Start Bell Pepper Plants EarlyTo ensure a good crop of bell peppers, it is important to remember that they require a long growing season. You can start the seed now (2/25)
Circle Plant TrellisDo you have plants that need a trellis? You can make 4 circle trellises for just ~ 25 cents each, versus paying over $10 for one. Here's a quick, easy & inexpensive tutorial on how to make a circle trellis (for my Hoya plant).
Ecological Ways to Drive Moles Out of the GardenAlthough moles don't eat plants, they can damage the roots of plants and lead to their decay by digging numerous canals in the ground. There are many natural ways you can drive moles out of your garden. These are some of them.
Crafty Pea TrellisI'm a fan of sugar snap and snow peas. I've seen all sorts of trellises for vining plants like these. Most are some variation of cedar lattice or pipes and wires. I wanted something I could compost with the leaf matter at the end of the season. With a very few durable pieces I could disassemble and reuse. I came up with this design based on what I had in my garage and scrap wood pile.
Open Bag Garden Items Are 50% OffAt Home Depot - I know for wood if there is a defect and it'll be marked with the specific color for discount, but I didn't know that on open bagged items you get 50% off.
DeKay's SnakeWhen you are digging in your flowers and grassy areas, you may run into this little fellow. It is a DeKay snake and quite harmless and appears to not mind being held, although, I don't want to hold it. I just take pictures.
How to Hand Pollinate PassionfruitPassion fruit is very easy to grow. If you have a family member, friend, neighbor, or co-worker who has passion fruit save yourself $30, ask for some passionfruit cuttings. Hydrate the cuttings in water and plant in soil (preferable against the fence, wall, patio) so there is room for the passionfruit plant to crawl on, or an area where you could put a trellis up.
New Plantings and Garden FlowersLast year my grandson and I cut down several forsythia shrubs along the northern edge of the side yard. The stumps still need to dealt with. This year I have focused on planting two lilac bushes further into the yard to ultimately help reestablish a green border between my yard and my neighbor's. There will also be a native mock orange placed along this same line, soon.
Toilet Paper Rolls for SeedlingsI had been saving all sorts of toilet paper rolls - I think mainly it was a habit from when we used to have a fireplace. This spring when I decided to start my seedlings I realized I could make life a lot easier for myself if I just started the seeds in the toilet paper rolls!
Cause of Multiple Sunflowers at the Top of a Single Stalk?I planted mammoth sunflower seeds and they turned out spectacular. The last few remaining blooms are on their last stages and I have one where the stalk's upper portion is enlarged and currently supporting 5 heads of flowers. Two are only 3/4 the size of the big ones and are opposite of each other. The 3 smaller ones are on top as the pictures show.
Beware of Poison Ivy and Poison OakI learned something new. My daughter and I took a stroll on a farm path down by the woods. As we were walking, I noticed a tree that had a limb, about head high, that was filled with pretty leaves with small white clusters of flowers.
Used Tea Bag to Sprout SeedsRemove the staple and string and snip a tiny hole in your used tea bags and place your seeds inside. Keep moist and in a few days your seed will sprout. From there, you can place in a small pot or directly into your garden. No need to remove the bag. It will protect the young root from any disturbance and pests and break down naturally.
Recycled Wheelbarrow Herb GardenWe've seen that people are making gardens, especially now. My tip is to recycle an old wheelbarrow into a lovely and useful herb garden. There is no weeding and many herbs are perennials. My husband was about to trash his old wheelbarrow and I turned it into a herb garden. Now I just go out the door and snip whatever I need for cooking or to dry.
Now Is the Time for a Victory GardenWith all the extra time spent at home and uncertainty with COVID-19, now is the perfect time to be planting a victory garden.
Vertical Gardening in PotsAt the beginning of the season I select one plant of each type at a nearby nursery. I cut off each stem about an inch from the bottom. I cut all but the top 2 leaves off of each stem and place the stems in various sized jars of water to root. In a week or two the roots grow long enough to plant them in pots. By this time the original plants have grown up once again and are blooming.
Protection from the Birds and the SunWe added a conduit metal frame with side "curtains" and a "roof" to our grow box to prevent birds from attacking our plants and to prevent the sun from attacking our plants. It works well here in sunny Arizona where temperatures get up to 115 to 120 degrees in the summer.
