11 secrets garden centres won’t tell you
Garden centres won’t tell you that you could be saving a fortune on your gardening costs. You can grow beautiful, healthy plants by using these common, inexpensive household items in your yard.
Lay several sheets of newsprint over soil and then cover with mulch; they’ll help retain moisture and suffocate weeds.
Water your ferns and acid-loving plants like hydrangeas with brewed tea for luscious-looking leaves.
Keep aphids off your rosebushes by burying dried or cut up banana peels a few centimetres deep around the base of the plant. (Whole peels will attract animals, who will dig them up.)
Mix strips of aluminium foil with mulch and you’ll keep bugs away. The foil will also reflect light back on the plants, which encourages growth.
Kill snails and slugs by dousing them with salt – they won’t survive long.
Ripen end-of-season tomatoes perfectly by wrapping in a couple of sheets of newspaper once they’re off the vine. Store in an airtight container in a dark cupboard, checking every few days.
Add wet, shredded paper to compost to remove odour.
Sprinkle new or used tea leaves around ferns and acid-loving plants and cover with mulch –when you water, nutrients from the tea will release into the soil.
If you want more butterflies in your garden, place overripe bananas or other fruit on a raised platform. Be sure they’re above head level and not centrally located, because they will also draw bees and wasps; and bring the food indoors before sunset to avoid unwanted hungry critters.
If birds are a problem, hang foil strips on plants to scare them away. You can also take strips of foil or foil-wrapped seashells, and string them from branches to startle bigger animals.