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Hints and tips for Gardens, Cut flowers

Hints and tips for Gardens:

  • Wrap the roots of young plants in damp newspaper or place garlic around the roots to protect against cutworms.
  • Dry your favorite blooms in a shoebox filled with borax and leaving them for 2-3 weeks. Another method is to use 350g silica gel in a plastic container, arrange petals on top making sure they do not touch and cover with paper toweling and sprinkle  90g oats over the entire surface. Microwave at 30% medium low for 20-25 minutes.
  • Moles will leave if you pour paraffin down their burrows.
  • A strong tea brewed with pipe tobacco will make an environmentally safe spray for diseased plants and remove plant bugs
  • A home grown compost heap can be made from a old dustbin with the bottom removed. Bury to 3/4 of its depth and fill then cover with a cup of dolomite lime and cover with soil. Within a week the earthworms will have your compost ready.
  • If you have a small garden which needs revitalising, wrap your kitchen waste in newspaper and add a little lime, dig into your garden. Do not use tomartoes and pumpkin in your waste like this as it takes too much time to break down.
  • You can make a quick compost heap from a black plastic bag pulled over a frame. Punch some holes in it and place in the sun, use as a normal compost heap and in four weeks after closing you have compost.
  • Onions that are decaying can be planted in the garden.
  • Potato peelings will often root if buried. plant potatoes when they start growing moldy and reap the harvest.
  • Tap the side of your pot plant- if it sounds hollow it needs water. Always use room temperature water.
  • To test for acid soil, take a sample 22 cm down. Place in a glass of water, add some vinegar. If the soil is acid it will steam.
  • Mix fine seeds with sand and then sow. 
  • Fish pond with algae can be cured by drawing a muslin bag containing copper sulphate over the surface about 10 times. Copper is an algaecide and fungicide.
  • Use tea leaves to condition your soil. Geraniums and hydrangeas love it.
  • Snail bait- coarse salt, or crush firelighters and mix with equal parts mealie meal.
  • 1 teaspoon of epsom salts to a litre of water applied to potplants once a month is very good.
  • Strips of pantyhose make good ties for plants and do not damage tender stems.

Hints and tips for Cut flowers:

  •  Roses: 1 its Epsom salts and alum to one liter water or 1/2 asprin.
  • Use lemon juice for fleshy flowers such as begonias
  • Brandy lengthens the lives of sweat peas
  • Coins benefit chrysanthemums.
  • To arrange flowers in a vase cover the opening with glad wrap and it will hold the flowers in place and stop the water evaporating.
  • Any cut flowers will benefit from a pinch of alum in the water.
  • Chrysanthemums benefit from their stems being freshly cut and immediately plunged into boiling water and then into the vase.
  • Poppies should be cut before the buds open and the stems burnt. Gerberas need the same treatment
  • When picking flowers take a bucket of water and put the flowers directly into it. Cut in the early morning.
  • Hydrangeas need to have thier stems slit for 10 cm and like alum water.
  • All flowers benefit from being left up to thier necks in water for around 12 to 24 hours before arranging.
  • Use mint in your flower arrangements to stop flies from bothering you. It is also good for scenting a bathroom. Lavender works well to relax people around the dinning room table.