Spilling Wheelbarrow Garden PlanterHere is a "spilling wheelbarrow" I made, using coleus. It was easy to make and can be used for years.
Turnip Blooms Attracting Honey BeesI'm glad we left the turnip salad in the garden. It is in full bloom now and on the warm days, the honey bees are loving it.
Grow New African Violets and Succulents from CuttingsI have seen these tips on the internet, and had not had a chance to try it till now. A friend gave me one African violet leaf after my AV had sadly died because I didn't understand how to keep it happy. Another friend gave me a sage plant leaf.
Succulent Plant StarterThis is a great way to always have succulent plants available for your craft projects and decorations around your home. We all love to decorate and grow succulent plants these days. When we cut our plants there are always leaves that need to be removed. Don't throw them away. Make this easy succulent plant starter and within a few days you can plant those leaves to start growing new plants.
Using Old Sinks As PlantersOne way to recycle old sinks from your bathroom or kitchen is to use them in your garden to plant succulents in. These sinks make a great border around your garden and add to the look of the garden. Succulent plants don't need much water. It is easy to use the sink and they have a drainage system. Just dig a hole in the ground and place the sink and the drainage pipe in the hold.
Use Faux Flower Stems to Support Live PlantsDo you have fake flower stems? Do not throw them away, they are very useful as stem support!
Always Have Hope - Rescued PlantI rescued this plant from someone who was going to "trash it" after its first blooming. The plant was almost dead when I got it last year. I'm always trying to save things that other people have given up on or abandoned. After a summer of good care, this is the reward I got this fall.
Recycle Plastic Tubs to Hold CuttingsI recycle margarine and ice cream tubs and use them to put my cuttings in. They will hold around four or five small pots. They are easy to transport and catch the drips when watering.
Easy Tree Limb Clean UpI decided to do a little tree trimming in my yard and once I got finished I had a whole lot of limbs in several areas of my yard. It was going to take several trips to get them all moved to my dump pile. In the past I would have dragged a handful of limbs (all that I could get in one hand) to my dump site.
Bamboo Garden GateI live on a small island in the South Pacific, where everything is imported. We do not have a large variety of items to choose from. Years ago when we wanted to put a gate up all we had to choose from was a metal gate. The gate has been up for over 20 years now and is looking shabby and worn.
Use Old Storage Racks In Your GardenEveryone has old shelves and racks that they have bought to use in their garage. From time to time the racks get old and you replace them with new ones. Instead of throwing them away use them in your garden. The racks in the garden will give you more space for your plants. You can arrange the racks at the back of your garden next to the fence. This way you have plenty of room to add your plants.
Dressing Up Your Garden With RibbonIf you want to add a little fall color to your garden on a budget, fall wire ribbon goes a long way! You can purchase it at the dollar store or many craft stores. Along with ribbon you can add fall picks that are sold at the same location. This gives a festive fall look that will carry through the Thanksgiving season. So simple, here's how!
Hide the Plant Saucer Inside the PotNot a fan of plant saucers? No problem, you can hide the saucer inside the pot! Here's a free way of making a saucer. Using any sturdy container that will fit inside your pot, like for me - a greek yogurt container. Then cut the yogurt container down. Place yogurt container inside and you're done.
Cable Ties for Supporting PlantsWhen garden plants start to produce, they need extra support. Cable ties are great. They come in many sizes and are inexpensive. You can tie them to a plant stake, another part of the plant, or a fence. At the end of the season, just cut them and dispose of.
Yellow Sticky Traps for Flying InsectsI have many household plants throughout my home. I used indoor soil for these plants and didn't think there would be any flying insects. My friend introduced me to these yellow sticky traps (she actually gave me a handful). They are rather large double sided sticky traps so I cut them down in smaller pieces and placed them into my potted plants. A few hours later, the traps are already working!
Protecting Delicate Blooms from Summer HeatDuring these massive heat waves, don't let your flowers wilt and die. Use a patio umbrella to protect them. My spider lilies were wilted and dying from 103 heat (1st picture bottom left.) I gave them some extra water and used a patio umbrella to protect them and it brought them back to their beauty.
