Making An Easy Garden PathWe wanted something that would break up our yard and garden space. We decided on a path to break up the landscape and also help with drainage because of the slope of the back yard.
Old Chair for Container GardeningMany household objects can be used as containers in the garden. I love to use old chairs in the garden to add height and interest to an area that might be otherwise plain without it.
Clay Pot GalMy good friend Andrea, lives in an apartment. Outside her door is a place she can put a decoration or plant. She had one that "disappeared". She went looking and found it on the floor above her. DH wanted to make this to replace it for her.
PVC Pipe For Deep WateringBy sawing a piece of PVC pipe that can stick up from the ground about 5 inches and have about 7 inches below the ground you can have a great watering/fertilizing gardening helper.
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!
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.
Square Mesh Flat to Cover VegetablesDo your vegetables get eaten before they've grown? It's happened to me so many times! Now, I use these square mesh flats over my vegetables after seeding so the birds don't get to them. After my vegetables are bigger and stronger I will remove the flats. Chances are they'll make it and no longer vulnerable.
Dog Nail Cutters for Flower StemsI've tried all types of scissors including the ones that are for metal, cardboard, etc., those heavy duty kitchen scissors but I've never tried my stainless steel puppy nail cutters. They are absolutely hands-down the easiest. The blade doesn't slide off the stem. It gives a nice even cut, which is better for the flowers.
Plastic Bottles to Keep a Plant WateredTo help keep our garden plants watered, this year we tried burying soda bottles, with holes in them, beside the tomato, squash and cucumber plants leaving the opening exposed. To easily fill the bottles, we used a flex funnel and the garden hose. The bottles worked very well to help keep the plants watered and we will be doing it again next year. The garden has just about given out and we have removed all the bottles that are no longer used, rinsed them and put them in the recycling bin.
Chicken Wire To Protect Garden From AnimalsWe have a few watermelons in our garden this year. Three weeks ago, it was a disappointment to find that an animal, probably a deer, had bitten a huge gash out of one. To remedy this problem, we covered them with chicken wire and have not had any more problems.
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.
Blooming Air PlantThis is the first time this air plant (Tillandsia) has bloomed. I love the beautiful purple flower. Afterwards, I believe I should be expecting baby pups. Snapped some photos to share with you all!
My First TomatoThe photo you see is my first tomato with my brand new camera! Best tasting vine ripe tomato because it was my first! The vine in the background is the plant I picked it from.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Whey for Healthy PlantsI make my own yogurt and strain it for Greek-style. I use the whey in cooking, baking, and gardening. I water my flowers and vegetables with it. As you can see from the picture, my miniature rose bush likes it a lot!
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.
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.
Plant Shop for the Best ValueWhile shopping for a fiddle leaf fig plant, we discovered some pots had only one trunk = 1 plant and some had two trunks = essentially that'll be two plants and they were the same price.
Happy Backyard Birds at ChristmastimeI love to share the holiday spirit with our backyard feathered friends too.
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!
Taking Multiple Cuttings From A Rose BushThis past spring, I bought a floribunda rose named 'Summer Romance'. A $15 rose for $3. It was 1½-2 feet tall. Since that time, it has grown to over 6 feet. It has not bloomed.
Argiope ~ The Writing SpiderWe, and most of our neighbors, had gardens. They were always home to several writing spiders. With this spider being very active during the day, it was not uncommon to encounter a few during any visit to the garden.
Watering Hanging BasketsAfter a couple of days in the sunshine, the leaves on my hanging basket of petunias look pitiful. To bring them back to life, I put water in a pan and put the basket in the pan to soak up the water overnight. The next day, the dirt in the basket is heavy with water and the leaves on the flowers look lively again. This is easy and there is no dripping when I hang the basket back up.
Photograph Your Garden In Early LightI haven't had camera as long as most of you. I've just been picking up bits of information as I need it. I wouldn't know an 'f' stop from a short stop with the New York Yankees. I've always heard though about the wonders of early morning light. It is a great time to take pictures.
Organic Fence for Vertical GardeningVertical gardening appeals to me for several reasons. My yard is small, the housing development is new and on the outskirts of town, thus overrun by rabbits, and badly infested with numerous noxious weeds (which will take several years to eradicate without chemicals).
Crush Egg Shells With a Rolling PinEgg shells are a great source of calcium for tomatoes and peppers. I put a handful in the hole with the plants when setting them out. It helps to prevent blossom rot.
