Professional Tips and Tricks For Your Garden

Wonder how the professionals grow such perfect vegetables and flower gardens? Well, here are some of our proven tips and tricks for you to try.

Vegetables

Number 1:

1 Can Beer

1 Cup Ammonia

1 Oz. Liquid Dish Soap

3 Tbsp. Instant Tea

When you’re first preparing your garden in spring, add lime as you spade.  Do not use fertilizer for 2 weeks after you have used lime.  When you’re tilling your garden to plant or filling your planter, add 2 cups of Epsom salts per 100-150 sq. ft. of garden or 1/2 cup per bushel basket.

 

Every 3 weeks, feed your vegetable garden in the morning, alternating the diet using the following tonics which are applied with your 20 gal. hose-end sprayer (fill the balance of the sprayer jar with warm water).

Number 2:

2 Oz. Liquid Fish Fertilizer

2 Oz. Whiskey

1 Tbsp. Instant Tea

1 Oz. Liquid Dish Soap

Number 3:

15-30-15 Liquid Fertilizer

2 Oz. Liquid Dish Soap

If you want to make bugs and disease wish they never visited your garden, for smaller gardens, apply this tonic with a mist sprayer every 2 weeks after 7 p.m.

 

5 drops liquid dish soap

5 drops chewing tobacco juice

2 drops antiseptic mouthwash

1/4 tsp. methoxychlor

1 qt. warm tea water

 

For larger garden, apply this tonic with a 20 gal. hose-end sprayer, filling the balance of the sprayer jar with warm water.

 

1 cup liquid dish soap

1 cup chewing tobacco juice

1 cup antiseptic mouthwash

Groundcovers

This group of plants can hide a multitude of mistakes, sore spots, and problems.  Plant them thick, feed them after planting, and keep them clean.

 

Planting:  

Like all other plants, groundcovers need stability.  Apply this mixture to the planting hole as well as to the soil surface.

 

1 part Epsom salt

1 part gypsum

3 parts bone meal

 

Feeding:

Feed once a month with the tonics, from early spring until July 15, but not after.  Apply Epsom salts in both April and October.

 

Insect and Disease Control:

This is the same as for evergreens.  Also, sprinkle paradichlorobenzene crystals in spring and fall.

 

Repellents:

This is the same as for fruit trees with the exception of the beaten egg, which is not used.  For ants, snails, and slugs, see the Small Fruit (insects) section.

 

Winter Protection:

In early spring, early summer, and late fall, apply CloudCover as recommended.

 

Top Dressing:

As a rule, this group of greenery and my favorite, myrtle, are often neglected because they never make a fuss--unless one of the winter diseases sneaks in.  But I have found that this top dressing, watered in with a can of beer and 4 tsp. of instant tea, makes groundcover thick enough to stop the rabbit.

 

10 parts worm castings

5 parts ground apple

20 parts Milorganite

1/2 bushel peat moss

Mulching Guide

Putting a good layer of summer mulch around individual plants or over an entire border saves watering and weeding later on and improves growing conditions. A 2-3 inch deep layer restricts or even eliminates the light reaching the soil surface. Even if weeds do germinate in these conditions, many will not be able to grow through the layer of mulch. Summer mulches also reduce the evaporation of moisture from the soil, and most are easily penetrated by water.

 

Once you have mulched at planting, the best times to mulch again are in autumn (for winter protection) or spring when the soil is moist. Renew or add summer mulch when it starts to decompose; remove winter mulches before plants begin to grow in spring.

Soil Improvement

Cultivating the soil is certainly beneficial, but for the greatest improvement you need to incorporate plenty of organic and inorganic matter at the same time. This will improve aeration, moisture retention, and soil fertility. We recommend applying aged mushroom soil in the autumn so the nutrients can work down into the soil for spring when it’s needed.

 

Organic materials include leaf mold, shredded bark mixtures, Earthmate compost, peat moss or aged mushroom soil. All of these materials will improve soil structure and hold in moisture.

 

Inorganic additives include coarse sand, grit and lime, which will lighten and improve drainage on heavy soils, and lime which improves the structure of clay soil by breaking it up.  Since lime is alkaline, avoid using it near acid loving plants.

Flowers

You’re either into flower growing, or you’re not.  Now that's not to say you don't add a variety of annuals or perennials to your landscape.  You may, but what you end up doing is planting for looks, not for the comfort and health of your flowers.  If you will just try these few tips, tricks and tonics, you might surprise yourself with a yard full of beautiful flowers.

 

Planting:

 

Both annuals and perennials can be planted from seed or seedlings.  If you are using seed, let it soak overnight in a solution of weak tea, air dry, and plant.

 

Seedlings should be planted after the last frost.  Here is a great flower planting mixture.  Mix all ingredients into a bucket full of dry peat moss, then put into the rows to be planted

 

4 cups bone meal

2 cups gypsum

2 cups Epsom salts

1 cup wood ashes

1 cup lime

1 tbsp. baking powder

4 tbsp. Diaperene baby powder

Insect and Disease Controls

When it comes to recommending insect and disease controls, it seems that no matter which way you go (natural, organic, or chemical), you step on someone's toes.  Nevertheless, here goes:

 

Any liquid dish soap

Fels Naptha Soap

Yarden Shampoo™

(any soap or insect soaps are my first choice)

 

Make it into a juice.  Nicotine is a natural insecticide, so use it in the mixtures even when chemical sprays are used.

 

Leaf

Plug

Snuff (in pouches)

Antiseptic (brown)

(5 drops per qt.)

Green sweet for aggravating Nematodes

(1 oz. per gal.)

 

bone meal

blood dry

diatomaceous earth

sharp sand

ashes

 

SPRAY APPLICATION

 

buttermilk...................................................mites & aphids

skim milk......................................................tomato blight

sugar...............................................................nematodes

sweet pepper juice......................blights on many vine crops

onion juice.....................................................aphids, borer

eggs............................................deer and animal repellent

tobacco.............................................many garden insects

tobacco juice.............................................animal repellent

tomato foliage (juice)..............................earworm, maggots

unmolested weeds (juice).........................repels the insects that are eating the plants growing around.

 
 
 
 
 
 
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