jeanniejeanniejeannie.co.uk BLOG Thursday 27th May 2021
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
60 Life-changing gardening tricks & hacks
Part 1 1st 30
Need some handy hints and hacks for gardening? May/June is a brilliant time of year to be out working in the garden. And so healthy for you. Helping your mind, too. The hard work needed to maintain and grow a garden can quickly feel like an unwelcome addition to your to-do list. Never fear though, because we’ve rounded up the best growing tips and backyard hacks to make gardening easy and enjoyable. From a tiny backyard to expansive rolling lawns.
There are so many tips we have had to spread over 2 days. Part 1 1-30 today. Part 2 31-60 tomorrow click or scroll through our tricks that will ensure you have a plot to be proud of.
- Pop teabags on your roses
Tea leaves contain a compound called tannins which roses love because they add a slight acidity to the soil which makes them thrive. Bury teabags in the earth around the plant base or scatter used tea leaves as topsoil. Quick… pop the kettle on!
- Mount corner shelves in a small shed
Make use of every inch of storage space in your shed by installing corner shelves on one side for small garden items. Keep the other side free for tools with long handles. Don’t forget the inside of the door either; a peg rail and additional shelf are handy for hanging hand tools and storing pots.
- Grow in storage tubs
Plastic storage bins make great tubs for growing. They are super cheap and easy to carry. Semi-opaque versions give you a sneak peek at the roots too. Be sure to pierce holes in the bottom and add gravel at the base for drainage.
- Protect young plants with old flowerpots
We love this tip from @moestuin_dietist. Instead of throwing away any used pots from the garden centre, use them to protect new and small plants from the weather elements, hungry animals and insects. Cut a hole in the bottom and then place them upside down over each plant. Keep the plastic pots secure by placing a cane through a drainage hole and into the ground.
- Invest in an extendable hose
Unravelling a heavy garden hose full of kinks can be a dreaded garden chore so perhaps it’s time for an upgrade. Make watering your garden a pleasure by switching to a lightweight extendable version that will double in size when in use and then self-drain and store easily after. A hose with a high-density sleeve will last longer and prevent splitting.
- DIY a privacy screen
Repurpose a wood pallet to create a rustic privacy screen or use it to hide away unsightly wheelie bins or a compost heap. The slatted design makes the perfect trellis to grow climbers up too.
- Pop seeds into ice-cream cones
A cute and eco-friendly seedling starter container is an ice-cream cone. It’s a fun way to get children involved and can be popped directly into the soil as the cones act as a warm shield and then biodegrades in time. Flour & Fancies advises cutting the bottom half off the cone before planting.
- Water pots after rain
Leaving pots unwatered because it rained is a rookie mistake in the gardening world. Unless it’s a torrential downpour a regular shower won’t be an adequate amount to satisfy a potted plant’s needs. They tend to dry out quicker than natural earth flowerbeds, so a potted plant should be watered, on average, every other day. Read up on your specific plant to gain more information as to how much H20 it needs to flourish as too much can be as damaging as too little.
- Download a plant app
Identifying a plant specimen can make the world of difference when it comes to successful gardening, but with so much to learn, it can be daunting for a novice gardener. Make like you are green-fingered god or goddess by seeking digital help. From plant identifiers that can instantly identify over 20,000 plants to garden trackers and calendar planners, there is a garden app to download that will cover it. One of our favourites is Garden Answers.
- Water the garden in the morning
According to the Royal Horticultural Society, the best time to water your garden is in the morning. This allows water to seep down and reach roots with the least amount of water evaporation and makes the moisture available throughout the whole day. If you can’t miss that lie-in, then, late afternoon or early evening is the next best thing as it allows plants to soak water into their system while out of the sun.
- Double pot your plants
Make reorganising the garden easy by double planting your pots. Bury empty pots into flowerbeds at ground level and then slot filled pots into the holders. Simple but effective, it’ll make reorganising your foliage or swapping out seasonal plants a doddle.
