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When it comes to gardening, no matter where you live, many of us will take any of the tips and tricks we can get. From wives tales to science-backed evidence, we will try anything once to see how it works.
Sometimes we can’t even explain why these gardening tips work, but no use in worrying about that when it comes to growing food for your family. Check out these weird gardening tips that you should know for this upcoming growing season.
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1. Plastic Forks as Pest Deterrents
If your garden is prone to rabbits, squirrels, or other critter damage, consider this unusual tip. Place the handle of plastic forks into the ground around your plants with the prongs facing up.
The shape is supposed to scare pests away and keep them from eating your plants. Use this tip to keep pets out of the garden as well!
2. Plant with Packing Peanuts
When planting in a container, add a good amount of packing peanuts to the bottom before adding the soil. This will help make the container lighter and shouldn’t hurt the plant roots. This tip is especially helpful if you plan on moving the containers around.
3. Use Pennies to Deter Slugs
One cent doesn’t go far these days, so why not use them to help your gardening? Glue pennies onto the top of the container rim, making sure the pennies touch or overlap. Slugs and snails don’t like copper and won’t cross the barrier of pennies if done correctly. Go through your coin jar and pick out those pennies that were made prior to 1982 for pennies that contain more copper than those made today.
If you don’t have any copper pennies, try using copper tape. Just wrap it around your container and glue it in place.
4. Eggs to the Rescue
There are many odd gardening tips using eggs. You can save eggshells and blend them up to create a calcium-rich powder for the soil. Broken eggshells sprinkled on top of the ground will act like diatomaceous earth in deterring bugs.
After hard-boiling eggs, save the water afterward and use it to give plants a calcium-rich drink. Some gardeners even place a whole egg in the soil when planting to help boost the nutrients underground.
5. Deter Deer with Soap
If your area has a big deer population, keeping your garden safe can be a full-time job. Deer are very sensitive to smell, so some gardeners shave super scented soap around their garden to keep deer away. Irish Spring is often the go-to favorite, which leaves bright neon green speckles around the garden. Simply shave more soap as it wears down.
6. Use Soap as a Dirt Repellent
While many gardeners wear gloves to keep their hands clean, there are some of us who prefer to feel more and use our hands directly in the soil. However, this can lead to many minutes trying to scrub out all of the dirt around nail beds.
Before gardening bare-handed, scrape your nails across a bar of soap to fill in those areas that the dirt would normally accumulate. After gardening, simply wash your hands, and you’ll have clean nails without the fuss.
7. Fight Mold with Cinnamon
When starting plants indoors, it is common for mold to appear, given the warm temperatures and sunlight. A light shake of cinnamon will help combat the mold since cinnamon is naturally antimicrobial. Cinnamon will also work in the outside garden as well. Just make sure to not sprinkle produce with it, unless you want cinnamon cucumbers!
8. Line Containers with Diapers
Okay, this one sounds crazy, but it sounds like it would work! Place a diaper or two in the bottom of a container to help keep the plant moist but also cut down on topsoil. The diaper will absorb the water and help the plant last out those super hot summer days. This is a great tip for those hanging baskets around the house that can drain all over the place.
9. Plant a Penny for Healthier Soil
Copper pennies are supposed to also help fight tomato blight. Throwing pennies into the garden soil that were minted prior to 1982 is best given that they have a higher copper content than modern coins. Make sure that the pennies are no deeper than 5 inches down in the soil for best results.
10. Bury Your Beer
Sacrifice your brewsky to help combat slugs and snails in the garden. Find an old plastic container and bury it in the soil so that the top of the container sits at soil level. Fill the container with beer and check back in a few days. Slugs and snails love beer and will crawl into the container and drown. What a way to go!
11. Use Baking Soda for Sweeter Tomatoes
Sprinkle baking soda around the soil of your tomato plants to help produce sweeter tomatoes this year. Baking soda is a chemical base that will battle the acidity in the tomato plant. Make sure to only sprinkle the baking soda on the soil and not the plant.
12. Get Creative with Containers
While the stores would love you to buy new containers for your plants every year, you really don’t need to. Get creative with your plant containers to make your garden your own.
You can use literally anything that will hold some soil and not blow away. Just make sure that you use something that you don’t mind getting wet. From used water bottles to plastic food containers to old boots, you can use anything to plant, and it’s easy on the budget!
13. Popsicle Sticks for Labels
It is important to know what kind of seed you planted in the garden, both if it does well or dies. Labeling the garden should be easy enough to change out from year to year. Gather up those kids’ popsicle sticks and reuse them to make easy plant markers. Just write the plant variety on it and toss it at the end of the growing season.
14. Use Tires as Barriers
Most homesteads have a few old tires lying around. Use those tires for good to help cut down on weeds and congestion. Consider planting strawberries in a tire to create a semi-permanent container in the garden. For those plants that need a bit of a barrier in the lawn, cut the lip of the tires off to create a rubber collar that is easy to mow around.
15. Plant with Coffee Filters
Placing a coffee filter or two at the bottom of a container can help in multiple ways. A coffee filter will allow the water to drain well but keep the dirt in place. This is especially helpful for houseplants where you want to keep the mess to a minimum.
Coffee filters in the bottom of a container also help when transplanting a plant later on. The filter will keep the roots from growing or sticking to the container, making it easy to lift the plant out.
16. Water Thirsty Plants with Wine Bottles
While you may not want to spray your garden with your favorite red or white, you can reuse the glass bottles to help benefit the garden. Simply fill up the bottle with water and quickly turn it upside down into the soil near the roots of a thirsty plant.
The water will slowly hydrate the ground, keeping the plant hydrated on those super hot summer days. This trick also works with beer or glass pop bottles as well.
17. Grow Strawberries in Gutters
Summertime is equivalent to juicy strawberries! Why not use your garden space better and add a touch of whimsy to your homestead? Planting strawberries in elevated gutters keeps ground critters away.
The long container also helps deter weeds and the berries can hang over the sides of the gutter for easy picking. Consider adding a net to the berries to keep birds away if necessary.
18. Plant Containers in the Ground for Bossy Plants
For those plants in the garden that tend to creep and spread quickly, consider planting them in a container in the ground instead. This will help limit the size and growth of the plant without hurting its overbearing tendency.
When the plant dies, simply lift the entire container out of the ground for easy clean up.
19. Use Recycled Items for Vertical Gardens
One of the best uses of space in any kind of garden is to grow vertically. Plants aren’t picky about what container they are in, so you might as well save some pennies and use what you already have.
Vertical gardens can thrive using a few recycled containers, some twine, or even old picture frames and some chicken wire. There is no limit when it comes to growing a vertical garden. For those plants in a standard garden that like to climb, consider using anything to help them grow, like old wood stakes, fence posts, string, chains, or broken tool handles.
There are so many weird gardening tips that have worked for others, so why not try them? Consider adding some or all of these things to your garden this year to help cut down on pests and weeding. Experiment with your garden and find different ways to combat issues without having to fork out more cash.
Make your garden your very own by using these weird gardening tips to find out what works best in your area. When someone asks about it, spread the word to help others grow beautiful gardens with a bit of help.
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