10 Pro Tips For The Newbie Gardener

Family starts a new garden together

Family starts a new garden together

If you’re trying your hand at gardening for the first time this year, you might run into a few issues as you learn your way around the garden rows. So, here are 10 tips from people who’ve been getting their hands dirty for a while.

Gardening Uses for Clay Pots

Gardening newbies might not know just how useful clay pots are, but they’re inexpensive and pretty handy. Here are some unique ways you can put them to use.

  • Freeze protection – If there’s a sudden overnight frost and you don’t have cloches on hand,  just place a clay pot over young plants to protect them from freezing.
  • Twine dispenser – Stick a ball of twine in a clay pot and guide the end through the drainage hole. Then, you can leave the pot upside down in the garden and you’ll always have twine when you need it.
  • Hose guide – protect your plants from damage by creating a hose guide for watering time. Just stick a one-foot length of the steel reinforcing bar into the corner of the garden bed. Then place two clay pots over it with one facing up and the other facing down.

Garden Cleaning Tips

Here are a few tips for keeping your supplies, your hands, and even your car clean while gardening.

  • Clay pot cleaner – Over time, you’ll notice salt deposits forming on your clay pots. To clean it off, combine equal parts water, rubbing alcohol, and white vinegar in a spray bottle. Apply it to your pots, then use a plastic brush to scrub them clean.
  • Soap nail guards – To keep dirt from getting under your nails, drag your fingernails across a bar of soap before you get started. After your gardening session, just use a toothbrush to clean the soap out.
  • Dry herb air freshener – Here’s a two-for-one tip. To quickly dry herbs, lay a sheet of newspaper on the seat of your car. Then arrange the herbs in a single layer on top, roll up the windows, and shut the door. The herbs will dry out and your car will smell great.

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Kitchen Recyclables

Pause before you toss out kitchen items. You might be able to use them in the garden.

  • Boiled veggie water – If you boil or steam vegetables, don’t pour the water down the drain. Instead, use it as plant food when you water your potted patio plants. The veggie water will help them thrive.
  • Coffee and tea – Don’t toss out your coffee grounds. Use them to acidify the soil for acid-loving plants like azaleas.
  • Chamomile tea – Control the damping-off fungus that affects young seedlings by pouring a little chamomile tea around the base of the plant once a week.