Tickle Your Tomatoes

Your tomato seedlings will benefit from a little movement. The stem will be stronger and thicker. As you pass them, tickle them with your fingers!


Increase Air Movement

Let a small fan move the air around your plants. Air movement will decrease fungus diseases and strengthen the stems of your plants.

Catch the Shadow

Wondering what light intensity you have? Check the shadow of your plants. If you are not able to see the outline of the plant well, you have low light. If you can see the shape of the plant but little detail, you have moderate light. If you can see your plant clearly in the shadow, you have high light!

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Reflect Upon It

Increase the light intensity of your indoor setup. Cover cardboard pieces with tinfoil and place the pieces where they will reflect the light back to your plants. Under my light set-up, I place the foiled pieces against a wall. The light from my set up bounces back to my plants. On a windowsill, lean the pieces so that they reflect the sun back at your plants. You will find that your plants are less leggy and do not need to be turned so often when you use foil to reflect light from whatever source you use.

Update: February 2021 == use aluminum baking sheets to reflect light onto your seedlings.

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Hold That Water

The soil in many outdoor containers dries out quickly. Keep moisture in by using a diaper. Cut the business portion of the diaper and discard the elastic, etc. Wet the crotch and place it at the bottom of a container before you add the soil. For large containers, consider using the crotch of 2 diapers. The moisture retentive substance in the diaper will hold water and keep your pots moist longer.

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pH Test

Quick and Dirty Soil Acidity Test: mix 1 cup of soil with 2 cups of water. Stir in 1.5 cup baking soda. If you have a volcano, your soil is acid. If you have just a little fizz, you have minimal acidity.

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Banana Skins

Don't discard your banana skins. Cut them up or chop them in a food processor and work them into the soil around your roses. The potassium in the skin will give your roses a boost.

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Roses and Fish

Give your roses a kick start and a long lasting source of food. Bury a fish (or some frozen fish!) beneath the roots when you plant a new rose.

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Make Your Own Seed Tape

Here's the perfect task for grandchildren during spring break. Tear newspaper into strips. Mix flour paste and dot at intervals along the strip. Before the paste dries, put a seed into each strip. It's a fun thing for kids and an easy way to space seeds -- especially those hard to space seeds like carrots. Plant the strip seed side up and water.

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Portable Potting Table

Take an ironing board out to the garden. It will make a handy, portable potting table. It's easily carried around the garden and can be positioned higher or lower, depending on your preference.

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Spade and Shovel Cleaner

Keep your spades clean and rust free. Partially fill a plasic pail with sand. Dump motor oil over the sand and mix well. Now... when you finish working with a shovel, plunge it into to oily sand in the pail. The sand will clean soil off your shovel and the oil will coat the shovel to inhibit rust.

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Find Your Tools

I don't know about you, but I often lose my tools in the garden and spend hours looking for them. Some I don't find until next year! One way of keeping track of your tools is to paint the handles a bright colour. You can put a stripe on the handle or paint the whole thing. Bright colours (even fluorescent ones) work best.

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Drying Herbs

The quickest way in the world to dry herbs: just lay a sheet of newspaper on the seat of your car, arrange the herbs in a single layer, then roll up the windows and close the doors. Your herbs will be quickly dried to perfection. What's more, your car will smell great. -- Paul James

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Dividing Daylilies

Dividing daylilies can be a chore. Try this next time. After digging the clump, use a garden hose to wash away all traces of soil around the daylily. Gently roll the newly cleaned tubers back and forth until they are all lying separately. The tubers will be unharmed, the roots long and straight and the leaves intact.

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