Gardening Secret

Crushed eggshells sprinkled around garden plants and Scattered over the law help keep slugs at bay.

1. Keep all of your used tea bags and loose tea leaves. Add to your compost heap, or mash and apply evenly over the lawn.

2. Sprinkle a few crushed mothballs around your flower-beds and pot plants to discourage cats from scratching or digging nearby.

3. To stop rabbits stealing freshly planted bulbs, place the bulbs in a plastic punnet (strawberry punnets are ideal), filled with soil. Then place the punnet in the earth and cover with soil as usual.

4. Discourage insects by keeping your cedar pencial showing and digging these into the soil.

5. Flower beds like variety. Change the feed now and then from a layer of soot to a coating of manure of, if you can find some, smother them in guano (seabird manure!)

6.q Rot nettles in a bucket covered with water and kept out-doors for a couple of weeks. This makes an unrivalled fer-tiliser, especially for tomatoes.

7. Protect delicate seedling by setting them in an old suit case. The lid can be closed on frosty days and opened when the sun shines!

8. To prevent mildew dissolve a handful of ordinary soda in boiling water and leave to cool. Use as a spray for roses.

9. Dissolve 20g Espom salts in 1 pint warm water and use as
a tonic for plants, especially roses.

10. Garlic grown close to roses deters greenfly. Alternatively, place a clove of garlic in the soil close to each plant.

11. Chop and burry banana skins just beneath the surface of the rose bed. This makes a wonderful fertiliser.

12. Drain plants by crushing some egg shells and adding the fragments to the base of pots before adding potting mix-ture. Add a small layer of shells before adding compost. Note that this treatment is unsuitable for azaleas and other lime haters.

13. Keep used tea bags and tea leaves and add to the soil around ferns and other plants.

14. Cool leftover tea and add to water used for weekly water-ing of houseplants and ferns.

15. Rainwater is one of the cheapest and most effective tonics for flowers and plants. A water butt is always a good in-vestment. If you have to use tap water for flowers and plants, a dash of vinegar is good softener.

16. Cooled boiled water is also great tonic for plants, as is mineral water that has been left to go flat.

17. For really inexpensive but very effective tonic, add a few drops of castor oil to compost around your plants. Treating your plants this way every 6 weeks will make fo-liage grow better and greener.

18. Cooled water from boiled eggs is a rich source of calcium and is an excellent tonic for most plants, espe-cially African violets.

19. Leftover tea, wine or beer is a wonderful tonic for west plants. Dilute with tepid boiled water and use to water plants as normal.

20. Plants that show signs of flagging, like Busy Lizzie (Impatiens) can be treated very effectively with cold tea Minerals in the tea brighten plants considerably.

21. Clean plants like ‘Mother–in-Law’s Tongue’ by wiping the foliage every few weeks with a few drops of almound oil a damp cloth. This will keep leaves green and protect them against drying from central heating.

22. Crush egg shells and add to water you give your plants. This is a rich source of nutrients to benefit most plants.

23. To make sure your plants are properly watered during your absence, stand a container of water beside them. Take some pieces of thick wool or string and place one end in the water and the other in the flower pots. The wool will attract water and direct it towards the plants.

24. Spread soot or coal around lettuce plants to keep away slugs.

25. Remove green fungi from cement paths and patios by soaking with diluted water and bleach. Scrub with a brush.

26. Save unwanted coffee grounds and use as a deterrent against ants.

27. Keep banana skins and add to your garden’s compost heap. Banana skins are a rich source of phosphorus and potassium.

28. To get rid of ants, sprinkle talcum powder in affected ar-eas.

29. Sprinkle salt on paths and crevices to remove weeds and grass. Salt has the same effect on snails and slugs.

30. Make sure there is no water left in your garden hose when you store it for winter. Otherwise the water can turn to ice increasing its volume and cracking your hose. Store your hose in a safe place away from extremes of temperature.

31. Discourage slugs and snails by building low ridges of wood ash around plants and between rows of vegetables.

32. Reinforce a soggy garden path by tipping used fireplace ashes over it and treading them carefully into the ground.

33. Scare off moles and rabbits by setting empty bottles into the ground, leaving just half an inch exposed. The whistling sound made by the wind as it blows over the bottles is a powerful deterrent for moles.

34. If rabbits are your problem, use the previous deterrent but half fill the bottles with water or sand.

35. If moles are the pests you want to get rid of, follow the same practice using the bottles, but keep adding castor oil to the rim of the bottles. Moles hate the smell of castor oil.

