The Best 8 Gardening Tips with the Backyard Gardeners
- Want Monarch butterflies in your garden? Plant native milkweed. Plant it and they will come. Milkweed is the preferred plant for monarch butterflies to lay their eggs. As the monarch caterpillar grows it voraciously eats the leaves of the milkweed. The leaves are toxic (not to the monarch) to birds and other enemies leaving the caterpillar alone.
- Potted plants are like your dependents. Plants in pots are totally dependent on you for food and water, much like your children. Keep an eye on your potted plant’s needs as the plants roots are unable to reach down in the soil for water and nutrients.
- Plant in odd numbers. Three can be tricky in human relationships but in gardening this fits very nicely. This composition looks more natural to the eye and gives the illusion that the plants are bigger and healthier. If you bought four plants at the nursery, plant three in a triangle and one as a focal point.
- Keep cut flowers fresh with pennies. Even though the penny may not be worth much these days, try putting a penny into your vase of flowers. The copper works as a fungicide to kill bacteria and fungus that attack your freshly cut stems. Thanks to Abe your cut roses will last longer.
- Don’t overdo it. You’ve heard the saying, “If a little is good, a lot is better.” For the beginning gardener it’s better to start small. Start with a 3’ by 3’ bed or no more than 6 good sized pots. This will give a good harvest of vegetables and be easy to manage.
- Use egg shells as fertilizer. Dried egg shells are rich in calcium carbonate and can be worked into your backyard garden as fertilizer. Crush the shells to help speed up the process of breaking down so that plants take use the nutrients.
- Reduce your watering needs up to 50% by mulching. Mulching on top of the soil reduces evaporation, keeps the soil cool and suppresses weeds.
- Coffee grounds as an organic slug deterrent. Spread a few coffee grounds around your seedlings or new plants to help keep slugs away. The grounds cause the slugs to produce an excess of slime causing them to dry out.
The Backyard Gardeners – Mary and Brian
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