- Craft potato growing pots
Make harvesting vegetables a doddle with a double potted container. Select two plastic tubs or buckets that slot into one another and simply cut large holes out of the smaller pot (as well as drainage holes in both). Then when ready, you can then pull out potatoes without upturning the whole plant. Or, if that sounds complicated you can buy one that is specially made to produce a bumper crop.
- Fend off slugs with copper
Slugs and snails hate copper as it gives them a harmless electric shock which soon sends them crawling off in a different direction. Whether you protect your beloved shrubs with copper rings dug into the flowerbeds or stick copper tape around the top of flowerpots, you can rest assured the slimy pests will want to munch plants elsewhere.
- Stick to a lawn mowing rota
Be sure your lawn is at optimum health by using your lawn mower the correct way. Keep it clean and grass cutting free. Adjust the blade heights accordingly and cut your grass at regular intervals depending on the month of the year. Sticking to a routine will mean less weeding and TLC in the long run.
- Upcycle an old table
Keep a lookout for old tables at recycling centres, flea markets or on social market places to upcycle as garden furniture. They make an interesting extra surface for potting or displaying attractive storage and will give the outdoor space added vintage character in country gardens.
- Line plant pots with coffee filters
Terracotta pots are totally on trend right now but their large drainage hole makes them messy accessories to have in your garden. Keep your patio tidy and avoid continuous cleanups like Paisley + Sparrow by lining your plant pots with coffee filters. They’ll stop soil falling out the bottom while their porous nature will ensure water can still drain away.
- Squeeze out weeds
It’s common sense that the more flowers you plant the less room there is for weeds to grow. While this is true, there needs to be a little planning with this method. Choose ground-covering plants that will suit the conditions – plant those that prefer shade in dark corners and those that need sun in well-lit spots. Once they flourish and spread, they’ll prevent weeds for getting the sunlight, water and nutrients they need to survive.
- Use bottles to protect seedlings
Give old drinks bottles a new lease of life in the garden. Cut the bottles in half and secure them in the soil around young shoots to keep plants and vegetables safe from hungry insects or rodents. The narrow mouth will let plenty of air and sunlight in and the plastic surround will act as a micro greenhouse.
- Protect with plastic forks
Stop your precious herb garden turning into a giant litter box by the neighbour’s cat by adding plastic forks – prong facing up. The feline explorers won’t appreciate the sharp surprise. This eco-friendly trick worked for Woulda Shoulda’s plants and can also deter squirrels digging and slugs munching.
- Dust seedlings with cinnamon
Cinnamon is as delicious for plants as it is for humans. The brown spice works as a natural fungicide so dusting it over seedlings and young plants will ward off any harmful diseases. You could also make a cinnamon solution with warm water to spray on the leaves for double protection.
- Make a DIY watering can
New to gardening and no watering can? No worries! Stock up on plastic milk cartons to use instead. Simply drill or pierce holes in the lid, fill the carton with water and you are all set. Fill a whole bunch of empty bottles and you’ll be able to water the garden in one fell swoop!
- Fake colourful florals
Let’s face it real garden beds are the last place people would expect to see artificial flowers, so visitors will never guess your incredible garden flower display is fake! The same goes for hanging baskets, window boxes and patio tubs too – we won’t tell if you don’t!
- Use seaweed as fertiliser
Bursting with nutrients and minerals, seaweed has been used to enrich soil for centuries. There are so many benefits to using it in your garden – unlike other fertilisers, it doesn’t need to mature to work its magic and it helps to keep soil moist, plus insects and birds hate its sharp and salty taste. So the next time you head to the beach don’t forget to bring a bucket back for your garden.
- Clean decking and patios with a jet washer
A sunny stone patio or decked terrace can be a great spot for growing beautiful blooms, but over winter it can look worse for wear. Luckily it can be renewed in just a couple of hours with the force of a jet wash. The pressure will wash away stubborn debris and algae with no need for scrubbing or the use of harsh chemicals. Be sure to read the instruction manual as in the wrong hands the machine can be dangerous or cause damage to hard landscaping.
