Tried and True Gardening Tips

Everyone who gardens, enjoys receiving tips and tricks to make the job of gardening a little bit easier.  I offer these tips, all of which I use in my own garden with many being part of my regular practice.

·      Toads are a great form of natural pesticide. They love to eat the many insects that can wreak havoc on your plants such as snails, slugs, cutworms and other crawling insects. Toads like cool moist environments so they rest in the shade during the day and then patrol the garden during the night looking for food. Toads are not scavengers so they prefer live insects that they zap with their quick, sticky tongue and during the prime of insect season they can eat up to 3000 bugs per month. To encourage toads to stay in your garden do not use toxic commercial pesticides, as they not only kill bugs but are also very toxic to toads because the pesticides are absorbed through the toad’s skin. Create toad houses by over turning clay pots that you have broken away a piece to create a doorway. The saucers can be placed in the garden in the shade and filled with water for the toads to drink. Unlike frogs, toads do not swim in water they just drink it. On really hot days soak the clay toad house and surrounding soil with cool water to help to keep the toad cool.

·      Make it a habit to return your tool to your carrying container as soon as you are done using it. This way a tool doesn’t get lost in the garden. You don’t want your good to tools to end up under the bark mulch or pile of weeds and lost for good,

·      Some gardeners in an effort to not overlook their tools when left in the garden or on the ground, paint them with a bright colour. There are a few types of paint to choose from like a plastic coating type paint that handles can be dipped in or painted to make them more comfortable, to neon spray paints. Other gardeners add some neon-coloured duct tape to handles (or add foam first and wrap in the duct tape) or the flexible self sticking bandage wrap (also known as vet wrap) which is sold in the pharmacy/first aid section, in tack shops (the best place to buy it) or vet clinics. There are other options too just check what is available in your local market area but if you keep losing tools you will want to find something soon.

·      Used coffee grounds are a great source of nutrients for acid loving plants such as ferns, azaleas, rhododendrons, blueberries and hydrangeas. Roses also love the boost coffee grounds provide. Just sprinkle directly on the soil around the base of these types of plants. They can also be placed in with the regular compost too. The coffee grounds are an excellent source of slow-release nitrogen which helps promote healthy leaf growth and have an acidic pH range of 3.0-5.0 so they lower the acidity of the soil. Ask at your local coffee shop if they provide their spent grounds to the public as many do so to help reduce their volume of garbage.

I hope you will find these garden tips as helpful to you as they are for me. I like to share tips that I have tried myself and believe in to that you can use them to become and effective and efficient gardener too. So clip and save these tips so you have them handy all season.