We hope that the following tips and lessons we've learned will be useful to other gardeners.



  Good Neighbors: Vines and Roses - Grape growers often plant roses near their              vineyards. Both roses and grapes are prone to powdery mildew and pests, but roses will        show signs of  the mildew first, giving warning that it's time to protect the grapevines.              Planting a rose bush at each end of your arbor makes a wonderful companion for the              grapevines while adding beautiful color and fragrance to the vineyard. 

   Deer Deterrent - A deer deterrent recently passed along from a neighbor:  Mix three           eggs along with enough water to fill a plastic outdoor sprayer and spray plants.  It seems         the deer don't like the smell of eggs.

  
Japanese Beetles - Are Japanese beetles on your fruit trees? Early in the morning               before the  sun warms them, Japanese beetles can't fly. Spread an old shower curtain on         the ground below, shake the tree and the beetles will drop. Gather the four corners of the       shower curtain and pour the beetles into a container of soapy water.

 

​   Pruning Lavender - Lavender plants should always be pruned in the spring time. The           plant needs all the energy during the winter. When pruning, prune every other growth.             Encourage Strong Roots - Put a teaspoon of Epsom salts in the hole you have dug for             your plant to encourage a strong root system. 


   Rooting a Wood Stem Plant - To root a plant with a wood stem, such as a Rose Bush,       in the spring select a stem that can be bent to soil level. Put a cut in the stem where it is           going to be inserted in the ground. Carefully raise the stem to an upright position. Dust           stem at the cut with root starter. Push the stem into a 6 inch deep opening in the ground.       Place a rock on top to keep in place. Cover with soil and mulch, then water. It will root by         next spring.   Cut the new branch away from the Mother plant. Enjoy your new baby rose          bush! 

   
Protect Roses from Disease - To help protect your rose bushes from fungal disease,         encircle each bush with four garlic bulbs.


    Beware of the Invasive - Be very careful where you plant things (sweet woodruff, for           example) that spread easily and can become invasive. Much time and energy will be spent     getting rid of the plants, only to have them come back and spread again the next year.

                                   

    Prevent Tomato Plant Disease - Combine half a cup of powdered non-fat milk, a             quarter cup of Epsom salt, and a shovel of compost. Mix well, sprinkle around                           plants, or in the soil before planting.        

 

    An Old Knife, A New Use - An old serrated kitchen knife makes a great tool for                 dividing lilies and other perennials.

 

​    Shovel & Tool Cleaning - Fill a large galvanized bucket or tub with sand, pour a quart        of motor oil over the sand and mix well. Clean shovels, spades, trowels and forks by                  moving them up and down in the sand. The abrasiveness of the sand removes some rust        and dirt.  The oil helps protect the surface. Wipe the tool off with a rag. Depending on the      size of container, tools can be stored upright in the sand.


     Tidy Daffodil Foliage - Once your daffodils have finished blooming, do not cut back           the foliage until it has turned yellow. In the meantime, the foliage may become limp and         messy looking. To keep foliage tidy, simply grasp it in a bunch, hold it upright, and use             two or  three pieces of foliage to tie the bunch together. A bamboo skewer or stick can           be added also if necessary. For a more formal look, bunches of foliage may be braided.           When the  foliage has yellowed, cut back bunches and add to your compost pile. 

    
Reduce Flower Box Watering - A trick for keeping the soil moist in your flower boxes      is to line the bottom with a disposable diaper before you add soil and plants. The                   absorbent material of the diaper is excellent for retaining moisture and reduces the                 number of times you'll need to water each week.

 

     Age a Terra Cotta Pot - Easily speed up the aging process of your terra cotta pots.            Grind up moss and a little water in your blender or food processor. Paint the outside of the      pot with buttermilk or plain yogurt, then rub the moss mixture on. Set in a cool, damp,            shaded area for a few weeks and mist daily. Your new pots will have a nice "old and                  mossy" patina by the end of summer. 


     Share or Exchange Plants - To add flowers and plants to your garden without                    expense, check with your friends. They may have gardens overgrowing with plants  you            have been waiting to purchase or haven't been able to find:  iris, tulips, daffodils, and              more.  Dividing plants is a great way to clean out a garden and share with others at the            same time.  

 

     Keep Pot Saucers Clean - When potting plants, place a coffee filter or used dryer              sheet in the bottom of the pot to prevent the dirt from coming through the hole in the            bottom along with the water.

    
Save Your Back - A hand truck is great for moving large rocks. They are low, so rocks            can be "rolled" onto them, instead of being lifted into a cart or wheelbarrow.  And the            wheels are usually sturdy enough for rough terrain. 

     Enjoy, Enjoy - Try not to be a slave to your garden; there will always be another weed to

     pull or plant to dead head. Take the time to reap the rewards of gardening by relaxing and      enjoying all of the beauty that you and nature have worked together to create. 

                                  For more tips and information, visit the resource pages.