Gardening Tips & Tricks

             Everyone eventually learns different ideas that help them garden successfully. Most people have heard of beer slug traps and rubber snakes to deter birds but here are some you might not know.

              Moth balls may repel rabbits and bugs. You shouldn’t put them right on your ground though. You can either hang them from a mesh bag or put them in a jar lid on the ground.

            Nasturtiums can repel white flies, squash bugs, cucumber beetles and other pests. Try growing a climbing variety with your pole beans and cucumbers.

            Smoking in the garden can be bad for your tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and even petunias because of tobacco mosaic virus. If you smoke you should wash well before handling these plants.

            An easy way to add needed sulfur to your peppers and eggplants is to tear out matches from matchbooks and put these in your planting holes before planting.

            We all know that seed packets stuck on a stick never last very long as row markers, you can however make markers that won’t fade. Get some of the aluminum pie pans that things like pot pies are cooked in or any of the foam plastic meat trays. Cut out labels to desired size and then using a ball point pen or some other pointy instrument and a soft surface, write on the label with a little pressure and you will permanently emboss the name on your plant marker. I then punch a hole in one end and  tie them to the stakes at the end of the rows.

            Cantaloupes or small watermelons can be trained on a trellis but they need something to hold the weight of the fruits as they form. You can make a sling easily with just some string and a butter dish. Just tie the string to the butter dish in 4 places around the rim, then tie the ends together and tie them to the trellis under the fruit so the butter dish supports the fruit completely and keeps the vines from breaking.

            I hope these tips will be helpful to you this year as you start your gardening adventures. Nothing is better than seeing your garden dreams become reality!

             Rebecca Whitford