Clip-n-Save Garden Hints

Whenever I hear of or discover a great gardening tip I like to share it with my readers and you can be sure that I never provide a tip unless I have tried it first.

1. Two Crops – One Planting

Sometimes you can get a second crop from some plants like green and yellow beans, lettuce, Swiss chard and other greens. After they have finished producing, try chopping them down about 3 inches above the soil. Keep watering as usual and in about a week you should see the stumps sending out new shoots. In about a month to six weeks, you should be picking a new crop.

2. Handy Tool Storage

A great place to store your hand tools right in your gardening area, is to use a metal rural mailbox. You can mount it on a post, an old stump or place it right on the ground. These are great to store all your hand tools, gloves and small odds and ends right where you garden and out of the elements.

3. Make Hand Tools More Comfortable

If you find handles of tools, mowers and shears uncomfortable, apply pipe insulating foam or foam bicycle handle bar grips.

4. Planting Bareroot Trees

When planting bareroot trees and shrubs, make sure to spread the roots out so they are all evenly spaced and untangled because twisted roots stunt growth.  As you cover the roots with soil, gently wiggle the plant in its spot, from time to time to allow the soil to drop down well between the roots.  Make sure to water well after planting.

5. A Kneeling Pad

I have found that an old carpet remnant is the best kneeling pad for working in the garden. I just shake it off after each use and hang it in the shed so any moisture can dry off of it before the next use.

6. Economical Plant labels

An old metal venetian blind can be cut up into smaller pieces and made into plant labels. You can find these at garage sales or thrift stores. I recommend purchasing a paint marker from a hardware or craft store for a long lasting, sun proof label. I have spent hours in the past using other permanent markers or grease pencils only to find my hard work bleached away by the sun and rain.

7. Mini Greenhouses

Save the clear produce or fruit containers that often cannot be accepted in our recycle bins, as they make great mini greenhouses for starting seedlings. Seedlings can be started in one half and covered until they grow too tall. Empty ones can also be placed over tender seedlings in the garden. Just bury the edges thoroughly so the wind doesn’t take them away. A few 3” nails punched through the edges and then into the soil will help to secure them as well.

8. Fake Snakes

To keep small animals and some birds out of your garden, cut an old hose in three-foot lengths (black works best but green is okay too). Place the pieces around your garden to look like fake snakes. Move them around every once in a while.