Gardening tips 2022 — $1 kitchen item will keep your lawn healthy this summer – and you already have it in your fridge | The Sun

A NORMAL item you can find at any grocery store or in your fridge can help keep your lawn and garden healthy this summer.

If you need an inexpensive way to water your flowers and lawn, find an old plastic milk jug in your recycling and poke holes in the lid.

You just need to use a skewer or nail to make the holes and fill the container with water and you'll have a $1 watering can in no time.

Other items you can find around your house or for cheap at stores like Dollar Tree can be recycled for use in your gardening, too.

Saving old cardboard tissue tubes are a great way to plant seeds, for example. Yogurt jars, coffee cans, and other containers can be used to grow plants as well, long as they have sufficient holes for water to drain out.

Old sponges can also be used as a way to keep the soil at the bottom of any pot moist for a longer period of time.

Read our Gardening Tips live blog for the latest news and updates...

  • Jennifer Korn

    Gardening interests spiked during Covid-19

    During the early months of the Covid-19 pandemic, spikes in an interest in gardening were reported by many media outlets, according to The Ecological Society of America (ESA)

    The exact reason for the spikes has not been determined, but the ESA reported that the spikes are being investigated further.

  • Jennifer Korn

    Gardener shares Astrantia Major bloom

    A gardener on Twitter shared the flower of an Astrantia Major, which bloomed in her garden.

    "The flowers are so intricate and delicate looking but it's a tough plant that is easy to grow and self seeds readily in my garden," she wrote.

  • Jennifer Korn

    How to stop cats from going on your lawn

    A gardening expert outlined their top tips for preventing neighborhood cats from defecating in your garden, including using odor repellent, a motion-activated sprinkler, or an outdoor litter tray.

    Cats also don't like the smell of bananas or citrus peels, which could be an option to leave on your lawn.

  • Jennifer Korn

    Mulching makes a healthy garden

    Mulch is an organic covering for the top of your soil and it helps keep it moist by protecting the surface of the soil.

    Mulching reduces the amount that you should water your plants, so it’s important to get it right.

    When you make a raised bed or any type of bed, you should always add mulch.

    You can use a shredded straw or composted wood chips.

  • Jennifer Korn

    Save money with vegetable gardens

    With a packet of seeds costing just a few cents on average, growing your own produce can save you a considerable amount of money on groceries.

    Growing produce at home can save money on groceriesCredit: Getty Images – Getty, Paul Maguire

    For those who do not have the backyard space for garden beds, container gardening on a porch or balcony is also a possibility.

  • Jennifer Korn

    Light levels explained

    Each light level is determined based on the hours of sun or shade the area receives.

    Below are the number of sunlight hours each light level receives, according to Almanac:

    • Full sun – six to eight or more hours of direct sunlight
    • Partial sun – three to six hours of direct sunlight
    • Partial shade – three hours of direct sunlight
    • Light shade – bright sun filtered through leaves
    • Full shade – less than three hours of direct sunlight
    • Deep shade – no sunlight

    Light levels revealed

    When growing a garden, it is important to keep in mind the light requirements for each plant.

    The gardening website, Almanac laid out the common terms for light levels:

    • Full sun
    • Partial sun
    • Partial shade
    • Light shade
    • Full shade
    • Deep shade

    What is corn gluten?

    Corn gluten is the by-product of corn processing and it's great for killing weeds.

    Corn gluten contains proteins that inhibit root growth during seed germination for a number of small-seeded annual and perennial weeds that frequent lawns.

    Not only does it act as a natural herbicidal alternative to toxic “weed and feed” lawn products, but it also contains a significant amount of nitrogen that full-grown turf grass loves.

    Natural weed killer has narrow window

    Corn gluten, which you can get on Amazon, is a winning formula for eliminating weeds, according to Midwest Grows Green.

    However, there's a narrow window of opportunity to use the powder because if you apply it too soon, you'll allow dormant weed seeds to dodge the corn gluten's preventative effects.

    If it's applied to established weeds, they'll just build resilience to its pre-emergency herbicidal effects.

    The key is to apply the corn gluten when it attacks a weed just before germination or sprouting.

    • Jennifer Korn

      'Lupins reaching for the sky!'

      Another Twitter gardener shared a photograph of several lupins standing tall.

      "Stunning lupins reaching for the sky!" he wrote.

    • Jennifer Korn

      Foxglove photographed

      A Twitter gardener shared a photo of a blooming foxglove plant from her garden.

    • Jennifer Korn

      Best time to remove weeds revealed

      De-weeding after a spell of rain could save you a lot of time and hassle and lead to a healthier garden, according to One Good Thing.

      You'll have a much easier time removing weeds when the ground is wet because damp soil is more flexible and should allow you to rip out the root of a weed intact.

      Yes, there is an extra mess but it's much easier than trying to dislodge weeds when the ground is rock hard.

