It’s almost time for the garden to go in – and if you are anything like Mary and I – you’re more than ready to put winter behind and get those plants in the ground!
It seems like each and every year, we find at least one new tip or trick from fellow gardeners to try out in our own vegetable patch.
Whether its a new or better way to protect plants from pests or animals – or an easier way to accomplish a garden task – we are always on the lookout for something new to try.
We thought for this week’s garden article – we would pass along 7 past favorites we have used in our own garden here at Old World Garden Farms.
7 Nifty Garden Tricks
Pantyhose To Protect Your Cabbage and Broccoli and Cauliflower
Although old pantyhose have been used for years to tie up tomato and pepper plants – they have an even better use in the garden as protection against the dreaded cabbage worm.
As the young heads begin to emerge on your plants this year – slip a covering of pantyhose over top of the heads of your cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower to keep cabbage worms from becoming a problem.
The pantyhose covering makes a great barrier against all kinds of pests – and the elasticity allows the heads of your plants to grow at will – protecting them all the way to maturity!
The Power of Planting Basil With Tomatoes
We all know that basil goes perfectly with tomatoes and mozzarella as an appetizer – but did you know its an even better partner in the garden!
Basil is well-known as a natural deterrent for everything from tomato hornworms to white flies, aphids and more. When planted near tomatoes – it can help to keep those nasty critters away.
Just think – in just a few steps you can pick the perfect appetizer ingredients right from your garden – now if we could only get the fresh mozzarella cheese to grow there as well! And by the way – it is also a great repellent for mosquitos – so keep a few bunches in water on the table on your back porch or patio to help there as well.
The Hot Pepper Plant “Ring of Fire”
Hot peppers can do more than just light up your taste buds – they can also help to deter many pests from devouring the vegetables and plants in your garden.
For years now, we have planted some of our hottest pepper varieties around the outer rows and along the edge of our garden. That “ring-of-fire” planting serves as a deterrent to small animals such as rabbits and groundhogs from finding much pleasure in their first few bites from our garden.
Does it really work? All I can say is that it is always interesting that we have a few nibbles out of those outer plants every year – and the inside plantings are left alone.
Toilet Paper Rolls In The Garden
If you have an issue with cut worms or even slugs – toilet paper rolls can get help you wipe away the problem! (come on – you know that was funny! )
All joking aside – just cut a slice down the side and then slip them around your tomato and pepper plants as a “collar.”
You can cut the rolls in half first and make 2 collars per roll.
It creates the perfect barrier against damage from cutworms – and at zero cost. An added benefit – the cardboard is biodegradable.
Plant Easy With A Post Hole Digger
This is one of my favorite garden tricks! If you are a friend of our blog – you hear us talk about this one a lot! Stop killing your back with a little trowel and stop creating massive holes with that over-sized shovel.
All you need is a trusty old post-hole digger to create the perfect planting hole with ease.
A post hole digger makes quick work of creating deep, uniform planting holes that are easy to fill back in with compost and soil – making quick work on planting day! (see:planting with a post hole digger)
Using Garlic To Repel Squirrels, Mice And Chipmunks.
If you love to plant tulips or other flowering bulbs – you may know all too well that squirrels and chipmunks sometimes love to dig them right back up! Garlic bulbs to the rescue.
The next time you plant – try placing a single clove of garlic in each hole along with the flowering bulb. The garlic bulb will help to deter the chipmunks and squirrels from digging.
Garlic is a great natural repellent – and can also be ground up along with hot peppers, steeped in water, and made into an all-natural bug repellent spray for your plants. See: Natural Bug Spray Recipe
The Power Of Egg Shells
Start saving those egg shells now for planting day!
Blossom rot is a serious problem for many gardeners that love to grow tomatoes. The main culprit – a lack of calcium in the soil. A few crushed egg shells placed into each planting hole will help give tomatoes the calcium they need and help keep blossom rot at bay.
They are also great to sprinkle around the top of each plant to help stop slugs it their tracks. The sharp edges of crushed shells are deadly to slugs as they slither across. When all of those tasks are complete – crush those egg shells up and add them to that compost pile!
There you have it – 7 of our favorite garden tricks. Be sure to share any that work for you in the comments section below – we are always on the lookout for the next thing to try!
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Happy Gardening! – Jim and Mary