36. To keep dogs away from your high plants and young tree trunks, cut the prickly branches from unwanted Christ-mas trees and arrange these vertically around the base. This is a powerful deterrent against dogs fouling where you do not want them to.

37. Remove rust quickly and easily from garden tools with a soap-filled steel-wool pad soaked in paraffin. Finish by rubbing with a piece of crumpled aluminum foil.

38. To stop new wooden posts from rotting in the ground, cover the base of each with a mixture of raw linseed oil and powdered charcoal before fixing into place.

39. Place a few mothballs close to your garden tools to help prevent rusting. Mothballs attract moisture from the air.

40. To stop garden shears rusting, put them away in an old sock, soaked in oil.

41. Empty jam and preserve jars make excellent cloches for individual seedlings.

42. If you live near the sea, gather seaweed to dig into the gar-den as a super-effective tonic.

43. To discourage ants, soak a small piece of sponge in water and wring dry before sprinkling with sugar and placing it close to the ants’ nest. This attracts ants and allows you to dispose of them as you wish. Remember that ants are also entitled to live and dispose of them away from your gar-den or house.

44. Keep old chip and frying pan oil and use to clean and treat gardening tools.

45. A balloon inflated and tied to a piece of cane set close to young plants and seeds will keep birds at bay.

46. Save children’s lollipop sticks to use as garden markers.

47. Make your own compost from decayed vegetable and kitchen refuse. Keep a bin or net container in the garden and leave all your rubbish there to rot. When needed, mix an appropriate amount with coarse sand, particularly for pot plants. Coarse sand helps remove excess moisture from the roots.

48. Soot deters insects, especially the onion gnat and turnip fly. Sprinkle liberally around onion and turnip plants.

49. Common salt also keeps insects away from onions and turnips. Again, sprinkle liberally around plants.

50. Sooty water is an excellent tonic for the entire garden.

51. Paraffin emulsion sprayed over plants and flowers deters pests and diseases.

52. Derris powder is a wonderful deterrent against pests and insects. Mix 1 oz. of derris powder with a quarter pound of soft soap and dilute with hot water. Use as a spray flow- ers and plants.



1. Aphids (sometimes called Aphis’) make plants look un- healthy, and cause the leaves to curl and wither. Some-times the plant dies so these pests are well worth getting rid of.

2. The easiest and least expensive treatment is to just throw your used (cooled) washing up liquid over the affected area, then finish with a bucket of clean water. Be careful, however, to distribute liquids gently and evenly.

3. Another excellent treatment for the little pests is nicotine or tar oil.

4. Nettles planted in the garden will often attract aphids and greenfly away from other plants.

q Here’s a useful tip for attacking grubs normally attracted to cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower roots, Prepare a mix-ture of slaked lime, soot and earth in 1:1:3 parts, respect-tively Place a handful of the mixture in the hole prepared for the plant.

5. The herb wormwood is a useful deterrent for the common cabbage butterfly.

6. Tobacco water sprayed over plants and vegetables helps deter caterpillars, greenfly, butterflies, and most other pests besides.

7. Keep millipedes at bay by burying potatoes in the ground at spots well away from the plants you want to deter them from. Potatoes - and carrots - attract millipedes. You can place slices of either vegetable on a stick buried slightly below the ground. Remove the stick daily and examine it for pests.

8. Snails and slugs can be challenged easily with simple household salt. Throw handfuls of salt everywhere slugs and snails are common. A layer of soot around affected ar- eas is another wonderful deterrent.

9. Attract slugs and snails by leaving fresh orange peel lying in affected areas. Both are attracted to the white side where they will gather and make collecting easy – if not also disgusting – for you, and the creatures!

10. A dish of beer will attract slugs, beetles and snails. Add a little water and some sugar to the beer to make it extra in -viting.

11. Mothablls placed at intervals in the spring cabbage patch will keep butterflies at bay.

12. Treat black fly on broad beans by spraying with paraffin emulsion.

13. Banish black fly from beetroot and celery by spraying with nicotine or pyrethrum solution.

14. Soot or derris powder can be scattered over the foliage to deter weevils on broad bean seedlings.

15. Dwarf French runner beans are frequently plagued by black fly. Annihilate them with nicotine or pyrethrum in powder or liquid form, either sprinkled or sprayed in af-fected areas.


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