Friday, February 17, 2012

Tips & Tricks - Gardening Helpful Hints

Tips & Tricks - Gardening Helpful Hints


Do you enjoy an occasional cup of tea?

Instead of throwing away the empty tea bags, brew them again for vegetable gardening, and provide your vegetable plants with free fertilizer. Cool the tea and use it to condition and enhance the soil when gardening.

This method of enriching the soil is considered free because the tea bags would otherwise end up in the trash. Some people even bury their used tea bags next to plants while vegetable gardening, and the bags naturally break down while the tea inside conditions the soil and helps the plants grow strong and produce abundantly.


Old coffee grounds make a great fertilizer for both flower and vegetable gardens. Coffee grounds offer alot of nutritional benefits to the plants than basic cow manure or hard to make compost.

Used coffee grounds definitely contain high amounts of minerals as like calcium, magnesium and nitrogen. All those thrown away worthy minerals support the growth of plants that are growing in soil which need a boost for a healthy plant.

The benefits to adding used coffee or tea grounds to your soil can be compared to or rise above those expensive store-bought vegetable and flower garden fertilizers as like Miracle Grow, Dr. Earth, Wal-Mart basic, Nature's Trust, etc.

It's so easy to use old coffee grounds to your garden. There's different ways to apply the grounds to your garden so, choose the easiest way for you by either simply adding the grounds directly to the by tossing them onto the top soil then scratch them into the soil, sprinkling the grounds on top of the soil and giving the plant a good watering, make a coffee ground slurry by adding two cups of used grounds to a (5) five-gallon bucket of water. Let the grounds steep for a 2 - 3 hours or  best overnight. You can even use this concoction as a liquid fertilizer for garden and container plants. If you filter the steeped grounds with an old t-shirt, cheese cloth or even a coffee filter, you can then add it to a sprayer of choice and spray the plants leaves. Think of the cost you just saved by not having to hop in the car to buy liquid plant spray.

Spend coffee grounds also make a great slug and snail barrier keeping your plants save from those ugly but leathal gnawing alien like creatures . Coffee grounds abrasive and acidic, so the barrier of coffee grounds placed near slug-prone plants will save them from these garden pests. The good news is, you don't have to pull out the ol' salt trick to melt the slugs like the Wicked ol' Witch from Oz.

Another great idea is to add used coffee grounds to your worm bins. Did you know that worms love coffee grounds. They don't care if they're from Starbucks or from the Coffee & Tea Leaf Company! Be sure not to add too many all at once because, the acidity in the grounds could toxicate the worms. One cup of grounds per week is a good amount to add. 


MURPHY'S OIL SOAP - Home Made Pesticide Recipe!

3 - tsp. Murphy's oil soap
3 - tsp. Ivory dish washing liquid
3 - cup Warm water
1 - cup warm water
1 - cup vegetable oil or mineral oil 

Mix all together and stir completely. Pour the entire soap mixture into a spray bottle and spray away! It's always best to apply any soap insecticide no more than once a week and always after a good soaking or a rainstorm. If your plants are either young or tender, simply dilute the solution with more water to prevent any damage.

This Old Farmer's Almanc recipe has been around for years and backyard gardeners swear by it. I use it on my tomato plants. Boy does it ward off aphids and spider mites.

How it works is the Murphy's and dish soaps are absorbed through the insect's body and will actually clog up their membranes. The concoction will kill the bugs but, not harm your plants. The eggs will either melt away or fall off the plant.

These soaps are highly effective in killing aphids, white flies and spidermites that often lay eggs and eat tomato plants, roses, cabbage, peppers, etc. The Murphy's oil soap pesticide recipe is a great pest control and is known to be safe for humans, animals and most importantly to the bees which help pollinate your plants.

CILANTRO - Kills Spider Mites & Aphids

1 - handful of cilantro (leaves & stems) 1 - 2 cups
4 - cups boiling water

A simple cilantro spray is great to use on spider mites and aphids. It's easy breezy to make by boiling a fist full of cilantro (leaves and stems) with water. Strain the mixture through an old t-shirt, cheesecloth or coffee filter.  After straining the mixture allow the liquid to cool before placing into a spray bottle. Apply as needed.  It's just like the Murphy's Oil recipe as it will soak into the insect's body and will clog their membranes. It will also melt away the eggs.

CHILI PEPPERS - Another Great Pest Deterrent

10 - Habanero or Serrano chilis
4 - cups hot water
3 - tsp soft soap (hand soap or diluted dish soap)

Did you know that Chili peppers deter many pests including aphids, birds, cats and dogs who like to eat plants, deer, rabbits, mice, spider mites and many more damaging insects. 

Boil 10 good size Habanero or Serrano chilis peppers in 4 cups of water for 10 minutes.

Steep the chilis and water overnight for about 8 hours. Then add 3 teaspoons of soft soap (hand soap or diluted dish soap) to the chili mixture. Strain the entire mixture through either a cheesecloth, old t-shirt or coffee filter then place in sprayer. It's ready to be applied to plants. BUT... be careful, when applying because, the chili mixture can burn tender or new plants. This mixture should be used sparingly.

*WARNING! Do not touch eyes, mouth or nose. You'll regret it! Burn, Burn, Burn!!

BAKING SODA - Controls & Kills Powdery Mildew

1 - tblsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp liquid soap
1 gal. water

There's literally 1001 uses for baking soda. Baking soda or sodium bicarbonate, makes a truly inexpensive control for powdery mildew on plants.

Did you ever wonder what the white film is on your cabbage or tomatoes? It's a fungus or mildew. Making a baking soda fungicide is most effective in killing off the fungus that causes a powdery mildew and it's important to use the mixture to prevent future powdery mildew.

It's important to use the mixture when the first signs of powdery mildew appear because, once the fungus begins.. it can take over an entire head of cabbage, broccoli or tomato plant. The mixture basically offers only minimal benefits after your plants has been entirely infected but, will completely help save the plant once the powdery mildew first appears.

Be sure not to store any unused mixture. This recipe is most effective but, it can burn the leaves of some plants. Storing the baking soda mixture will change the intensity from an alkaline to a acid.

Old backyard gardeners always recommend that you first water your infected plants well a couple of days in advance before applying this mixture and trying it on a small area first. That way you can see how well or little your plant is responding to the spray.

DON'T apply it in full sun. Baking soda reacts to the heat of the sun. Apply it early in the morning or towards the day's end.

A weekly spraying to your susceptible plants during humid and damp weather conditions will greatly reduce the spread of powdery mildew in your garden. 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the entire information you have given here to impart knowledge amongst us?The Tree Center



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