How to Make a Plant TerrariumHere are my step by step instructions on how to make a plant terrarium with no drainage. Plant terrariums with no drainage require little maintenance - you only need to water every 2 to 3 weeks, or when needed.
Floating Flower Bed for the HummingbirdsWe don't have much area to plant flowers in our yard as it's mostly concrete everywhere and an in-ground pool, so we had an idea for our backyard hummingbirds. That was to give them some real nectar, from real flowers.
New Retaining Wall and Early PlantingsDuring the summer of 2018 we added a second tier retaining wall to our front yard. It improved the existing steep slope that was mostly useless, as it was difficult to water and slippery to try and weed.
PVC Pipe as Garden Support/StakeNeed a garden support/stake for your fruit trees, plants, or garden flowers? An inexpensive alternative from trellis and garden stakes is using PVC pipes! They are extremely inexpensive, averaging out to be $2-3 each depending on the pipe you go with.
DIY Wooden Raised Garden BedWe would love to have a garden in our backyard, but supposedly there are gophers. We decided on having a raised garden bed and after looking at the costs of already built raised garden beds and ready to purchase and install yourself garden beds, they were definitely out of our budget!
Propagating Lemongrass in a Plastic BottleHave an empty plastic water bottle? You can cut the plastic bottom down to size and propagate your choice of plant. I like this method because I'm able to see the roots grow and ensure it'll be successful instead of planting directly into soil.
Making Simple Suet CakesWe always pour the oils collected from our (George Foreman) grill into a tin can, add bird seed (dusted in a little wheat flour or ground oatmeal) and leave it cool down (or freeze) and then place in our suet feeders.
Making a Strawberry Planter from a Laundry BasketEven if you purchase everything new, this is not an expensive project. I found the laundry basket at the curb, got the potting soil and burlap on sale, and traded plants with a neighbor.
Increasing Humidity for Newly Potted HouseplantsTo increase humidity, you can use a plastic bag and skewer. The skewer is used to hold the bag up without touching the leaves. If the plastic touches the leaves, it could cause damage to the plant. The plant was being propagated in water and moved into soil. To help the transition into soil, I placed the plant under a plastic bag for up to 2 weeks to increase humidity.
Growing Passionfruit from CuttingsPlace passionfruit cuttings into water to revive the cutting before planting in the ground. You would want to place passionfruit cuttings in water for a couple of days until the cuttings are less limp and more firm.
Use a Plastic Plate Instead of Flower Pot SaucersAre your looking for a budget friendly alternative to pot saucers? Think plastic kid's plate! I recently was gifted this Castanospermum australe "Lucky Bean Plant". The cheapest saucers from Home Depot were 80 cents (very thin plastic) to $2.68 (still somewhat thin plastic) so I held off on purchasing a saucer.
Use Spray Paint to Have a Choice in Planter ColorsI love pastels! The one problem I have is I cannot find planters in pastel colors. I can find white ones that sometimes work. While out looking for inexpensive planters I found the size and price that I loved. One problem, the color only came in black! Here's how I transformed them to more of a shabby chic look, just by using spray paint.
Using Flower Trays As Seedling PlantersAt your garden center they often have discarded flower trays and pots that are free for the asking.These trays are great for seed starting for all season long plantings. They have sections that are perfect for keeping them separate, without extra cost.
Robin's NestOur spring cleaning and repairs were temporarily interrupted when we discovered two robins making a nest outside our back door. They found our light fixture to be the perfect place. They got all sorts of material to make the base of the nest, including some shredded pieces of tarp that my son missed when cleaning up.
Thrifty Vertical Planter WallI was inspired by the beautiful succulent decor walls at my local malls and stores. I wanted my own mini version in my backyard. However, upon research I found that vertical planters are so expensive!
Starting Tomatoes in Coffee CansWhen starting tomato plants, I cut the bottom off of an empty Folger's coffee can. Then I poke some drain holes in the lid, put the lid on, and turn the can upside down. I fill the new pot with soil and plant my tomatoes. When they are ready to go into the garden I just take the lid off the bottom and the plant slides right out.
