Simple Gardening Tips and Tricks

Garden tips

14 Simple Gardening Tips and Tricks

From using leftover coffee beans to preventing dirt from getting underneath fingernails, master gardener Paul James shares his top 14 tips and shortcuts to make spring gardening a breeze.
Assorted Flowerpots

Little clay pots make great clothes for protecting young plants from overnight frosts.

Here, the latest tips and tricks from Paul James, host of Gardening by the Yard:1. To remove the salt deposits that form on clay pots, combine equal parts white vinegar, rubbing alcohol and water in a spray bottle. Apply the mixture to the pot and scrub with a plastic brush. Let the pot dry before you plant anything in it.

2. To prevent accumulating dirt under your fingernails while you work in the garden, draw your fingernails across a bar of soap and you’ll effectively seal the undersides of your nails so dirt can’t collect beneath them. Then, after you’ve finished in the garden, use a nailbrush to remove the soap and your nails will be sparkling clean.
3. To prevent the line on your string trimmer from jamming or breaking, treat with a spray vegetable oil before installing it in the trimmer.
4. Turn a long-handled tool into a measuring stick! Lay a long-handled garden tool on the ground, and next to it place a tape measure. Using a permanent marker, write inch and foot marks on the handle. When you need to space plants a certain distance apart (from just an inch to several feet) you’ll already have a measuring device in your hand.
How can you use bubble wrap to keep your potted plants from stressing out?  Wrap the bubble wrap around the insides, not the bottom and it will act as an insulator.
to see the video go to http://www.hgtv.com.
5. To have garden twine handy when you need it, just stick a ball of twine in a small clay pot, pull the end of the twine through the drainage hole, and set the pot upside down in the garden. Do that, and you’ll never go looking for twine again.
6. Little clay pots make great clothes for protecting young plants from sudden, overnight frosts and freezes.
7. To turn a clay pot into a hose guide, just stab a roughly one-foot length of steel reinforcing bar into the ground at the corner of a bed and slip two clay pots over it: one facing down, the other facing up. The guides will prevent damage to your plants as you drag the hose along the bed.
8. To create perfectly natural markers, write the names of plants (using a permanent marker) on the flat faces of stones of various sizes and place them at or near the base of your plants.
9. Got aphids? You can control them with a strong blast of water from the hose or with insecticidal soap. But here’s another suggestion, one that’s a lot more fun; get some tape! Wrap a wide strip of tape around your hand, sticky side out, and pat the leaves of plants infested with aphids. Concentrate on the undersides of leaves, because that’s where the little buggers like to hide.
10. The next time you boil or steam vegetables, don’t pour the water down the drain, use it to water potted patio plants, and you’ll be amazed at how the plants respond to the “vegetable soup.”
11. Use leftover tea and coffee grounds to acidify the soil of acid-loving plants such as azaleas, rhododendrons, camellias, gardenia and even blueberries. A light sprinkling of about one-quarter of an inch applied once a month will keep the pH of the soil on the acidic side.
12. Use chamomile tea to control damping-off fungus, which often attacks young seedlings quite suddenly. Just add a spot of tea to the soil around the base of seedlings once a week or use it as a spray.
13. If you need an instant table for tea service, look no farther than your collection of clay pots and saucers. Just flip a good-sized pot over, and top it off with a large saucer. And when you’ve had your share of tea, fill the saucer with water, and your “table” is now a bird bath.
14. The quickest way in the world to dry herbs: just lay a sheet of newspaper on the seat of your car, arrange the herbs in a single layer, then roll up the windows and close the doors. Your herbs will be quickly dried to perfection. What’s more, your car will smell great.
I hope you get some benefit out of this Tuesdays Tips, Thanks for reading our blog and please leave a comment if you have a tip you would like to share.
Terry Ann
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Tuesday Tips, Onions. Don’t Fear Over the Tear. Good News.

Terry’s  Tuesday Tip  ~

Onion

Onion

 

When your knife slices through a crisp onion, it tears through cells, releasing the cells’ contents.

 

Chemicals react to produce a sulfur-based gas. Once the gas contacts the water coating your eyes, it forms sulfuric acid, a fiery irritant. To rid your peepers of the intruder, your tear ducts work overtime.

If you aren’t game for sporting goggles in the kitchen, try moving your face farther away from the onion so the gas disperses before reaching your eyes.  I personally Cut the top first, peel and run under cold water for a few seconds.

