1,001 Gardening Secrets The Experts Never Tell You. Editors of FC&A Publishing. © 2008 by FC&A Publishing.
I stumbled upon this gardening book at a used book store in downtown Encinitas for $8.00 which was a real bargain when I compared it to the Amazon online price for $44.00. This book is an easy read with corny bold chapter titles, "Wet and Wild Watering Secrets","Pesky Plant Problems" and "Win the War on Weeds" to name a few. After placing posty notes all through the book at my favorite pieces of advice I decided to share them on this blog. Many of these tips and tricks I plan to try out this week such as cutting up banana peels and digging them into the soil of my potted rose bushes. Another secret I read and desperately need in my yard is how to get rid of the fruit flies in the compost bin. Here are some top secrets quoted straight from the book to help make our thumbs a little greener.
→ For the sweetest, juiciest tomatoes ever, add powdered milk to their water. Milk is a great source of calcium, which nourishes the plant and can help prevent blossom end rot.
→ Roses love banana peels, so cut some up and mix them in the soil at planting time. The calcium, sulfur, magnesium and phosphates are good for your roses.
→Sprinkle some tea leaves under your rose bushes and give them some water. You'll have roses that are bigger and more beautiful than ever.
→ Recycle a wine bottle and fill it with 1/3 rice vinegar and place near or inside compost bin to get rid of fruit flies.
→ Seed soaking Soak peas and beans in-between a wet paper towel placed inside a Ziploc bag over night to speed up the seed germination.
→ Place a drop of white glue on the top of each stem after pruning roses. When the borers come, the stems will be sealed.
→ 1 tbsp. of Vinegar in a Gallon of water helps your indoor house plants thrive. Do this once a month.
→ Cucumber beetles do not like radishes, so put a couple of radish seeds into the cucurbit hill at planting time.
→ Plant garlic, marigolds, and a wide range of herbs to repel critters. It's organic and healthier than using pesticides.
→ Wipe out aphids in a hurry with this simple solution and a spray bottle. Mix powdered milk with warm water, spray it on the plants' leaves, let the mixture dry. As it dries, the milk will kill the aphids.
→ Sprinkle cinnamon powder on the soil when you start plants from seed. It helps stop damping-off, a disease that kills tender, young seedlings.
→ Wait until tomatoes start to show fruit blossoms before you side dress the bushes with a low nitrogen fertilizer.
→ To keep leaf diseases at bay, trim off all the greenery below the fruiting branches of your tomato plant.
→ Tomatoes, eggplant, peppers and potatoes love milky water because it kills the tobacco mosaic virus. It also protects cabbage from cabbage worms.
→ If you want your tulips to stand straight and tall, drop a few copper pennies in the vase.
→ Add two tablespoons each of sugar and vinegar to a quart of water and pour the mixture in a vase to keep cut flowers beautiful.
→ Orange rinds and coffee grinds around the garden repels cats.
→ Here's a general rule of green thumb to use when deciding how deeply to plant a herb seed. Take a look at the diameter of the seed. Dig a hole twice that deep for the seed.
→ Garlic spray is a popular organic pesticide, but it also works well as a fungicide, prevents downy mildew, cucumber rust, tomato blight, and other fungal diseases. To make a spray, puree several garlic cloves with a little water in a blender. Add the pungent mixture to a gallon of water.
→ Use large, flat stones for multipurpose mulch in your tomato, watermelon, and other heat-loving plants. The stones soak up the heat from the sun during the day and radiate it back into the soil at night.
O.K. I have to stop at some point! I think this is an easy read and getting out in the garden to test out these secrets is what home gardening is all about. With 1,001 gardening secrets anyone could probably learn a thing or two from this book. I wonder how much powdered milk I should put in the water to feed my tomatoes? The book never gave an amount. Anyone?
Thanks for visiting my garden blog: http://www.nadiaknows.com
Knowing that learning and growing are essentials in life.