CONTEST CLOSED!! Gardening Tips and a Chance to Win Free Noodles

Having a green thumb isn’t something that’s passed down genetically to some people and not others. It takes passion, care and discipline to grow a garden, but it’s well worth the effort. Fresh fruits and vegetables are a great addition to salads, like our new Summertime Salads, and are super good for you too. Double bonus.

So from our garden to yours, here are some tips to get your garden ready for spring and summer planting. We want to hear from you too! Share your gardening tips with us, and we’ll reward you with a FREE salad card!

  • Clean up your gardening area – Rake up all of the leaves and debris that has taken over your garden during the long winter months
  • Purchase your seeds – This might be a gardener’s favorite part, browsing all of the wonderful plants you plan to grow. Get your seeds now so you can start to grow your plants indoors and then transfer them outside when the weather warms up
  • Prep your soil as much as possible – Depending on your location, the only soil prep you may be able to do now is just say a little prayer for it. But in many parts of the country, it’s definitely warming up. On those days, get out there and do as much work as possible to break up the soil. Just digging up the soil is good, as it aerates and loosens and prepares it for planting
  •  Get your garden tools and potting areas ready – It’s time to evaluate your gardening tools to see if you need to purchase anything new. Also, stake a garage or patio spot now for your potting area  before it’s taken over by someone else! 

330 Responses to CONTEST CLOSED!! Gardening Tips and a Chance to Win Free Noodles

  1. Alice says:

    I crush egg shells and mix them into the soil where I plant tomatoes. The shells provide calcium since most soil lacks it. The calcium regulates water intake in the plant and it helps prevent blossom end rot.

    • Terri says:

      I like this idea and will be using it this year!

    • Janet says:

      Someone told me to throw my egg shells out into the garden, so I have been doing that exactly where I planted my tomatoes. Hooray.

    • Dale K. says:

      1 to 2 tablespoons of epsom salt per tomatoe plant also works to provide calcium and prevent blossum end rot.

    • Kelly says:

      Thanks so much. We just planted about 12 tomato plants and this will be useful!

    • Lindsey says:

      I recently read that you can start your seedlings in half an egg shell and then simply plant that egg shell in your garden… the egg shell will breakdown and nourish the soil around the plant!

    • Pamela says:

      Use acidic fertilizer around your azeleas and rhododendrons.

  2. Debora Kerr says:

    It’s easy to grow many vegetables in small containers. I pick up waste baskets from the dollar store, fill them with potting soil, and have a great moveable garden (I can rescue my plants in the event of harsh weather). I have grown beans, peas, greens, even okra with great success.

  3. Tracy C. says:

    Give your veggie plants room to grow. Don’t overcrowd your garden, less is more.

  4. Patricia Grzybowski says:

    Mixing Vinegar and salt is an organic way to kill dandelions.

  5. Kris says:

    I used split faced cinder blocks to make a raised garden. It’s more attractive than regular cinder blocks, and it won’t rot like wood.

  6. Cynthia Abrego says:

    When planting new rhubarb plants mix some manure in the soil to get a good rich soil. They will get a much better start.

  7. Jerry Waltz says:

    I use a product called an “EarthBox” which is basically container gardening. It produces incredible results. Note that there are webpages that describe make it yourself approaches and you do not have to buy the commercial product by brand name.

  8. joan says:

    I start saving my used coffee grounds in early May & then sprinkle them on my tomato plants and also my bedding flowers. They enrich the soil and also keep the squirrels/bunnies from eating my produce.

  9. Alexis says:

    I once did an experiment to see what the best conditions for a seed were and found that planting them in a sponge rendered similar results to planting in soil. This is just an alternative to indoor smaller soil plants.

  10. angie says:

    organic organic organic! I cannot stress this enough. From your plants to your seeds to your dirt to your treatment of pest/disease issues! There is nothing better than being able to go into your yard, pick a piece of lettuce, and eat it right there without having to wash it. Farming organic gives you the peace of mind to do this! Good luck!

  11. scott says:

    I have two suggestions. 1) compost! starting a compost pile and using that compost to amend any soil you use will increase your gain and keep your soil living for years to come. 2) harvest rain and gray water from your roof and home! save the strain on your wallet, the environment, and the water company by reusing your gray water and catching and using rain water for all of your gardening needs!

