- Create Planting Beds with Ease
To create a new planting bed, slice the lawn area with a spade and flip it upside down. Next, cover the area with about 3 inches of wood chips. After a few weeks the bed will be ready for planting.
- Keep the Dirt and Soil Outside
To prevent soil from being tracked inside keep plastic shopping bags by your door. So, if you have to go inside you can cover your muddy gardening boots / shoes with them. Also, to prevent soil from getting underneath your fingernails scrape them across a bar of soap before heading to the garden. The soap will provide a seal. Once you are finished in the garden, use a nail brush to remove the soap.
- Soil Amendments
For acid loving plants such as rhododendrons and azaleas; an easy and cost effective way to amend the soil is to sprinkle left over coffee grinds over it. About ¼” applied each month of the growing season with keep the pH of the soil low. Also, to keep fungi away from newly planted seedlings add a little bit of chamomile tea to the soil around the base of the plant once a week until the seedling is mature.
- Compost Creation
Compost can be created from the previous years’ garden pathways. All you have to do is apply three layers of newspapers within the walkways and cover them with a 2” – 3” layer of mulch or wood chips. By the next spring you will have a rich and dark compost that can be added to the beds surrounding the walkways.
Soaker hoses save you the time of standing with a hose or refilling a watering can. The water can be left on for several hours while a section of the garden is slowly getting irrigated.
- Put Away the Hose
If you decide to use a conventional hose rather than a soaker hose for easy storage and faster access stationary and portable hose reels can be used. Also, you can create your own hose stand by putting a rod in the ground and covering it with two terracotta pots, the bottom one to be upright and the top one to be upside down.
- Aphid Control
An easy and cost effective way to remove aphids is to fill a spray bottle with half parts water and half parts dish soap. Spray the infested parts of the plant in the evening (to prevent leaves from burning in the sun and heat) with the dish soap mixture.
- Weed Control
Use the “shovel method” to remove low-growing mat-like weeds. Wait until the weeds create a nice cover then splice them with a spade and bury the leaves in the soil. The rotted leaves will create nice compost.
- Functional Weed Wacker
To prevent the line on your weed wacker from jamming or breaking spray vegetable oil before installing it.
- Garden Markers
Use a permanent marker along with acquired flat faced stones to create labels for your plants within your garden.