Who knew that bugs hate cheap cologne? Or that a vacuum cleaner could be used as a gardening tool?Author Sharon Lovejoy has recorded over 700 tips and in her new book “Trowel & Error: Over 700 Shortcuts, Tips & Remedies for the Gardener”. Here's an excerpt:
POTIONS, LURES AND CURIOUS CURES
GARDENING TRICKS THAT BEND THE RULES
Use a little hand vacuum to suck pests off your plants.
Make use of that bad gift of cheap cologne. Use it to quickly spot treat plant infestations.
Save your leftover vegetable, tea, and pasta cooking water to water “feed” your plants.
Make a bracelet of adhesive tape to blot critters off plants.
Get intimate with your houseplants and share the shower with them.
Yellow leaves probably means you’re over-watering.
Sprinkle corn gluten meal in newly dug beds to prevent weeds from germinating.
Plant a ring of garlic around your rosebushes to deter Japanese beetles.
To keep seeds spaced well make your own seed tape out of toilet paper, water & flower.
Cut down on frost damage with a kelp cocktail
Cure plant viruses with spoiled milk.
Use empty fruit rinds as little starter pots and then transplant rinds directly into garden soil.
Give plants a calcium boost by adding crushed egg shells or crab shells to the soil.
Treat fungus with 2 uncoated aspirin dissolved in water.
Borrow or rent a goose, duck or chicken to help with the weeding.
Use aluminum foil on a backing board to reflect more light onto sun-loving plants.
Get rid of deer with dirty laundry.
Lure the “good guys” — spiders, bats, aphid lions and social wasps — into your garden to help fight harmful pests.
Use an apple corer to make a miniature dibber for bulbs.
SHARON LOVEJOY’S SPRAYING TIPS
Test homemade sprays on a small portion of the plant before applying it to the entire surface. Monitor the plant’s response for a couple of days to check for burning.
Always use soap (never detergent) so as not to burn plants.
Prevent sunburned leaves by applying sprays early in the morning, and never when the temperature is above 85 degrees.
Wear rubber gloves when using any sprays containing peppers, alcohol, citrus concentrates, mint oils, or anything else that could irritate your skin. And when spraying outdoors in breezy conditions, wear eye and nose protection.
Thoroughly examine your plants before applying sprays to make sure that you aren’t spraying any spiders or beetles that might be your allies in the fight against pests.
For more information, visit www.sharonlovejoy.com.
Excerpted from Sharon Lovejoy’s Trowel & Error by Sharon Lovejoy. Copyright © 2003 Sharon Lovejoy. Pulbished by Workman Publishing Co. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt can be used without permission of the publisher.