Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Arlene’s Collection of Tips and Tricks - Part 3

1. To keep dried spices and herbs longer, store them in the freezer rather than in the cupboard. 2. If you have run out of rooting hormone while planting slips of plants, use cinnamon. 3. Have you ever tried freezing tomatoes? It’s an especially good trick in the middle of hot August when you’re inundated with a bumper crop. Freeze your whole tomatoes on baking sheets and then store them in plastic bags in the freezer. The skins will conveniently crack during freezing, making it easy to remove them once the tomatoes have thawed. 4. Boil cinnamon and cloves in water on the back of the stove to eliminate cooking odours and to freshen the air. 5. Keep charcoal briquettes in the refrigerator to sweeten the air. To refresh them, just heat the briquettes gently in a heavy pot, you’ll find that the odours they have absorbed will vanish into thin air. 6. Safe Pest Treatments for Houseplants – Spot treatment with alcohol will eliminate mealy bugs on houseplants. To control whiteflies, aphids and spider mite, add 1 Tablespoon of dish detergent to 1 cup of vegetable oil. Take no more than 1 – 2 tsp. of this solution and add it to 1 cup of water in a spray container. Shake well and spray on both sides of the plant’s leaves. 7. Here’s an efficient watering device for any garden plant. Take a plastic gallon jug and remove the cap, cut out the bottom, turn it upside down, and force the neck of the jug into the ground close to the plant. Then, fill the jug with water. It’s a good way to fertilize as well. 8. Cut the bottom of 2 litre plastic bottles and use over delicate plants as protection when planting your garden. 9. Pinch out new growth on plants to encourage bushiness. 10. Snails: Method 1 – Ammonia Spray: 1 part ammonia to 10 parts water, spray on slugs early in the morning. It does not hurt the plant; however, you should be careful not to spray everywhere as it will kill good bugs as well. 11. Snails: Method 2 – Barrier Method: Around the base of the plants under attack, right around the stem where it goes into the ground, sprinkle baby powder or talc which sticks to their gummy bodies so they will not go through it or, if they do, it will kill them eventually. An inch of sand, the coarser the better, like a moat around the plant, makes it unpleasant to impassable for most slugs. Copper bands cause a shock to the slugs. This can be bought in a tape form at many garden centres. 12. Snails: Method 3 – Boiling Water: In the very early spring, pour boiling water along any hard edge that is in contact with the soil of a flower bed. This would be like a sidewalk, fence or edging material including large stones or rocks in your garden. This will kill the eggs. Now, this can be challenging if like in most gardens you have huge spaces that fit this definition. Do it in areas where there is a lot of moisture or shade where you are having a serious snail colony problem. 13. Drainage for containers: Especially for large pots where you also want to reduce weight or if you move them around, use/recycle small plastic bottles or containers like pill bottles, empty hair spray or hand lotion bottles. Put a layer of those on the bottom and then add a layer of newspaper or landscape fabric before filling with earth and plants. You will only need about 8 – 12 inches for growing most annuals. 14. Caging sloppy plants: Cut tomato cages in half lengthwise, open them up and tuck under plants to hold them up. I often would cut the bottom section off and use for smaller plants. This is a great solution to keep your plants looking neat and upright. Arlene Ortiz (Wheeler)
Posted by Tammy Jensen at 4:19 PM 0 Comments