Wear Gardening Gloves For The UnexpectedSome time back I wrote an article on the importance of wearing gloves while working in areas that might be infested with black widow spiders. One might do well to consider gloves when working in other areas, too.
Line Small Flower Beds With Concrete Mixing TubsBermuda migrates towards wetter soil. If flower beds are kept wetter than the surrounding lawn, Bermuda will easily invade them. Using sunken concrete mixing tubs as liners for beds can prevent this migration, underground. Keeping above ground migration at bay is much easier.
Gardening with Native PlantsGardening with plants native to your area has so many benefits. They attract local birds and butterflies. Native plants are resistant to pests and diseases, therefore require little care. They also need less water. Some of my natives are orange coneflower, bee balm, and daylilies.
Creative BirdbathsIf you enjoy watching a robin splash about in a birdbath and want to help our feathered friends to a cool drink during these hot summer and fall days, you don't have to spend a fortune on fancy, high-priced garden store models.
Lightweight Hanging Pots for House PlantsThis is a great tip for lightweight hanging pots for indoor plants! Pots can get really heavy when using pebbles or stones for drainage, which can be very taxing on the hooks hanging from your ceiling. Next time, try this instead, bath scrubbies.
Re-Potting Ferns and Trailing House PlantsRe-potting ferns and trailing plants or vines can really get tricky without a lot of damage to the plants. Here's a quick (and Thrifty!) idea to protect your plants during re-potting, and it makes planting much easier for you!
How to Grow ChilliesThis is a step by step photographic tutorial on how to grow chillies. I hope all the pictures attached here help you in growing chillies!
June Is Plant Rooting MonthJune is the best month for rooting most plants. Now, as to the purpose of this post. It's not a tip nor a bragging post. It is to offer a word of encouragement. To those of you who would say 'I don't have a green thumb, I can't root anything', my reply is, 'Nonsense'!
Growing Tomato SlicesI don't mean you can get ready sliced tomatoes off a plant that would be silly. However, rather than pay for an expensive pack of seeds, or go to the trouble of picking seeds out of a tomato and drying them, you can actually plant slices of tomatoes.
Rooting Impatiens CuttingsAfter taking the cuttings, I remove all flower buds, open flowers, seed pods and yellow leaves, from each. I also remove any leaves that would be under the soil after inserting them in the medium.
Repairing Your Flower BedsI live in Tahiti and we have a lot of rain year-round. This can be a problem when it comes to planting flowers or plants in your garden. Therefore, I decided to raise my flower beds so when it rains the water doesn't flood my plants.
Prescription Bottles for Storing Flower SeedsI love to collect flower seeds from my own flowers to plant the next season or to share with others. I also like to collect from other places, but often found myself using napkins, or scrap paper as an impromptu container. Then it hit me - prescription bottles!
Helping Out Lost Little BirdsWe found these little birds crying at the end of the garden, looking lost, no mother around. We put together some dried leaves and mini twigs in a bamboo basket and wooden cheese box to see if they needed nesting. Surely enough, they got right in and got comfortable.
Use Bag Balm with Gardening GlovesI coat my hands with Bag Balm before putting on my leather gardening gloves. This helps keep my hands and nails healthy while, at the same time, keeps my gloves supple.
Chicken Amongst the VegetablesEvery now and again, a naughty chicken will escape into the vegetable patch. Also every now and again I let them in there on purpose. They do scratch about a bit and nibble at the leaves, but they don't do as much damage as the little bugs that they pick off and eat. It's free nutrition for the birds and better eggs and less damage from caterpillars and the like, plus a little extra fertilizer in the process!
Epsom Salts for Inexpensive FertilizerInstead of purchasing multiple, or artificial/chemical, fertilizers we use Epsom salt for everything! A lot cheaper and simpler than the individual fertilizers for vegetables, flowers, and roses in particular. It is used in a ratio of 1 tablespoon of Epsom salt to one gallon of water.
Unemployment Blues are "Green"My husband and I have been trying to keep ourselves extremely busy for the past four months to avoid unemployment-related depression. As we currently have zero (0, none, nada, zip) income, we are getting very creative with our time and energy.
Heirloom vs Hybrid SeedsGardening is not an exact science and can be very complicated. Misinformation passed along from generation to generation only adds to the complication. Most people are content to plant a packet of straight neck yellow squash, follow packet instructions, and hope for the best. This is good.
