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Garden Tips
Home and Garden

Garden Tips

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Drought Destroyed Lawn. How one couple decided to save on mowing and watering. We suggested they could put put pebbles and pavers where their lawn used to be. The next thing we know, we were then asked to do this job, and it saved the couple a fortune compared to the next landscaping quote.

This is a cost effective solution for drought or weed affected grassed areas. There is no drainage to deal with, and it does not require a great deal of skill to complete as a home project. With concrete garden edging you can save agains on landscaping costs and ongoing watering and mowing costs. Put weed mat under the pavers and stones to help stop weed growth. The deeper the pebbles, the less likely there will be weeds.
Fighting the drought

1) To feed a garden gray water, attach grey water from house to tubing that runs through garden with small holes drilled in it where the plants are. I saw one one installation where the owner used plastic electrical conduit, but that cheap black tubing you can get at the hardware works, use the 19mm size for this as it is a low pressure system. Don’t forget to get some weed mat pegs, to hold the tubing where you want it to go in the garden, Drill more holes gradually. Be aware that the pump from a wash machine or a dishwasher will not produce a lot of pressure and you must take this into consideration if you want to pump the water up hill or up stairs etc. A cheap way around this is to use a submergible pump.

2) Here’s an emergency measure to save a bush or tree in drought. Drill small holes in bottom of rubbish bin and place near shrub or tree.[2 x 1 mm holes or smaller. ] Pour buckets of greywater into bin as it becomes available. Drill more holes as required.

3) Place a thick layer of lawn clippings in the garden bed. Ideal thickness is 75mm or more. This helps retains the moisture in the soil, and keeps the plants nice cozy, with lots of nutrition and moisture. Also improves soil quality enormously. Use other mulch as the next best thing. Tan bark works but it is not as effective as the more dense organic mulches.

4) Help save a dehydrated tree. Drill 12 inch deep holes in the ground on the drip line, or hoe up the soil, and then pour water over the drip line. Put deep mulch over the drip line, but don’t cover the tree trunk in mulch as it can cause the tree bark to rot. Remove any small growth coming from the roots or base of the trunk. They are called suckers, because the suck plant growth resources like water and nutrition.

Stopping weeds in garden

Put weed mat or about 12-20mm thick newspaper down in garden bed. Then add about 75mm-100 mm of your favorite mulch over the weed mat, newspaper. There won’t be anywhere for weeds to start growing. We’ve got a front garden bed full of course tan bark mulch that we have hardly ever weeded in over 15 years !

Stopping weeds in the driveway

Get some pool salt and sweep it into the cracks.

Get free Plants

If you see your favorite plant, cut a bit off and dip the cut part in root starter you can get at the grocery store or nursery. Then place it in rich moist compost potting mix and keep it warm and in indirect sunlight.

BEWARE ! Not all Garden / Potting Mixes are the Same

Just realize most potting mix makers are not obliged to put stuff in the potting mix that will actually make the plants grow well. Always get the potting mix that has plant food in it. Like rich compost potting mix with nitrogen and minerals added. Then realize that this plant nutrient runs out after the plant has been ‘feeding off ‘ of the soil. Therefore add plant food or compost to the potting/garden mix when you see the plant growth slowing.. The best plant food recipe follows.

The Best Plant Food I found one can give plants.

We had trouble with our plants turning yellow and stopping growth at one stage. It turned out not enough plant nutrition in the potting mix ! The plants were not getting enough nitrogen etc. You can make a very effective and cheap concoction of plant food for the plants by taking a hand full of Dynamic Lifter Pellets and half a teaspoon or so of concentrated fish based plant food (also by Dynamic Lifter), and mixing it in a 9-10 litre bucket/watering can with water. Let this stuff sit overnight, stir, and by the morning it will smell even worse! However, feeding this to the plants once a fortnight will get them green and growing like mad within a few days, depending on how fast the particular species of plant grows. Don’t put too much of this concentrated food on or you may end up with dead plants! They call putting too much nutrition on the plants ‘burning’ the plants, and is easily avoided by putting on the food gradually or limiting it to once every 2 weeks. I found putting it on once a week was very good for our plants, but I am saying that once a fortnight should be safe enough for almost any plants. Read the instructions on the Dynamic Lifter and use common sense with respect to concentration.

Are you Cooking Your Plants in Pots.

You can do a potted plant a lot of damage by letting the pots sit out in direct sunlight. What happens is the pots get hot and cook the roots of the plant ! Wrap pots in shade cloth, or hide behind bricks, timber or anything that casts a shadow over the pot.

Costless Weed Killer

You can also get rid of weeds by putting boiling water on them. It bursts the cells of the plant, and sends them brown by the next day or so.