      It also minimizes ripping the body from the stem, getting a clean sweep instead.

    • Jennifer Korn

      How to make cut flowers last longer

      Cut flowers can last for weeks with just three simple household items: sugar, bleach, and optional fresh lemon juice.

      It's also important to change the water often and trim the stems.

      About a teaspoon of sugar and a drop of two or bleach will combine with the flower's water to help the plants stay fresh.

    • Jennifer Korn

      Hanging a water bottle

      You could create another slow-release watering system by hanging a plastic bottle over your plants.

      Simply take a bottle, pierce tiny holes in the bottom half and then enclose the bottle in a sock – other fabric should work just as fine.

      You can then hang this above your plant by securing it to a stick that rests inside of your plant pot – but make sure it's done so securely.

      Just like with the 'magic' burying method, the plants will have a steady flow of water.

    • Jennifer Korn

      Water your plants with 'magic' water bottle trick

      Gardening experts have said that a cheap, plastic water bottle can be an eco-friendly watering tool for gardeners.

      “Using a plastic water bottle to create a simple, yet effective, watering system is a great solution to repurpose an item that could otherwise end up in a landfill," expert Sara Dixon said.

      To make the irrigation system, simply poke holes in the water bottle and cover it with a sock or another piece of fabric before burying it inside of the planter – with the opening visible at the top of the soil.

      The small holes mean the bottle will act as a slow-release watering system.

    • Jennifer Korn

      Be aware of fungus gnats

      Fungus gnat infestations are common for gardeners in the summer, but there are plenty of DIY solutions to get them out of the house or garden.

      Fungus gnats will infest soil, potting mix, other container media, and other sources of organic decomposition.

      Their larvae primarily feed on fungi and organic matter in the soil, but also chew roots and can be a problem in greenhouses, nurseries, potted plants, and interior plantscapes.

    • Jennifer Korn

      How to get gnats out of your house

      You can get pesky bugs out of your house this summer by making a simple solution with four ingredients that you probably already have lying around the house.

      A plant expert named Amyrah shared on social media that she got rid of her fungus gnat infestation with the simple concoction of honey, vinegar, sugar, and dish soap.

      Amyrah left a plate of the mixture out near her plants and found a dish full of dead gnats the next day.

      The honey, vinegar, and sugar will attract the insects but the dish soap kills them on the spot.

    • Jennifer Korn

      Container gardening tips

      While gardening in containers is generally easier than doing so in the ground, here are a few important tips to help keep your plants healthy:

      • Make sure the container has drainage holes
      • Clean the container before use, wash out soil from previous seasons to avoid disease
      • Avoid using toxic containers
      • Place gravel at the bottom of the container to make sure soil doesn't drain

      Advantages of gardening in containers

      In addition to saving space, there are several other benefits to gardening in containers:

      • Can move plants to fit their sunlight needs
      • Minimizes spread of disease
      • Less work is involved
      • It's cheaper

      Garden in containers to save space

      Those who have small patios could opt to garden in containers, rather than putting plants in the ground.

      Pots can be too big or small

      The experts at Lifehacker shared life-saving tips for any plants that just can't seem to make it in the long run and revealed that one of the key factors is the size of the pot your plant is in.

      "If the pot is too small, your plant’s roots will be constricted, and less soil means less nutrients for it to absorb," the experts explained.

      On the other hand, if your plants die off despite having "plenty of room," you may accidentally be drowning or starving your plant.

      "A pot that’s too big can result in soil that’s too moist, and can make it difficult for the soil to be firmly packed around the roots," the pros added.

      • Jennifer Korn

        Perennials can last decades

        Speaking to Real Simple, Blythe Yost said the secret to garden longevity is picking perennials.

        “Plants like peonies and iris will easily live on for 50 years if left undisturbed,” said Yost, who is a landscape architect and CEO and co-founder of landscape design company Tilly.

        Meanwhile, other plants, like coreopsis and nepeta, don’t live quite as long, but their lifespans can be lengthened with regular division.

        Often, gardeners will choose to plant “showy” annuals that need to be planted again after they’ve died off instead.

      • Jennifer Korn

        'Geraniums standing tall'

        A Twitter gardener shared an image of purple Geranium flowers in their garden.

      • Jennifer Korn

        Compost in hanging baskets

        It’s also important to pay close attention to the type of compost you use when planting a hanging basket.

        Pearce recommended using "a peat-free compost," explaining "it’s better for the environment and helps the plants thrive."

        This type of compost contains a variety of organic, sustainable ingredients that will enable your flowers to grow and bloom in time for the summer.

      • Jennifer Korn

        Fertilizing hanging basket flowers

        How often you fertilize your flowers in hanging baskets is another area where some gardeners tend to make mistakes.

        Pearce highlighted the importance of fertilizing your hanging baskets once a week.

        He continued: "I’d recommend using a slow-release fertiliser or liquid feed to help with growth.”

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