Monday, 17 October 2011

some helpful tips

The foliage in the garden at this time of year turns all shades of yellow and brown, contrasting with the still green, for example, columbine and poppy plants which have regrown after their post-flowering periods.  I like to clean the gardens gradually so that I can enjoy the show a little bit longer. Time to gather seeds and harvest herbs for drying, time to mark the plants I might want to move to new locations next spring with a stick and some colored duct tape.  Blue tape means dig up and give away, yellow is divide and replant, for example.  I also keep photos as is is hard to remember what will come up where.  After all, I am not a squirrel; and I suspect even they forget where every nut is buried!

Here are a few tips: 

. Pouring strong tea into a compost bin will help speed up the process and encourage more friendly bacteria to grow.
. Spread used tea leaves aroung rosebushes, then add mulch and water.  Tannic acid will benefit roses.
. Occasionally use brewed tea instead of water to feed ferns and other houseplants that like rich, acidic soil.
. A few used tea bags in the bottom of a planter can help the soil retain water.
(source:  Steve Graham,

Here is something I tried this summer for tomatoes with blossom rot, which is an indication of calcium-poor soil.  Give them a good drink of skim milk, diluted ten-to-one.  Apply once every couple of weeks.

Grow on, gardeners!

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