Make a Little Hothouse for Early TomatoesI'm sharing this tip now so if you like, you will have time to make a little hot house for your tomato plant. It can help to produce tomatoes a month early.
Pot Drainage from Garlic MeshInstead of spending money on mesh netting for flower pot drainage, you can make your own for free with general items you probably already purchase.
Cereal Treats for Backyard BirdsI love helping the critters eat. Today, this is the best craft to do with the kids. You don't need but two or three items and you are set.
Recycled Lanterns As PlantersI found 2 lanterns in great shape at a thrift store for pennies! I wanted to transform these beauties into something other than lighting - planters! Although you find a lot of them are in black, I will transform them into a softer look.
Homemade Compost - The Natural Way To Green GardeningOur neighbors think we are very odd people when we save grass clippings, leaves, discarded fruit and veggie peels, and now shredded newspaper clippings.
Dividing Potted PlantsWhen your plant is getting tight in the pot (or when you purchase a plant like this one), you can easily get more plants by separating into more pots. This will allow room for your plants to grow, or is a great way to give some plants away as gifts.
Squirrel Scare ToolFrom my kitchen window, I enjoy watching the birds at our bird feeders. However I can't keep a lot of food in the feeders because of squirrels. In the cold months, early in the morning, I'll put out just enough seed to last through the day.
Free Flower Pots at Lowe's Garden CenterSome garden centers like Home Depot or Lowe's have a rack for free pots. If they don't, you can ask if they have any free pots you can have. What's awesome is once in a while you may stumble across a nice ceramic, clay pot too!
Rubbing Alcohol for Mealy Bugs in a Succulent GardenKeeping a spray bottle with rubbing alcohol is convenient and can be used to get rid of mealy bugs on succulent plants! Rubbing alcohol is inexpensive and succulent safe while also getting the job done by getting rid of mealy bugs!
Make a Bicycle PlanterSome months of the year, the garden looks extra dull and brown, especially with our California droughts. My next door neighbour left a bicycle outside with a "Free to take" sign on it. It was absolutely trashed. I removed as much rust as I could, and with a little spray paint...
Using Bird Feeders for HouseplantsI picked up two inexpensive wooden bird feeders that were actually a little broken in a local department store for $1 each. I decided to use them inside my house to hold some hanging plants. I bring in a number of herbs for the winter and so window and plant space becomes an issue for me in the winter.
Saving Tomato SeedsHere is another way to save tomato seeds for next season.
Succulent WreathThis is a beautiful outdoor succulent wreath that can be hung on your front door or in your backyard. Just a few supplies and you can have yourself a lovely succulent wreath!
Use a Baby Pool to Cleanup Yard DebrisI trimmed some low lying limbs on our pecan tree and thought about Hurricane Florence that is predicted to bring devastation to North Carolina and South Carolina. There is going to be a mess of debris left to clean up.
Paint a Flower Pot Saucer that Doesn't Match PotFlower pots and saucers are sold separately. I knew I had a saucer at home so I didn't buy a new one. When I went home, the saucer didn't match the pot. You can revamp the saucer with a little bit of paint and it pairs nicely with the accents of the pot. I was able to save the $1-2 on a saucer, and use an existing one.
Protect Ripening Fruit with NewspaperIn our yard, we have been experiencing more wild animals lately (i.e.: birds, rats, rabbits, etc.) especially since our yard is near a canyon. These animals are eating our fruit! It is quite frustrating watering these fruit trees, watching the fruit grow, and then finding them eaten/ruined.
DIY Moat to Keep Ants Out of Hummingbird FeederMake a plastic cap moat to keep the ants from getting into your hummingbird feeders.
Using A Coffee Container As An Indoor or Outdoor PlanterBecause we drink a lot of coffee, we often have so many left over containers. I have given these sturdy and decorative containers a new life while helping with the land fill. I use them as planters for myself, friends, and family.
Growing Celery From Kitchen ScrapsWhen you are finished with the bunch of celery, put it in a glass of water to root. Then put it in a pot with potting soil. When it gets bigger plant in the ground. Water it regularly and you will have celery.
