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CRAFT: Bloom
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I like my gardening to be easy, and cheap ain’t bad either. Eco-friendly, innovative, and giving a nod to old wives everywhere makes it the best! Here’s a list of the best gardening tips I’ve come across, in no particular order. We’d love to learn about your favorite tips — please offer them up in the Comments.
Cheap and Easy Gardening Tips

  • If you purchase watercress with the roots still attached, you can cut off the watercress part, and then plant the roots in the garden. With a little watering, they’ll grow back. It doesn’t require a stream or pond, anywhere will do.
  • Bury your banana peels under your rose bushes; they love the potassium. No need to dig down and bury them deep. I just wipe away a little dirt and leaves, throw down the peel, and then cover it back up with the detritus I’d pushed aside.
  • Use your coffee grounds to feed your plants, especially nitrogen-loving ones like camellias, hydrangeas, and roses. Not only will you have healthier plants you’ll also save money on fertilizer.
  • Coffee grounds or aluminum powder sprinkled on the roots of hydrangeas will turn the flowers blue.
  • Tea bags can be used like coffee grounds. Bury them whole, cut them open and sprinkle them onto your soil, or use them intact to line the top of potted plants just under the soil to help retain moisture and give them an energy boost.
  • Some people also claim using coffee grounds help reduce pests in the garden.
  • If you’ve bought a particularly delicious bunch of tomatoes at a farmers market, you can plant an entire tomato to start your own plants.
  • To get rid of aphids, use 2 teaspoons of dish soap mixed in a bottle of warm water. Spray directly on the insects and the infected plant, focusing on the underside of the leaves.
  • Replace sprayer heads with drip emitter to save water in your sprinkler system.
  • A deep saucer or pie tin full of beer will attract snails and slugs away from your plants. (Full disclosure: they will fall in and drown.)
  • Copper tape wrapped around the rim of any pot or used on a border at ground level will keep slugs and snails at bay.
  • Cayenne and garlic can be used in a spray to deter leaf-munching pests. Or sprinkle cayenne on the ground to keep dogs, cats, and other mammals away from your plants. Re-apply both after rain.
  • To prevent cutworm and caterpillar attacks, place a newspaper or cardboard collar around the stems of tender transplants.
  • Marigolds are easy to grow, pretty to look at, and keep aphids away.
  • Planting vegetables intermixed with aromatic plants like garlic, chives, or marigolds can repel many problem insects. Try rosemary, basil, and peppermint, too.
  • If you’ve over-watered your plants, pour a little hydrogen peroxide on the roots.
  • Speaking of hydrogen peroxide, use it to clean your garden tools to prevent the spread of diseases, followed by a bit of olive oil or mineral oil to prevent the tools from sticking.
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From trash to treasures.
Gardening is fun and can be really simple. If you like salads, plant a small bed of lettuce. If you love flowers, then plant an abundance of them in all the nooks and crannies of your yard. Or rip up your lawn and plant a veritable feast for your family and friends. And a garden costs less to maintain than a grass lawn and helps you save money on groceries.

shawnconna

Sometimes helpful editor and digital media director at MAKE and CRAFT.


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