Tips for Creating a Prize-Winning Garden – To start your garden right, here are some tips that can make gardening a lighter, more effective and enjoyable activity. To it the right way and you’ll probably be good enough to win competitions and turn the hobby into a business.
In a competition, judges give a big percentage to the flowers, foliage, and other materials used. So many gardeners personally select the best breeds they can get. But these top quality breeds of flowers and foliage are not of use if they are not cultured properly.
Here are few tips to culture plants carefully.
Indoor plants freshen up a room, but they need light. Keep them near a window or give them artificial light. Do not abruptly expose indoor plants to direct sunlight when bringing them out. A mixture of coffee grounds and orange peels in your plants can keep off cats. Mosquitoes also hate the smell of citronella plants, so have some of these indoors.
If you have naturalized bulbs, don’t cut the foliage; this is to prevent bulbs form deteriorating rapidly.
Hang tin can lids to keep birds away of fruit, plants, or trees. Hang fly paper to trap flies and gnats.
To plant seedlings, use a clean egg carton as a seed starter. Bore hole and fill it with garden soil mix and compost. Cover them with a fine screen mesh to keep birds away.
To kill weeds between stones and bricks, pour a hot solution of 1 oz. soap and gin in a quart of water over the area. A thick layer of ash and sawdust keeps nematodes away.
Your pantyhose can also be use. They make the best rope for tying plants. Even its toe can be used as a strainer. If you’re a guy, a discarded telephone wire will suffice.
After gardening, wash with a heavy lather of Fel Naptha soap. This will help take the sting out of Poison Ivy and bug bites. Discard chemical containers immediately after use. In very hot temperatures, wrap burlap from the ground to the first batch of the sick tree. It will act as an insulator. Give plants a second misting in the late afternoon.
When applying pesticide, leave no leaf unsprayed. Spray plants well, especially under leave where most diseases start and where bugs hide. Isolate sick plants immediately to prevent spreading their afflictions.
Hammer the ends of the stems of fresh-cut flowers or branches of flowering shrubs before placing these in a vase. This will help the cut flower absorb water quickly. Change the vase’s water as often as possible.
Do not spray chemical solutions on plants during hot weather. Drench your plants well before applying chemical solutions. Water your plant early in the morning. To effectively spray pesticide on individual infected plants, wrap the whole plant in a big plastic bag after spraying.
Do not buy plants just because you like them. Study their cultural requirements and check if they fit in your garden.
It’s better to under-fertilize plants. An overdose can result to permanent damage. Follow instructions carefully.
Inexpensive flower holders can be made of galvanized wire netting cut to fit the bowl. Bend the corners to form legs one inch high. Banana trunks cut horizontally also make good holders.
Don’t use scented flowers at a dinner table because the strong perfume may spoil your appetite. Don’t mix flowers and fruits together in an arrangement.
Spray mist cut flowers with water. It will hold blossoms longer. Cut flowers and leaves early in the morning and soak them n water immediately.
Picking flowers frequently encourages most annuals to flower more abundantly. Pinch weak buds off to allow good one to come out better.
A layer of granulated charcoal on top of potting soil filters out any unwanted additives in the water. Sawdust or dry leaves can serve as mulch on surfaces.
To add calcium to your plants, heat egg shells for three minutes, then finely crush in a cloth sachet and soak it in the water sprinkler before spraying. Add little detergent to the fertilizer solution for a spreading and sticking effect.
Save your old umbrellas. The ribs make excellent supports for flowers. Paint them green to make them look invisible. You can also use barbecue sticks.
A dose of castor oil is good for ferns. Add one tablespoons of children’s shampoo to a quart of warm water. Then give each plant one-fourth cup of the mixture.
Place a mothball in the soil of houseplants to get rid of pests that have taken up residence. Cucumber peels keep cockroaches away.
Observe the soil of the smaller plants. These plants die because the surfaces f the soil becomes hard, crusted, and compacted. Add one tablespoons of baby shampoo per quart of warm water to keep the soil soft. Also, add ash, sawdust, or burnt rice hull and mix into the soil.
When repotting your plant, mix a cup of ashes with two quarts of soil to strengthen stems and foliage. Add a few drops of rooting hormone to water for repotted plants.
Mix a tablespoon of juice from hot pepper or soling libido, one tablespoon of detergent soap, and a tablespoon of baby oil with one gallon of water to create an effective insect repellant for plants.
Give the right fertilizer to plants according to their stages of growth. Nitrogen fertilizers are for growing plants, and phosphates are for those ready to bloom. Add a few drops of rooting hormone to the solution.
Dechlorinate water by allowing the water to stand for 24 hours before using this to water plants. Chlorine can have a damaging effect on plants.
Apply fungicide to plants after long days of heavy rain. Water them lightly after the rains.
Plants that have similar cultural requirements should be group together. Do not overcrowd them for easy and effective care and maintenance.
Know the maximum size and height of plants to be used for landscaping. The tallest should be placed at the rear and the smallest at the front portions of your landscape. Anticipate their lateral or side growth and give them ample space for further growth in the future.
Do not allow weeds to overpower you plants. These will kill your prized collection.
Source: Chat Alejandro, Manila Bulletin