DIY Green Onion GardenI love having a never-ending green onion garden, especially on the cheap. I recently got a huge bag of green onions at the shop for 50 cents. Some of them were starting to wilt at the tips. I used the dark green parts in some recipes, and soaked the roots in some water overnight. I then planted them.
Mr. Red (Hummingbird)This is one of our favorite hummingbirds, Mr Red, because he's the friendliest little guy of all the hummingbirds, I've ever seen.
A Big Bug? No a Hummingbird!I was sitting outside hand feeding my favorite squirrel. This usually keeps her out of my bird-feeder when I heard this thump and felt something hit the side of my leg. Looking down I thought, WOW, what a huge bug. I reached down to pick it up and throw it into the grass when I realized it was a hummingbird.
Clean Lines For Small LawnI have a good sized piece of property. As I get older, it seems to get even larger when it comes time to mow it with a push mower. Doc says the exercise is good for me. But then, he ain't the one doing the pushing.
Grow a Rose Cutting in a PotatoIf you have a rosebush that's doing well and want to grow more from it, or give some as a gift, it's a good idea to propagate a cutting from that bush inside of a potato. Potatoes have a good amount of moisture and nutrients for a new cutting to develop from.
Shop Specifically For Plant BargainsA Tightwad Grows Flowers: Someone said I was so tight, I squeaked when I walked. So tight, I squeezed a nickel til the buffalo bellowed. Say what they will, when it comes to buying flowers, being miserly certainly has it's advantages.
Euonymus As Foundation PlantingI did a previous post on using Euonymus fortunei Emerald Gaiety as a foundation planting. My last picture in the post left you looking at some tiny Euonymus plants I had rooted. It also showed a dead Bermuda lawn. (I killed it).
Planting Seed in the GardenThis is a new version of a pipe for planting seed in the garden. The old version of my idea was posted last year on May 3rd.
Save Soil if Planting SucculentsSucculents have shallow roots and do not require much soil. You can fill a giant pot with other items like cartons, planters, containers, etc. to save soil.
Potting ShedThis is a potting shed I made. It had a re-purposed wood ceiling. Re-purposed granite top tables made out of 2x4 and 4x4 outdoor wood and re-purposed shelving with a lattice back.
File Flower Seeds to Help SproutingYou can file the flower seed a little bit to help germinate the seed if there is a thick coating like this, nasturtium. By filing down, it'll help the water absorb. I soaked the seeds 24 hours prior then planted in soil.
Toilet Paper Tubes for SeedlingsToilet paper tubes make excellent biodegradable plant pots for seedlings. All you need are the tubes and a pair of scissors. Make four cuts about an inch long at one end and fold them in. There should be a small hole for drainage. Fill with compost and sow seeds or plant a seedling.
Testing Bargain Camellias (And Other Plants)The above picture is of a new variety of camellia. If I am correct, it is one of a series called 'October Magic', this particular variety being named 'Orchid'.
Most camellias bloom late winter to early spring.This plant is said to bloom in fall, at a time when there is little else in bloom. I like that.
Growing HyssopHyssop is a low growing evergreen shrub with a strong slightly musky odor and stalks of white, pink, or lavender flowers. It is grown as a low hedge, but also has medicinal and culinary uses. This is a page about growing hyssop.
How to Make a Plastic Bottle PropagatorThis is a page about making a plastic bottle propagator. A plastic drink bottle can easily be converted into a mini greenhouse for small plants and cuttings. Save your next empty drink bottle and give it a try.
Growing HawthornThis tree is native to Europe, North Africa, the Mediterranean, and Western Asia. It produces fragrant flowers in May. The hawthorn is considered sacred in parts of the middle east because legend has it that the crown of thorns mentioned in the New Testament was fashioned from this tree. The hawthorn has known medicinal and culinary uses. This is a page about growing hawthorn.
Tips for Tomato GrowersEven though the tomato is the most popular garden crop in the US, there are some important things to keep in mind to ensure the best crop possible. This page contains tips for tomato growers.
Planning an Inexpensive GreenhouseThis is a page about planning an inexpensive greenhouse. Having your own greenhouse can drastically change the things you can grow. While you can spend a fortune on a greenhouse, you don't have to. Here are a bunch of tips for saving money when building a greenhouse.
