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"Garden & Landscape Tips"

On this page we enter tips from homeowners & gardeners who have found ways to make their gardening & landscaping better, easier, more fun or more rewarding.  We don't guarantee all of these tips, but we do post all of  them.   You be your own judge.   Email us your favorite garden tip at  New tips are added at bottom. 
Before ordering trees, plants, etc........Carol Rosenberg , Ca                                     
Before ordering trees, plants, etc. from mail order catalogs, contact your county extension folks and talk to a master gardener to make sure the item you are interested in will grow in your area.  When in doubt, ask someone who knows what grows well in your area.
Gardening grandchildren.....Shirley Hair                                                                 
I gave my grandchildren each a space in the garden where they can plant anything they like.  They are proud to maintain their own space & they love to eat the vegetables they grow.
Cover plants before mulching.....Lisa Gillim
When placing mulch in my flower garden I put a flower pot over the plant I am mulching around.  It keeps the mulch out of my flowers & it keeps the plant from breaking.
Reduce bugs.......Tara Shippee, Ma
Plant Marigolds around your garden to reduce bugs.
Flagstone Path.......Kevin O'neal , Ca
Place stones where you want them along the path.  Then sprinkle talcum powder around the edges of the stone.  Remove the stones & grab your spade or "Heart Hoe" and dig following the pattern left by the powder.
Get rid of ants around plants.....Kate Higgins
Either put epsom salts around the base of your plants & cover with mulch, or dissolve the epsom salts in water & pour around base.  The salts are absorbed into the roots & gets rid of ants.  Reapply every week or so.
Blackspot on roses.....Bob Keil
A 10% solution of boric acid in water  (1 oz boric acid in 10 oz of water) will eliminate black spot if sprayed on underside of affected plants once a day.
Lint Mulch.....Joe Wilkinson
Lint from your clothes dryer makes an excellent weed control.  It allows water & air to penetrate the soil but helps prevent weeds.  You can cover with a thin layer of soil to help the appearance.
Newspaper mulch.....Dewey & Dale Isgett
Place old newspapers in your garden & place mulch or pine straw on top.   This helps conserve water & control weeds.
Grass mulch.....Herb Smith
Grass clippings from my yard as well as my neighbors yard makes great mulch for my garden.
Get rid of snails.....Llvona
Dig a small hole & place a pie pan in it with top of pan at ground level.   Pour in a can of beer (any brand),  add three drops of vinegar.  The snails will be eliminated without harming anything else.
Water the roots.....Shirley Younger , Pa
Take a 2 liter soda bottle that has been thoroughly washed out.  Punch holes around the bottom edge & fill with water.  Place at the roots of your shrub / tree / flower.  The water will slowly drip out to the roots.
Snake in the garden.....Pat Wyatt
Put a fresh dead snake in your garden each year & birds will leave your garden alone.
Decorate a wall.....Shirley Jensen , Ca
Decorate a patio or garden wall by screwing clay pots with flowers into the wall.   Put Boston Ivy at the bottom of the wall & it will cling to the wall for an attractive appearance.
Laying off rows for a large garden.....Roy Lee , Ky
Change the outer two teeth on a one row cultivator with a very wide plow point that can be purchased at any tractor supply.   Clamp them right over the existing skinny plow point with a U bolt.  A lot of tilling can be done , & we now produce 3 acres as easily as 1. 
Proper soil moisture.....Jill Hanson
Don't work your garden until a handful of soil squeezed into a ball immediately crumbles in your hand.  If your soil is taking too long to dry, add compost to make it spongy. 
Keep animals out of the garden.....Ltorfunan
To keep deer, turkey, rabbits etc. out of your garden,  grind up cayenne, or any hot peppers & add only the juice with 1 tblsp of dish soap to a quart of water.   Strain pepper with old nylon & use rubber gloves.  Put mixture in a spray bottle & spray flowers & veggies.  Animals will not eat & plants are not harmed.
Keep bugs & birds off.....Robert Hennick , NY
Put old stockings over your cabbages to keep bugs out & over sunflowers to keep birds off.
Scare birds away.....Shar
Hang an aluminum pie pan on your tomatoe cage.  The wind blows, it hits the cage & scares the birds off.
Fertilizer spikes.....Lorie Shott , Pa
Place a small Miracle Grow spike beside each plant for constant feeding.