- Upcycle homewares
Old utensils can make quirky garden planters. Teacups filled with dainty violas will add vintage charm, while colanders make perfect hanging baskets thanks to their many drainage holes. You can even plant them with vegetables like chillies and cherry tomatoes to make a funky mini allotment.
Build a crate potting shelf
If you’re not lucky enough to own a potting shed build a mini potting shelf with reclaimed crates. This one is ready-made but it can easily be replicated and personalised with a splash of colour or some arty touches. Create compartments for equipment and hang from an external wall for easy access. You could even install a pull-down shelf to use as a work surface.
- Use a peg basket for hose attachments
Never lose hose connectors again by keeping them together in one place using a thrifty peg basket like @raw_homemade. The hook will click onto a wall-mounted hose holder and the holes in the bucket will allow any rainwater to drain away.
- Deadhead flowers regularly
Deadheading flowers is a simple task but if done regularly can benefit your garden in several ways. Removing brown or mushy heads keeps the plant looking tidy and attractive and it encourages plants to set more flower heads. It also allows plants to conserve energy and stop excessive self-seeding. So, get out there pruning, pinching or shearing ASAP!
- Invest in a water butt
There are so many advantages to owning a water butt – not only will it put a dent in your water bill by reducing your mains water consumption but rainwater has no chemicals in so it’s much kinder to your plants. For a bigger supply to keep the whole garden fed in the thirsty summer months install one in your shed.
- Be thrifty with eggshells
Once you’ve enjoyed your morning eggs, don’t waste the eggshells – they’re the perfect addition to your garden. Not only a free fertiliser and a great composting option, they also deter garden pests and even cats. Simply rinse them, crush them and spread them around the base of your plants for a multitude of benefits.
TOP TEN OF THE DAY
TOP TEN Obscure sorrows
- Énouement: the bittersweetness of having arrived in the future, seeing how things turn out, but not being able to tell your past self.
- The long dark tea-time of the soul: how Douglas Adams described the failure to think of anything to do on a Sunday afternoon; the wretched boredom of the immortal Wowbagger.
- Anticipointment: the sinking feeling when anticipation fails to be the greater part of pleasure.
- Ellipsism: the sadness that you’ll never know how history turns out.
- Sonder: the realisation that each passer-by has a life as vivid and complex as your own.
- Ely: a sense that something, somewhere has gone terribly wrong. From The Meaning of Liff.
- Mauerbauer-traurigkeit: the inexplicable urge to push people away, even close friends you like.
- Zenosyne: the sense that time keeps going faster.
- Kenopsia: the forlorn atmosphere of a place that is usually bustling with people but is now abandoned.
- Monachopsis: the subtle but persistent feeling of being out of place.
SPECIAL DAYS CELEBRATED ON 27th May 2021
Cellophane Tape Day
Eat More Fruits and Vegetables Day
DON’T FORGET TO LAUGH EVERYDAY
INSPIRATIONAL QUOTE FOR THE DAY
Challenges, failures, defeats and ultimately, progress, are what make your life worthwhile. Maxime Lagacé
Happiness is…a lawnmowing rota.
GRANDAD’S ONE LINER JOKE OF THE DAY
Love is… …finding a cushion to put behind his/her head when he/she nods off.
A time to protect seedlings with plastic bottles…A time to grow seedlings in eggshells (No.30)
1933 Walt Disney’s short film “3 Little Pigs” released (Academy Award Best Animated film 1934).
1977 The Sex Pistols release “God Save the Queen”, sparking major controversy and leading to a ban on the song by the BBC.
1849 Opening of the Great Hall at Euston station in London.
Eric Carle: Very Hungry Caterpillar author dies aged 91
BOOK OF THE DAY
We hate politics on this site. Politics do not lead to happy lives! But I do have to say how can you take seriously Dominic Cummings, a man with no integritty whose only claim to fame is that he is most famous for his hilarious Barnard Castle deceit and fantasy explanation in the rose garden!!!
©2021 Phil M Robinson