Tags:how to protect your plants,earth,feed,flowers,garden,gardening,home,kitchen,plants,pots,protecting garden plants,soil,stem,water
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Now, some plants in your garden are really difficult or seem to be difficult. The Rhododendrons and the Azaleas, they are lime-hating plants. Now here are some tips to keep those in tip-top condition.
You are not going to use all of your tea bags by getting rid of the cats on your border. You are going to save the rest of them and you are going to stick them in water like I have done here. Because what we are talking about now are lime-hating plants.
I have got three here—Skimmia, Azalea, and the good old classic Rhododendrons, and they are all looking pretty good in my garden because I am giving them what they are looking for, which is iron.
Now they are lime-hating plants because the lime in the soil or any lime in the soil will lock up the iron and they cannot get a hold of it, and the leaves go horribly yellow.
So what you might do is go to the garden center and buy some iron compounds, some sequestery. But we will not bother to do that. Just save the tea bags, put them in water. At the end of the week, you have got the best iron plant feed you could ever wish for, and just pour it around the base of the plants, and the job is done.
Now, I always try if I can to save as many seeds from the garden as possible. In the autumn time, it can be a bit difficult trying to find little pots to put them in, but I have found the perfect answer. That is the good old egg box.
What I am going to do now is to collect some seeds from a poppy. We have a poppy head here, cut this off and hopefully, by using one of these, we can tip the poppy seeds—and there are quite a few. In fact, there are hundreds upon hundreds in just one of those poppy seed heads.
With those, I would go to the garden collecting different sorts of seeds, putting them in here and labeling the individual containers. Get them back into the house, find a paper bag to put each sort of seed in, and then they will be kept dry and cool, ready to be planted in the spring.
To get a head start on your flower border, the important thing is to get the little plants out early in the year. But there is always the problem of, “is the frost gone? Is it going to come back?” and the way to do that is to make use of one of these—the good old pop bottle. With the bottom cut off, it becomes a miniature clash. Any little new plants that you want to protect in early spring, you can do it quite easily.
First of all, mineral felts. Maybe they have been rerouted from the garden shed. Bits of this should be away, take it and save some bits, because these are brilliant for keeping the slugs and snails away. Not only are they rough which does affect their bellies, they trunk all over it, but on the hot summer evening, the smell is bitching and they hate it. So make a little color of two pieces of mineral felts around any plant you want to protect, and the job is done.
Now, you can also use the same pop bottle that we used for that early protection against slugs and snails by simply cutting it into little two-inch rings. Believe it or not, these are sharp enough around the edge to keep the slugs and snails from climbing over them.
This is a little baby sunflower here. Plant is out early on in the year, and we did just that. We put the little protective ring around and no damage at all from slugs and snails. So it does work.
We could also use wash day blues to keep those munching enemies away. And here we have some washing powder. I am sprinkling that around the plant. I know it is only a temporary measure, but it really does work. It clogs up their slime glands that get into their little holes and they just cannot move over it, and it is actually quite fun to watch because they foam up. The more slime they produce, you get a big foaming bubble, and you know exactly where they are.
You also know exactly where slugs and snails are if you use a bit of citrus appeal. We got half shells of oranges and half shells of grapefruit, strategically placed around the garden. Hopefully, if we look under here, there they are. It is the munching menaces. No more will you attack my place. So there they are. They will be attracted by the smell of the citrus.
And one last tip to give you, and I think it is probably the most effective, the most organic way of keeping slugs and snails off your garden and away from your plants. That, believe it or not, is horse hair.
Horse hair is an amazing thing. When you smell it, of course you get that pungent whiff of horse grease. It smells horrible, but it is that horse grease that does the trick.
So you put a ring of horse hair around your plants and use little bits of wire bent over to hold that horse hair firmly in place. Do not make a mistake of putting bricks because they will climb over the bricks to get at your plants.
What happens now, they try to get to the plant and as they crawl over the hair, all of a sudden, they start to sizzle because the grease in the horse hair reacts with their slime to make an acid that actually burns them.
Have you ever seen a horse covered in snails? Then it has got to work then, has it?