8 Great Perennial VegetablesDespite the wait, often a year, before they produce their first crop there are many advantages to planting perennial vegetables. Some good choices include, artichokes, asparagus, chayote, rhubarb, and more. This is a page contains information about eight great perennial vegetables.
Picking the Ripest BlackberriesOptimal sweetness is achieved when the berry is fully ripe. Some berries actually may appear ready to pick when black and shiny, but with some varieties it is when they become less shiny that they are the sweetest. This is a page about picking the ripest blackberries.
Preventative Medicine For Your Vegetable GardenIt is always preferable to prevent problems than to have to remedy them after they occur. This is also true of a vegetable garden. Proper care and maintenance, such as watering, fertilizing, weeding, and pest elimination can help keep your garden growing and producing well throughout the season. This is a page about preventative medicine for your vegetable garden.
A Bouquet of EdiblesThree wonderful sunny days this week tell me that the darkest days of winter are behind us. The seed catalogues landing in my inbox and in my postbox are filled with possibilities to make even more colourful and tasty edible bouquets than the ones I created last summer.
Artificial Fertilizers?The main difference between organic and artificial or inorganic fertilizers is the source of the chemicals each contains. Both types must be used according to package instructions so as not to damage your plants. This is a page about artificial fertilizers.
Grow Your Own GingerNow that everyone's battling colds and flus, I'm reminded that growing your own ginger is super easy and, of course, great for your budget. When you're at the store, choose a ginger root that looks like it has eyes growing from it (much like potato eyes), or take it home and wait for the eyes to grow themselves.
Grow Your Own Tomato PlantsLast spring was the first time we ever tried growing our own tomato plants. We had a big plastic tank that didn't work well for what we got it for. My husband removed the plastic and used the frame to make a greenhouse.
Clear Bird Feeder VisitorsI got my father a clear birdhouse feeder because he adores interacting with animals, but he's now too old and fragile to go outside to play with them as often. I initially got it so he could watch the birds eat the food he left inside, but now it seems every creature visits.
Tending Your GardenThere is more to gardening than simply planting your tomatoes or veggies. Tending the garden means paying attention to the needs of the garden, supplement with water when it is dry, enrich poor soil, and check your garden routinely to ensure that it is healthy and happy. This is a page about tending your garden.
Saving Money on BulbsOne way to save money on bulbs is to check the discounted items at your local garden center or nursery. Many bulbs can be planted throughout the year, even if it is too late for them to bloom the first year. This is a page about saving money on bulbs.
Fast Growing Evergreen TreesNot all evergreen trees fit into the category of fast growing. This page offers some good choices for this type of tree. This is a page about fast growing evergreen trees.
Protecting Trees and Flowers from Spring Frosts?Even after the freezing temperatures of winter, your plants may still suffer frost damage in early spring. Make sure that potted plants are watered, this protects their roots better than dry mix. Also, covering smaller in ground plants and potted ones should help. Established trees generally can withstand a light frost with minor damage. This is a page about protecting trees and flowers from spring frosts.
Getting an Orchid to Rebloom?Many orchids will rebloom if given the necessary amount of sunlight. Also make sure that that potting mix and pot size are suitable. Don't overwater. This is a page about getting an orchid to rebloom.
Epsom Salts for PlantsAdding Epsom salts to the water you use for your houseplants is a good practice to help their overall health and vitality, increase blooms, and improve leaf color. This is a page about using epsom salts for plants.
Growing ClarkiaClarkia can easily be grown from seed. It is considered an annual or tender perennial suitable for full sun or filtered shade garden spots. Well drained sandy soil is perfect, but this flowering plant is adaptable. This is a page about growing clarkia.
Turkey Baster for Watering HouseplantsI find that using an old turkey baster to water my houseplants keeps the leaves dry (which prevents mold and rot) and keeps me from overwatering smaller plants. I will even use a squirt from some of my fish tanks water occasionally for the fertilizing effect!
Overwintering Corkscrew Vine (Vigna Caracalla)Some friends have expressed an interest in growing Vigna Caracalla outside and overwintering them inside. I have a tip or two on that subject. These vines are perennials in their native Central American and tropical South American climes. In temperate regions, they require winter protection when grown as perennials.