Gardening Tips

Retains water, loosens and aerates soil. Also helps with water drainage to prevent root rot (the white styrofoamy looking stuff you see in potting soil)
Retains water like a sponge and releases water into the soil around it as the roots absorb the moisture from the soil (it kind of looks like sand but is lightweight) I often get perlite and vermiculite confused.
Peat Moss
Adds organic material to soil but not really nutrients (tomatoes, blueberries, dahlias LOVE peat moss as well as other plants).
Blood Meal
Adds nitrogen to soil (not good for dahlias and other plants that require low nitrogen, so you need to do your research). Dahlias will grow all green, leafy and bushy but few to no blooms with high nitrogen soil.
Procecessed or Composted Manure
Processed cow, poultry, sheep, goat or llama manure is great for vegetable gardens. IF you use fresh manure or aged manure (not processed or fully composted) you MUST wait a minimum of 120 days from putting it in/on the ground before harvesting food to avoid food borne illnesses. This is because fresh or even aged (not processed or fully composted) manure can contain pathogens harmful to humans. NEVER use cat/dog feces.
Human, dog, cat, or horse hair have magnesium and offer support for roots and break up thick and clumpy soil. UNWASHED human hair can deter rabbits, squirrels, maybe snails. Wrap the hair in stockings, tie the bundle to a stake or hide it within your plants. Human hair is 15% nitrogen BUT takes up to 2 years to compost.
Diatomaceous Earth
When the weather is dry diatomaceous earth keeps pests with exoskeletons at bay (ants, earwigs, beetles, etc) as well as snails and slugs.

It is ineffective when wet but when it dries again it will start working again.

This is a natural and non-toxic (to humans and pets) pest treatment.

It can also kill fleas, spiders, mites, etc.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Even though this is a natural alternative that is not harmful to humans or their fur family, it does not discriminate between beneficial and harmful insects, it will kill both.

Diatomaceous Earth should not be inhaled and only FOOD GRADE DIATOMCEOUS EARTH is safe to be ingested.
NPK = Nitrogen, Phosophorus, Potassium
NPK are the three main ingredients/nutrients in most fertilizers. Different plants have different requirements most people go with a 10-10-10 food for fruit/veg garden. I use a 0-high number-higher number for my dahlias.

Plants also need iron, calcium, and other minerals. They will likely get enough chlorine from tap water. I throw old vitamin supplements crushed up in my gardens or compost. I'm not joking.
I rinse my eggshells clean (the ones I crack and use for cooking/baking), then I dry and smash into small bits. When I have a pint or a quart jar full of tidbits/powder I will sprinkle in my garden (around the base of plants) or add to my compost.

Hard boiled egg water when cooled has calcium and will water plants at the same time!

Hardboiled eggshells often have bits of egg I can’t get off, so I just toss them straight in my compost. Egg will attract snails/slugs and other unwanted pests!
Banana Peels
Add potassium to soil. They also attract fruit flies if you keep them raw. Some people make banana water (fruit flies are a problem with this as well). I dehydrate my banana peels, then crush them and make banana peel powder. No pests this way!
Miscellaneous Bits
  • Acid loving plants – sawdust
  • Mulch everything! Keep the mulch away from the plant base/stem but this retains moisture, reduces watering, and keeps the mud at bay in the garden/beds plus reduces weeds!
  • All mulches are not created equal
  • Dahlias hate any type of weed killer/prevention and even “natural” ones will kill them off (I learned this the hard way) there are other plants sensitive to weed killer/prevention (even mulch treated with a weed killer/preventer will kill sensitive plants)
  • Natural weed killer (non-toxic to humans and animals) I mix 2C Epsom salt, 1 gal white vinegar, 1/4c dawn mix well. Add to sprayer, shake well, let settle for 2 mins, then go to town. On a hot day this works super-fast! Do not spray on damp weeds or water garden after spraying. This stuff will kill everything green so be careful what you spray!
  • Four Sisters
    This year I am going to try the Four Sisters garden. Last year I surrounded my garden with marigolds. This year I plan to surround them with a wall of sunflowers! I will let you know how it goes!

    To learn more about this type of garden visit The Prairie Press.
    Native American Three Sisters Garden
    Learn about Three Sisters Garden at Renee's Garden.

    I used this method in my own garden last year and had fantastic results!
    The Farmer's Almanac
    For the best information on weather, calendars, etc. and for a a variety of seasonal activities please check out The Farmer's Almanac.


    Copyright © 2022-2023 i heart seeds. All Rights Reserved.