel in a shady spot to help keep algae under control. Elevate the barrel 3-4 feet above ground so that when you attach a soaker hose, gravity will do the work for you. To help keep debris out of you rain barrel, cover the end off the downspout with the toe end of a pair of pantyhose and/or cover with a piece of wire mesh. Remember to clean out after major rain storms.
8) Rain Chains: Use this natural motion of liquid to your advantage. Suspend a smooth, sleek, rope or chain from your roof and direct it to your favorite plant. Water that falls on the roof will race down the rope to water the plant. The Japanese refined this idea and invented complex and beautiful chains that hang off their cornices-some that are still in use today.

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