Hints & Tricks

  • A pot-in-a-pot for irrigating houseplants is better than capillary action through water wicks. By using a small, unglazed clay pot placed inside a larger, glazed clay pot with a water reservoir between plants are better irrigated and improved root growth.
  • To make economical "sticky stakes" for trapping whiteflies and aphids, cut bright-yellow cardboard or plastic, such as recycled detergent bottles or margarine tubs, into strips. Coat with petroleum jelly. Insert into pots or hang near problem areas.
  • Your local delicatessen often has surplus 4 to 5 gallon plastic pickle buckets - a good size for growing containerized plants, or pick up inexpensive, plastic buckets at your local paint store. Plastic buckets may also be painted.
  • To make old hay and manure weed-free spread them on the soil in late winter, water well and cover with black plastic. Weeds will sprout after a few days of warm weather, then will be killed by frost or lack or light.
  • Gardeners have been supporting pea vines with prunings from twiggy shrubs for years. Cut twiggy branches about 6" shorter than the ultimate height of the plants. Insert three branches around the plants as they emerge in the spring. The branches will soon be disguised by the foliage.
  • If you want flowers on your cactus, plant it in a small pot. Most cacti bloom sooner if rootbound.
  • Protect your pruning saw during storage. Make a cover for it by using a piece of old garden hose the same length as the blade. Cut the hose lengthwise on one side, and place it over the blade.
  • Next time you purchase a purse or pair of shoes, save the desiccant package. Put it in the container where you save your leftover seeds and it will absorb excess moisture to help protect your seeds from excess humidity.