Killing nematodes.....Sara Abraham
Dig lines around your planting area.  Put finely shredded tobacco in the lines & cover with dirt.  The tobacco will kill the nematodes before they kill your plants.
Keep cats out of the garden.....Audrey Michaels
Conifer branches will keep your felines from digging up your garden & provide mulch as well.
Packing peanuts for drainage.....Gladys Paradowski, Texas
Use packing peanuts in place of rocks for drainage in the bottom of pots when repotting plants.  Much lighter.
Trellis.....Jacqueline Witz
That old metal swing set will make a great trellis for peas / beans / tomatoes.   Just drape lengths of chicken wire over the frame & anchor with stakes.   Grow more than one type of produce & get years of service.
Tepee vine trellis.....Gayle Stafford, Ms
Place a tomatoe cage upside down in a pot & fill the pot with soil.  Plant   seeds & train the vines up the cage.
Repel slugs.....Charles Nikolaus , Mi
To repel slugs, wrap the base of plants with copper wire & cover with mulch or dirt.
No slugs.....Casey B
I have 24 ducks & no slugs.  I keep the vegetable garden fenced to keep the ducks from the garden.
Cracked tomatoe skins.....Stacy Duba
Cracked tomatoe skins are due to uneven watering.  Punch holes in the cap of a small plastic bottle & cut the bottom off.  Bury the bottle next to the plant neck first & put water in the bottle for even watering.
Watering cans.....Karla Sullivan
I punch holes in large coffee cans & fill them with pebbles, then bury them between plants for easy watering.
Knee pads.....Kathy Waters , Mi
Discarded knee pads from inline skating equipment are great for kneeling in the garden.
Avoid dirty fingernails.....Glenda Mays & Lindy Verhagen
Before gardening run your fingernails over a bar of soap so that soap is imbedded under nails.  When through gardening, just wash your hands.  No more fighting dirt under the nails.
Special garden.....Tami Barrett
My father loves to garden but his knees have failed.  We made him a very large, deep wooden platform that is elevated & filled it with dirt so he can continue to garden.
Apple Corer for weeding.....Valerie Kiesel,  Wa
I use an apple corer (the kind with serrated edges & a tip) to weed in close places.  I also carry one in my purse so I can pull weeds any time just for the heck of it.
Best time to water.....Lana Ford
Water in the early morning to avoid disease on plants.
Aquarium water....Mary Eversole, New Mexico
When I clean my aquarium, I use the water on my plants.  They love it.
Blossom end rot.....Dorothy  Isgett
To eliminate blossom end rot on tomatoes, mix up 2 tablespoons of dry concrete mortar mix and 2 tablespoons of epson salts for each tomato plant and sprinkle around base.  Puts necessary nutrients in soil.
Planting near cement.....Jody Pollard
When planting evergreens, or any acid loving plants   near cement, make sure to add an acidifier like Miracid regularly.  The cement reduces the acid in the soil & starves the plant.
Protect new plants.....Paul Cassar
When you transfer tiny plants from seedling in to your garden, cut the roll left over from your toilet paper in half and shove it into the soil around the tiny plant for protection from worms & other insects.
Beauty & Function.....Kathee Roy
Make a miniature stick fence and place it in front of tulips or daffodils.  It acts as a wind-break while in bloom & hides them during the die off stage.
Vegetable gardening when dry.....Frank Davis
When you have an extremely dry growing season, till only the planting row itself & let the grass grow between the rows.  When you mow , use the clippings as mulch.  Then take 1/2 gallon milk jugs & put holes near the bottom.  Bury a jug next to any bush type plants such as tomatoes & peppers.   Put necessary water & fertilizer in jugs for a healthy plant.  Then use soaker hoses in the rest of your garden & you will use 70% less water.
Get rid of large weeds.....Phyllis Payne Swisher
Place your garden shovel  about 4" to the side of a large weed.   Push the blade into the soil at 45 degrees until you cut the tap root.  Come back in 2 to 3 days & easily pull it out.
Winter garden in your basement.....Thelma Johnson from Ohio
Bring your garden indoors this winter.     Set your garden up in your basement where you can view it from time to time.  Put in it a couple of outdoor chairs, end table, garden tools, birdbath , sundial, birdhouses, garden stone, garden angel, wind spinners, cat, frog, flower pots or any other yard decorations you use.  Even though it's not your real garden, it will brighten your days through the winter.

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