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From Jo Foley:

If you want to put a plant in a deep pot but don't want to waste soil, fill the bottom with items such as broken plastic pots and bottles or styrofoam peanuts, and then fill with soil. The pot will be much lighter to lift and if the roots reach the bottom, they will go around the items. This saves soil, provides drainage and helps recycle products that would have been thrown away.

To help moisture loving plants get through our Texas summers, use carpet-padding foam. Dig a hole, put the plant in and don't quite fill the hole. Place the foam pieces around the plant, then continue filling the hole. This helps with plants that are hard to get established in the heat. The foam also acts as a mulch.

From Betty Honea:

If you do not have enough bees, you need to do your own pollination. Take a cotton swab and swab it around inside the just opened flower. Using the same cotton swab, go to the next flower and swab it.

Plant marigolds with your tomatoes. It helps to keep bugs away.

If you have pine tree beatles, put a handful of moth balls in the toe of a pantyhose and nail it above the sap that is coming out of the tree. It must be above the wound.

Put your pecan shell in your flower beds. It helps to keep cats and small animals out of your flower beds.

To overwinter plants, put a tent up in the fall and put a plastic swimming pool inside. Place your plants inside the pool and hang a light to keep them warm.

How to get grit out of your cooking greens: if you put two drops of liquid dish washing soap in your first water, and then rinse two more times, you will not have grit on your greens. It really works.

From Pat Olson:

When planting a tree, dig the hole larger than the root system, putting the dirt from the hole on a tarp or newspapers. Place the tree so it is no deeper than it was in it's container. Fill around the roots with the soil that was previously removed. Do not add amendments to the soil. Instead, after filling the hole and watering slowly and thoroughly, place a thick layer of newspaper or cardboard around the base of the tree. Cover the paper or cardboard with a layer of compost, then cover the compost with wood chips, shredded leaves, pine straw, or other mulch material. Add another layer of compost each year, extending out to the drip line of the tree. This process saves the tree from the shock of growing in a rich, amended soil and then having to deal with the surrounding poor soil. It is better for the tree to start off in the soil that it will be living in, with nutrients being added over a longer period of time and covering the entire root system and surrounding area.

From Diana Smith:

Carry a plastic bucket to keep your tools in. Turn the bucket upside down for a seat when pulling weeds.

Store and clean metal garden tools by filling a 5 gallon bucket with sand. Pour half a gallon of mineral oil evenly over the top of the sand. Push your garden tools into the sand and this cleans the debris off the tools and keeps your tools from rusting.

From Mary Lou Smith:

When camellia blooms lie en masse on the ground, they may become food for a nefarious fungus called petal blight, which turns them into ugly, brown mush. The fungus can them spread to flowers that are still on the plant and show up year after year. The solution: Pick up and discard all fallen flowers before they become infected.



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