‘That’s Clever’ gardening tips for March

 

March is an exciting time in any gardener’s calendar so we here at GreenSax thought we would mark that by sharing a clever gardening tip each day on our Facebook and Twitter page.

We’ve even compiled a list of them here so you can keep them safe and all in one place! So let’s get started:

  • Worried about birds snacking on your freshly sown seeds? Make plant markers out of old CDs to deter them.
  • Use pegs as cheap and cheerful plant markers.
  • Birds eating your strawberries? Try painting stones as strawberries and put them around strawberry plants in the spring. This will keep birds from eating your berries when they ripen because the birds will think the ripened berries are stones.
  • Give seedlings a headstart by making a cloche out of old CD cases. The sun can shine through the open top and the clear sides. To protect fragile young plants from the danger of frost, simply close the lid.
  • Use an old salt shaker for planting small seeds, this is a pretty clever way to save time!
  • Cut up a sponge into little pieces and put into a pot when planting. It helps retain moisture which nourishes the plant.
  • Try using newspaper as landscape fabric. The newspaper will prevent any grass and weed seeds from germinating, but unlike fabric, it will decompose after about 18 months.
  • Place one uncracked raw egg in the pot – as it decomposes, it will serve as a natural fertilizer for the plant.
  • Make your own mini greenhouses using plastic boxes, cheap and cheerful!
  • Keep track of how your garden grows by sketching out a rough diagram so you can keep track of what’s planted where.
  • When boiling eggs, save the water for your plants. The water will have calcium in it which your plants love!
  • Put Epsom salts and sugar into each hole with your plant. It makes them grow larger, leafier and greener!
  • Boil vegetable peelings in a pot and allow to steep overnight (up to 2 days). In the morning, the mix will be full of nutrients! Strain and use to water your plants. Remember to use only plant based scraps and not meat or dairy. You can then compost whatever is left. We can recommend some great compostable bags!
  • Keep your tools rust free by storing them in a bucket of sand mixed with a little bit of motor oil.
  • Seed packets make excellent markers for seedlings because they are full of information. Attach packets to wooden stakes and put a jam jar on top to protect them.
  • Deciduous trees should be planted on the south side of your house. This way they can provide shade in the summer and let the winter sun come through.
  • If you finely chop citrus peel and sprinkle them on the mulch in your garden, they help keep neighborhood cats, dogs and other critters away from your veggies!
  • Not a fan of getting dirt under your nails when gardening? Draw your fingernails across a bar of soap, after you’re finished in the garden, use a nailbrush to remove the soap and your nails will be sparkling clean!
  • When planting trees, remember that Evergreens can be planted on the north side of your house to act as a shield against the cold blustery winter winds.
  • 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 to protect them.
  • Dry out chopped banana pieces in a slow oven and scatter the pieces in the soil when planting and water them in. Each time you water or it rains, they will provide slow release nutrition!
  • Turn a long-handled tool, such as a shovel, into a measuring stick! Lay it on the ground, and next to it place a tape measure. Using a permanent marker, write inch and foot marks on the handle. It makes planting even easier!
  • If you want to discourage cats, rabbits, bugs and other creatures from your garden, plant marigolds among your vegetables.
  • Try making a sprinkler from a plastic bottle and a hose. Just pop some holes into the bottle and secure the hose with strong tape. Cheap and cheerful!
  • Want a unique plant marker? Use a vegetable peeler to shave a piece off an old twig and write whatever you’ve planted on it.
  • To check if seeds are viable, fold 10 seeds in moist paper towel, place in resealable bag, mark with date and type. Watch to see how many germinate.Multiply that number by 10 to calculate the percent of germinations. More than 70 percent is passing. If between 40 and 60 percent, sow thickly. Below 40 percent, it’s best to buy fresh seed!
  • If you’re finding algae in your bird bath, try putting a few cent coins at the bottom. The copper can help cut down on algae growth.

There you have it, lots of ‘That’s Clever’ tips to integrate into your garden. If you have any of your own to share, head to our Facebook, Twitter or simply comment below.

Happy gardening!

The GreenSax Team

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