Home Remedies

As the gardening season warms up, gardeners begin making many trips to the greenhouse to pick up plants, fertilizers, animal repellant and more.  There can be a lot of tools that go into maintaining a garden and believe it or not, there are lots of tools you already have at home.  Using some of these home remedies can save you an extra trip to the store.

One of the first home remedies is to extend the life of fresh cut flowers. Try putting a penny and a pinch of sugar into the vase of water with the cut flowers, and it will help keep them fresh longer. This way the cosmos and roses you cut from your garden will stay blooming on your table a little bit longer.

Another plant food that you may have at home already is tea. Believe it or not tea is a natural plant food that acid-loving plants especially like.  You can brew the tea and water your hydrangeas, rhododendrons and ferns with this. If you don’t want to brew it first, sprinkle new or used tea leaves around the base of these plants and then cover them with mulch. With each time you water, the nutrients will go into the soil and feed the plants.

For the coffee drinkers, used coffee grounds can be great for the garden.  Using them as mulch around your edible plants, tomatoes and blueberry bushes helps add organic nutrients to the soil. Coffee grounds can also be used to deter slugs away from plants. Something in the texture of the grounds keeps these pests away from your plants.

Bananas are also useful in the garden when you are done using them in the kitchen.  Cut up the peels and bury them around the base of your rosebushes to help prevent aphids from attacking your plant.  You can also use overripe bananas to attract butterflies. These will also, however, attract bees and other unwanted critters if left out overnight, so be sure to place them off to the side or where these insects won’t interfere with any outdoor activities.

There are a few more home remedies for dealing with insects. The first is using aluminum foil strips in with your mulch to help keeps bugs out of your garden. Salt is another natural pest killer. Pouring salt on slugs and snails will dry them up and help rid your garden of them.  Slugs and snails can also be killed by pouring beer into a shallow dish and set it outside in your garden. The bugs are attracted to the beer and never quite make it out.

Salt can also be a great weed killer. Mixing one part salt to two parts water and pouring it directly onto weeds can help prevent the growth of these unwanted plants. This is mostly good for areas like your sidewalks, patios and driveways.

Finally, newspaper is a great tool to use in the garden.  Laying newspaper down in sheets over the soil and then covering this with mulch helps keep the soil moist and the weeds out.  You can also add wet, shredded newspaper in with your compost to help remove odor. 

Come springtime, everyone is short on time. Between spring cleaning, bridal and baby showers and all the yard work, every gardener runs short on time.  Using a few of these home remedies to hold you over until the next time you can make it to the store can help keep your garden under control.

Christian Goers