My Orphaned Garden FriendI have a small area on my property shaded with old maple trees. It's my summer hangout. I try to make it more pleasant by growing flowers beneath the trees.
Watering Plants While on VacationIf you are going on vacation from four to five weeks this is a tried and true way to keep your potted plants, as well as large ferns in hanging baskets watered without depending on someone to tend them in your absence.
Upcycled Soda Bottle as Hanging PlanterA hanging bottle pot is the perfect way to recycle an empty plastic bottle into something useful and creative! Not only does it prevent bottles from ending up in garbage cans, it is also an easy DIY project that can help you hang plants all around your house.
Busyness of Nature (Pollination)I was excited to capture the science of pollination amid the nature of the garden at the Indiana State Fair back in August 2013.
Test Seeds For ViabilityAs I write this, there are still nineteen days until winter actually begins. It will be another two to three months before I can start my indoor seedlings. It's hard waiting.
Flowerpot Gardener Taking a RestThis scenario takes place outside my patio door. When the screen door is in use, we can hear the soothing water falling from the watering can.
New Tenants in the BirdhouseThis is a deck garden with an ornamental birdhouse on the railing. Last summer it was claimed by a couple who used it to start their family! The close proximity to humans didn't bother them at all.
Bird's Nest In Garden ShedI noticed that each time I entered my garden shed, a house finch flew out. I was puzzled for a while. Then, I discovered just what was going on. Mother finch had built a nest in an old quart jar. After taking these pictures, I carefully repositioned the jar as I found it.
Use Nasturtiums for Salads and SandwichesNasturtiums aren't just a beautiful flower for your garden. They are delicious too! Seeds are readily available just about anywhere they sell garden seeds.
Pallet GardenI used a pallet and painted and dry painted attached planters with hose clamps and screws to pallet. This a easy project.
Use Ammonia to Power Grow Plants like GrandmaMy grandmother had told me that back in the day, they never had Miracle Gro or any other type of fast growing fertilizer. She always had the most amazing flowers.
Avoiding Messy Plant Clean-upCaring for your treasured plants can be a messy job with the water spillage, and the pruning, and all the dead leaves. I avoid this mess by inverting an umbrella under the plants I am working on to keep all the plant cuttings/dried up leaves off the floor and furniture.
Get Bird Houses Ready NowAlthough it may still seem like we're in the icy grip of winter, spring will be here soon. It's time to make sure the bird nesting boxes on your property are ready for their residents. And if you don't have bird houses, it is a great time to add them!
Homemade Seed SprouterI made a seed sprouter to sprout my own seeds for my salads, plus I always sprout my seeds before I plant them in my garden. This reduces the need to wait to see if my seeds will start growing, then weeding out others.
Making Homemade Suet Cakes for BirdsFor those who enjoy feeding backyard birds, suet is a great choice for attracting a variety of beautiful species.
CD Case Plant DisplayUse a spare CD case, add some soil and a seed, close it and leave it by a bright window. A pretty plant will sprout and grow! Great for a child's learning project or even a pretty, natural window ornament!
Should You Wear Gloves While Gardening?My interest in gardening began at an early age. When I was around twelve, I bought a pack of icebox watermelon seeds from my school for a dime. I bought a small paper bag of fertilizer from the local milling company, and it was a dime.
Potted Plants Beautify Your Home EntryI don't have a lot of land in the front of my home and there is a bare area near the entry that needed some color and glamor.
Low Cost Flower BedIt was getting dark when I took this picture. The strange arrangement of colors is due to the fact that the flowers weren't labeled and not in bloom when I bought them.
Water Your Plants With Ice CubesFast, easy, and no spills on your furniture. Cubes melt slowly so the plant doesn't get overwatered. One normal size ice cube per 4 inch pot. The kind of plant drives the frequency of watering.
Homemade Indoor Seedling ContainersI find that egg cartons and pudding snack containers do not provide enough space for proper root formation of indoor seedlings. I make my own containers with no more than pages from an old phone book and masking tape.
Upcycle Sneakers as Garden PlantersI couldn't bear to toss my favorite gardening sneaks. So I used them for planters instead. I nailed them to a fence post and planted some orphaned pole beans in them. Even if I get no beans from the plants, it will be an interesting look.
Using Telephone Receiver Cord to Tie Up PlantsI needed to tie up some of my vegetable plants and I'm out of garden twine and string. When I was looking for something suitable that will not break the stems I saw one of my very old receiver cords for the telephone.
