Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Arlene's Collection of Gardening Tips & Tricks - Part 1

I was perusing my pile of gardening articles and information when I came across my collection of tips that I have collected over the years and I would like to share them with you. Enjoy! 1. To get rid of Aphids, mix 1 Tbsp liquid soap and 1 cup of vegetable oil together. Add 2 tsp. of the blend to 1 gallon of water. Spray the plants with the mixture and follow with a spray of water. Wait about 15 minutes and then repeat. Don’t use this on squash, cauliflower or cabbage as they can suffer leaf burn. 2. To test if seeds are viable, put them in a container of water. If they float to the top, they are not good. 3. Prolong the life of cut flowers by putting a couple of drops of bleach in the water. The stems in the vase will stay bacteria free. 4. Kill weeds and grass growing in sidewalk cracks by dousing them with undiluted bleach. 5. Plant mint between cabbages to discourage caterpillars and other pests. 6. Plant green beans next to eggplant and potatoes. The beans deter an eggplant and potato nemesis, the Colorado Potato Beetle. 7. Natural sweetening for Tomato Sauce: If the tomato sauce you’re making isn’t sweet enough, instead of adding sugar, grate in some carrots, they work wonders! 8. Keeping lettuce longer: Moisten a clean kitchen towel; then wrap it around a head of lettuce. Place the wrapped head in an open plastic bag and store it in the refrigerator. It will keep well for up to 2 weeks. (Don’t seal the bag, allow the air to circulate.) 9. To peel fresh tomatoes, plunge them briefly into boiling water, then into cold water. The skins will crack and slip off. You can peel peaches, plums and beets the same way. 10. Storing potatoes: Don’t store potatoes near apples as apples give off ethylene gas, which causes potatoes to sprout. 11. Allow water to come to room temperature before using it on seedlings you start indoors as cold water chills the seedling roots, significantly slowing growth. 12. If you have trouble getting your beet seeds to germinate, try spreading the seeds on a piece of wax paper and then, using a rolling pin, crush the outside husks. This gives the seeds a head start. 13. For weeds growing in the cracks of a sidewalk or patio, mix ¼ cup of salt, 1 litre of vinegar and 2 tsp. of dish soap. Spray on the weeds when they are actively growing. 14. To keep cats and dogs off your lawn, put 2 – 3 cloves of garlic and 3 -4 hot red peppers into a blender to grind them up. Then combine this mixture with about a gallon of water and a few drops of dishwashing soap. Mix well. Sprinkle this solution around the edges of your yard and garden and along sidewalks. Repeat often. Stay tuned for more! Arlene Ortiz (Wheeler)
Posted by Tammy Jensen at 12:00 AM 0 Comments