Parts of the onion

Parts of the onion

The polyphenols in onions act as antioxidants, protecting the body against free radicals.  Eliminating free radicals can help encourage a strong healthy immune system.  The quercetin (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quercetin) in onions also reduces allergic reactions by stopping your body from producing histamines, which are what make you sneeze, cry and itch if you’re having an allergic reaction.

 

Peel away the skin of this vegetable to find whole layers of health benefits.

Onions are rich in powerful sulfuric compounds, responsible for their pungent odor — and for irritating our eyes. Studies also suggest that onions may lower high blood pressure,  reduce heart attack risk, and even help protect against cancer (probably thanks to the presence of phytochemicals and the flavonoid quercetin).

One large raw onion has only 63 calories, is made up of more than a cup of water, and provides up to 20% of your RDA of  vitamin C. Do you tear up when slicing one? Try chilling the onion in the fridge and then delay cutting into the root end of the onion until the rest has been sliced or chopped.

NUTRITIONAL VALUE:

Onions are high in vitamin C, a good source of fiber, and with only 45 calories per serving, add abundant flavor to a wide variety of food. Onions are sodium, fat, and cholesterol free, and provide a number of other key nutrients.

So now that you know more about onions, go ahead and cut into one.

Thank you for reading my blog,  See you again.  Feel free to leave a comment, I would love to hear from you.

Terry Annfruits & veg

 

Tuesdays Fast Finish Leftover Tips ~ Lunch Anyone

Tuesdays Fast Finish Leftover Tips ~ Lunch Anyone

Casadia’s are one of the easiest quick meals

casidia 4

Casadia’s are one of the easiest quick meals there are to make.  This makes a great appetizer, snack or a fast lunch, you can make it with just about anything you have leftover in your refrigerator. Casidia’s only take a few minuets to cut up what you would prefer to add to it and a short time to cook.  chicken casadia 1

I always have different sizes of Tortillas in the fridge, you can use them in so many ways.  I used one flour tortilla, left over chicken beast (cut up), small onion chopped, shredded mozzarella cheese, shredded Mexican style cheese blend and of course barbecue sauce.

casidia 3

First thing I do when making Casidias is to spread the barbecue sauce over the tortilla with the back of a serving spoon.  I gathered all the items I preferred for the Casidia and cut them into small pieces, chicken, onion, and the cheeses.  You noticed i only used half the tortilla, I am only making this for one  so I simply fold it in half while cooking. For more portions you can also cover the whole tortilla and place another on top. I have also used tomato, green pepper and mushrooms to make Casidias in the past.  It’s so darn easy, whatever you may have in your home can be added to change the flavor to your preference.  Such an easy meal or quick snack for the kids makes this meal a must have for your home.

I found a video on you tube that describes the process and includes different recipes if you would like to know more.

As always, wash your hands often while cooking and enjoy your creations.

Thanks for visiting my blog, hope you will be watching for the next post.

Terry Ann   

DSCF2900

Cleaning Spots

We had just bought our home and had Stanley Steamer come out to clean and sanitize the rugs.  There was one spot they said would probably come back. The bad news is the professional was right, the good news is that he did tell me  how I could remove it if it did.

Spot on the rug.

Spot on the rug.

The only items I needed to clean this terrible spot at the entry to the master bedroom was found at the local Dollar Store.

Items needed for cleaning the rug.

Items needed for cleaning the rug.

You will need a spray bottle which I used an old Windex bottle.  I labeled my bottle and reuse the same one for the same thing.  I would definitely suggest using clean white cloths so no color is transferred onto your rug, and I could actually see what was coming out of the rug. I bought the

Rug cleaned

Clean Rug

white washcloths in a bulk bundle at the Dollar Tree.

There are directions on the back of Totally Awesome for the recommended dilution for cleaning everything.  Spray the solution so that it covers the area you are cleaning and soak or rub it up immediately after spraying. The area of the rug that I was cleaning was fairly large so I did it in sections and repeated the procedure three times. The right bottom corner is a shadow from the dresser, I think it turned out great.

This cleaning project took me about fifteen minuets and just look at the results. I sure hope this inexpensive and easily finished Tuesday Tip helps. If you have any tips that you would like to share please do in the comments, would love to hear from you.

Terry DSCF2772