Tips & Ideas

 
  • Pathogens can be transmitted from one plant to another when you’re pruning. Give the blades a swipe with an antibacterial cloth before moving on to the next plant and it’s a worry no more. Now they come in handy disposable containers, so easy!
 
  • During times of drought, mature trees must be watered at least monthly. Water 6 to 8 inches deep and use a screwdriver to check the depth. When it goes in easily, you're done, and you haven't wasted water! 
 
  • If your pets like to chew, avoid these toxic plants inside the fence. Autumn crocus, Azalea, Cyclamen, Kalanchoe, Hyacinth, Tulip bulbs, Oleander, Sago Palm and Lily. When in doubt call Pet Poison Hotline @ 800-213-6680.
 
  • Did you know up to 40% of our average water consumption is used on landscaping? Design with responsible water use and "hydrozone planting". 1) Inner zone - weekly demand 2) Middle zone - monthly demand 3) Outer zone - natural rainfall. Of course in periods of severe drought all bets are off. Read my tip on mature trees above!
 
  • Tools last longer when they stay sharp and clean. Set aside a bucket with sand mixed with motor oil.  Sand provides an abrasive and oil provides protection from rust. Just jab the cutting ends of the tool into the bucket several times and wipe it dry. Store inside until you're ready to use it again. Once a year, file the edges of tool blades with an eraser sanding block and you won't have to replace them for many years.
 
  • Newspaper? Serves both as a soil-builder and animal repellent. Hormones in the wood products prevent certain insects from reaching reproduction.
 
  • Vinegar? A strong solution is highly acidic and burns plants (crabgrass). A weak solution ( 2 T per quart) prevents spoilage in cut flowers and acid loving flowers growing outside.
 
  • To protect against powdery mildew and black spot use 1t. baking soda and five drops of corn oil in one quart of water. Spray once a week for two months. Reapply after a rain.
 
  • Prevent blight, blossom end rot and other common tomato diseases by sprinkling handfuls of non-fat dry milk in the hole before planting. After planting sprinkle two more tablespoons on top of the soil.
 
  • Fight fungal diseases by mixing one cup of molasses with one gallon of water. The molasses contains sugar to feed the plant and sulfur to kill the fungi. Put the mixture in a spray bottle and give your plants a good dose especially after a few days of rain.