Gardening is the number one hobby in the U.S. The passion and love for growing and cultivating plant life is often handed down from generation to generation. Along with the proverbial green thumb comes a lot of traditional hacks for improving your home garden.
In this article, we will explore some not-so-conventional tricks to improve your garden’s growth. The methods are often passed via word-of-mouth from one gardener to another.
How to naturally battle snails and slugs
Garden snails and slugs are sneaky. The amount of damage these pests can cause is overwhelming. Yes, there are a variety of pesticide powders and other chemical options to rid your garden of the pests but if you are looking for a more natural option then take grapefruit skins and turn them upside down in your garden to create a barrier that the creatures won’t want to cross.
You can also use crushed eggshells to make the slugs and snails avoid your precious plants because they don’t like traversing the sharp debris.
Another option is to use rooibos tea leaves sprinkled around the plant’s base which deters the pests. You can buy tea bags and simply rip them open or go with loose tea.
A beer trap is an interesting option. You pour a little beer into a shallow plate or bowl. Bury the container so it is at the soil level. The slugs and snails love the smell of the beer. They will automatically crawl into the liquid and drown. You can then pick them out and repeat the process the next night to control the pests and keep your plants safe.
Boost Your Soil Calcium
Your plants require calcium for healthy growth. In addition, it helps them fend off potential diseases. Grind up the egg’s shells from your morning omelet and sprinkle them around your plants. If you have any unused milk, then you can also pour it directly into the soil. Powdered milk is a great source of calcium that you can sprinkle around the plants.
Create Sweet Tomatoes
Tomatoes are often tart but if you sprinkle some baking soda around your tomato plants then you will be shocked how sweet the red globes become. However, only apply a very tiny amount because too much will poison the soil and kill the plant. Remember, it only takes a pinch.
Cardboard Seed Tubes
Yes, you can head down to the local gardening center and buy peat pots or seedling trays to start your seeds but why not use what you have on-hand? The cardboard core of a toilet paper roll is ideal for starting seeds. Simply fill them with dirt and plant a seed. You can even transplant them directly into the soil with the seed and the tube. The cardboard will breakdown over time as the seedling grows and expands its root system.
Cider and Wisteria
Wisteria is stunning when in full bloom, but the shrub has a reputation for being fickle. If your wisteria refuses to flower, then it’s time to try pouring rotten cider directly into the soil surrounding the shrub. You’ll be amazed at the blooms the wisteria produces after trying this garden hack!
Growing Colorful Hydrangeas
Hydrangeas are an interesting plant because their flower colors can vary dramatically depending on the soil’s pH balance. If the soil is acidic then you can expect blue-hued flowers. Alkaline soil produces very pink blooms.
In order to achieve the hydrangea flower colors that you like, you can experiment by adding pine needles to the soil to make it acidic or you can use mushroom compost to create alkaline soil. Coffee grounds can also turn the soil acidic (extra hack: use coffee grounds around blueberry bushes for a robust harvest). If you add a lot, you’ll get very blue or very pink flowers. You can play with the amount to determine the vibrancy of the blooms that you want to achieve.
Soak your Seeds
If you decide to soak your seeds in water for 24 hours before planting then the liquid will help the seeds break their dormancy which rapidly speeds up the entire germination process so you get a jump on everything.
These are just a few hacks for improving your home garden and plant cultivation. There are many ideas that are out of the ‘norm’ and remarkably effective. With a little research, you can always discover more natural and eco-friendly ways to grow plants.