Log Bird FeederMy husband drills various sized holes into a white pine log for me and adds a simple hook so I can put my kitchen food scraps, fat cut from meat, and rolled in seeds or stale bread with peanut butter.
Homemade Upside Down Tomato PlanterReuse your plastic milk container by making an upside down tomato planter. This is great for people with limited space. Not having to grow them on the ground eliminates the need to keep your tomato plants well staked.
Tilted Pot Planter for StrawberriesMy strawberry plants needed more room to run and I found this planter project. Since the first one was made, I've made several more as birthday gifts for my gardening friends.
Homemade Grass FertilizerUse this for greener grass.
Honeybees for the Honeymoon (Southern...When we arrived to our vacant honeymoon farmhouse in the wine country of France, we were shocked to discover this massive beehive attached to the window of our bedroom.
Think Before You Poison CaterpillarsFolks, as I read the letters from people frustrated over caterpillars in their gardens and then scrolled down to other articles about butterflies I was reminded how shortsighted the 'death-to-all-caterpillars' attitude is.
Paper Towel Tube Seedling PotsWhen it's time to transplant my seedlings into larger pots, I usually have a good supply of recycled plastic yogurt cups. But this year, I ran out of them. This turned out to be a good thing as it forced me to try something new. And probably even better.
Seed Packet StorageI hate having all those seed packets that are always falling over, spilling the seeds, getting yucky and hard-to-read. So to fix that dilemma I searched my house for ways to store them.
Starting SeedsMarch is a great time to start your vegetable and flower seeds indoors. You can use any container. Here is how I am doing mine.
Homemade Gardener SoapPut 3/4 cups of white sugar into a glass jar and add some dish soap. Then stir, you don't want it too runny. If it is, just add more sugar until you get the right consistency.
Tipsy Flower Pots (The Path Garden)I had been wanting to make on of these planters for The Path Garden for a couple of years. Just hadn't gotten around to it. The 99 Cent store had the clay pots so I got 5 and asked DH to go get the rebar for it.
Sleepy Robin (Western NY)This fledgling robin is all tuckered out after hopping around my backyard. He perched on a fence rail and took a nap while I snapped away with my camera just inches from him.
Tipsy Flower Pot StandTo make a tipsy flower pot stand, get at least 76 inches of rebar and pound 1 foot of it into ground. Place a 12 inch pot over/down rebar through the pot drain hole and fill with dirt so that your second pot will rest on top of dirt.
Children's Garden Gifts (The Path Garden)Looks like someone has been busy decorating in the "Path Garden" again. Hubby found these last Saturday. He hung two of the bird houses in trees, put the smallest on a pole back in the garden, and placed the shells back where they were left.
House Finches on SageOur Mexican sage plants are beautiful. The purple of the blossoms is incomparable. Often different birds visit the large sage in the front garden to find a seed or two to eat.
Homemade SuetI just got done making suet for the wild birds. It is cheap enough to buy, but gets even cheaper if you make your own. The following is my recipe.
Killing Vines Without Damaging SoilI heard this solution on the French radio. It was given by the chief gardener of the Versailles palace in France. It works to get rid of vines like bindweed using strong systemic herbicide but without damaging the soil or other plants.
A Treat For The BirdsBefore cleaning a greasy frying pan, wipe it out with a slice or two of bread. Feed the bread to the birds in your yard. Birds flock to this treat, which is a good source of nutrition for them and makes washing the greasy pan easier.
Hang Soap At Outdoor SpigotThis is a great tip for gardeners. Take an old pair of pantyhose and put a bar of soap inside. Tie a knot, keeping the soap in place in the toe. Then tie around water spigot and knot.
Use a Child's Swimming Pool for a Patio GardenWe do not have a place in our backyard to plant a "regular" garden, but we did have room on our patio deck to do something. I came up with an idea for a small garden using a child's plastic swimming pool.
Wildlife: Blue ButterflyI was outside with family and had butterflies flying around us. A butterfly landed right in front of me and I took a picture of it with my camera phone.
Painted Terra Cotta PotsI have SO many terra cotta pots that have just accumulated over the years. So like all my other craft projects, I decided through trial and error to explore the possibilities.
Invest in the Proper Snow Removal EquipmentGrandma J here in MN. Got our share of the white stuff (snow) this winter, more coming. Considering we should prepare in October, it takes the first snow storm for us to do this.
Tending Your GardenI want all of you to become familiar with "tending your garden." If you don't tend your garden, you won't get much of anything out of it.