Garden Nuggets

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  • Prepare a Runner Bean trench by adding old newspapers, shreadded paper and kitchen waste to the bottom. This retains moisture and provides nutrients during the growing season.


  • Plastic drink bottles cut in half make great mini cloches.


  • Do away with bamboo poles for beans and instead grow sunflowers. The beans will be just as happy growing up the stalk and it looks much nicer.

  • Replace crocks with broken Polystyrene for lightweight drainage in containers


  • Peas don't like their roots disturbed when transplanting. Sow in lengths of guttering in the greenhouse. When ready to transplant outside simply slide the contents into a ready-made trench the same size.


  • Plant Marigolds with Tomatoes to keep away Whitefly


  • Plant Potatoes in old rolled down compost bags. As the plant grows, pull up the bag and top up with compost. Earthing-up made easy.


  • After washing up collect the soapy water in a "spray bottle" and use to remove aphids from plants.


  • Smear Vaseline around the tops of pots to stop Slugs and Snails in their tracks.


  • Broken eggshells also deter Slugs and Snails. Scatter them around the plants at risk.


  • Bury a small jam jar in the soil and fill to the top with beer. An irresistible trap for Slugs.


  • Upturned grapefruit skins are great for attracting slugs. Check and empty them daily.


  • Want to know where that annoying Ants nest is? Place a drop of jam by the ants and follow the trail back to the nest. Destroy the nest with ant powder or boiling water.


  • Peas like a deep root run. Sow them in loo roll tubes to give them plenty of space for their roots to grow


  • Make cut flowers last longer. Add 2 tablespoons of vinegar and 1 teaspoon of sugar for each litre of water.


  • Place Banana skins around the base of roses. This adds potassium which roses love.


  • When you've finished with bamboo canes stand them in a container filled with wood preserver for a while. Makes them last for longer. 


  • Take photos of your garden at various times of the year.You can see when and where gaps appear and what improvments can be made.


  • Keep and oily rag handy in the shed. Clean tools before you put them away and they'll be as good as new.


  • Fill a bucket with sand and mix in some motor oil. Once the earth is removed from them, plunge your garden tools into the bucket to keep them clean and oiled for next time.


  • Place wire mesh under compost bins to keep out vermin.


  • When dealing with small seeds, mix them with sand to make sowing easier.


  • When watering in the greenhouse leave the can full. Next time you use it the water will be warmer and will not "shock" the plants.  

  • In summer water early in the  morning or late in the evening to avoid evaporation.


  • When harvesting cabbages, make two cuts crossways on the top of the stump.  Within a month or two it will sprout again and give you a second crop of greens


  • Store herbs by freezing in ice cube trays with water.


  • Use egg cartons for growing seeds. With the cardboard type you can break individual sections off and plant straight into the ground when ready.


  • Stop dirt from getting under your fingernails by scratching on a bar of soap before starting.  When you wash up the soap comes away and "hey presto", clean fingernails.


  • With invasive plants like Mint, keep them in their containers when planting to stop them getting out of control.


  • Fill drinks bottles with water. Pierce the screw cap and push into the ground to act as a drip feeder.


  • Mulch acid loving plants with used coffee grounds.


  • Keep Mosquitos out of your water butt by floating a layer of cooking oil on the water.


  • Sink an empty flower pot into the ground near a plant that needs constant watering and when the plant needs watering fill the pot up with water.