  12. Amy Childs says:

    Get the kids involved as much as possible. Kids can help choose seeds, plant them, water, rescue worms from the sidewalk on a rainy day and give them a new home in the garden, etc. If they help grow the veggies, maybe they will actually eat the veggies.

    • Juliette says:

      Our kids do lots of gardening with us–planting seeds, weeding, helping with composting etc. But some of the most fun we have is ‘food hunting’–looking for wild raspberries, asparagus, rhubarb, plums etc. It is magic to make a meal from what we find!

  13. joanne says:

    I use a tablespoon of Epsom salts on my peppers and tomatoes. it adds the right amount of magnesium

  14. Susan says:

    I always plant my tomato starter plants DEEP and on top of a banana peel and 2 calcium tablets, such as Tums, and a sprinkle of Epson Salts.

  15. Becky says:

    This time of year I always have a problem with critters eating my leafy greens, usually rabbits. I found the one solution that works every time is hair clippings. I go to my local salon and ask for whatever is on the floor. I sprinkle it around the outside perimeter of my garden and it seems to work every time.

  16. tina wojnar says:

    Yes, use crushed egg shells and coffee grounds. To stop birds/bunnies, tie recycle juice bags to a wood pool.

  17. Colleen says:

    I do herbs in potted containers and then move inside during the winter months for year around fresh herbs – saves room in my summer garden for more veggies too. This year I am planting okra.

  18. Karen says:

    I plan tpole beans and peas that like to vine on the south and west side of my garden. The vines on trellises provide shade and extend the growing season of the cooler crops.I can usually get in a second late spring planting of my cool weather crops.

  19. Keely! says:

    Coffee grounds are great for the garden! Mixed in to the soil they act as a fertilzer, reduce slug and snail problems, and make worms really happy – so recycle those grounds! Most coffee shops are happy to give you bags full of thier used grounds too!

  20. Heidi Wolfgram says:

    I have a compost pile that I use for leaves, plants shavings, eggs, coffee grinds, veggies not used. It really helps the soil.

    I also try to water in the morning only.

  21. beckie says:

    To help stop the weeds in my garden I use old carpet and then cut it where I need to plant. It has worked wonders and saved me so much time. It has cut down on the bugs and my tomatoes were just gorgeous and I was proud to show them off in my weed free garden.

  22. Sara says:

    I use half a banana and 2 tums for each tomato plant (I never thought of using egg shells, I will try it next year). They love the calcium and potassium! Rutgers are small tomatoes but they are the yummiest!!!

  23. suzette adams says:

    To keep cats out of the garden, sprinkle dried red pepper flakes on your soil. It’s cheap and easy.

  24. Jo says:

    Clean nylon panty hose, tights or knee highs are a gentle way to tie young plants to a stake, and a great way to repurpose these items for a second life.

  25. Pam Thompson says:

    I have a garden at our church. One side is full sun, the other is full shade. I ALWAYS buy annuals that can survive without a lot of water. In past years, I watered every other day. Last year, I watered once a week, and the plants were AWESOME! I guess my advice is, Follow Instructions?!

  26. Shelly Bourdo says:

    Many vegetables can be quite eye catching in a flower garden and enable you to get more bang for for your buck when it come to garden space. Leaf lettuce is nice on the edges or to outline beds. Bright Lights Swiss chard is quite striking. Horseradish leaves are are great foliage and they bloom the 2nd year, very wonderful smell. Some hot peppers are just gorgeous mixed into flower beds. It’s o.k. to experiment.

  27. mary massey says:

    Every morning after I drink my coffee I mix the coffee grounds with water and pour on a tomato plant. I put on a different plant each morning. I’ve heard heard it is so good for the. And I do have good luck with my tomatoes.

  28. Jessica says:

    Dump table scraps and yard clippings all year long for a great fertilizer!

  29. Christina says:

    This is my first gardening year in Colorado. Due to the ever changing weather, I’ve quickly learned why locals say “plant early and plant often.” My transplanted veggies froze so now I’ve seeded directly outdoors. I also made compost, using a leaf vacuum mulcher, the plants are loving this!

  30. Donna Walz says:

    I add banana peels to the soil around my tomatoe plants..Makes healthier plants and soil.

  31. Kim Kolbas says:

    Rotating where you plant your tomatoes each year is a good idea since they use up the nitrogen in the soil.

  32. Denise Syjud says:

    Put down the weed protection paper. It saves alt of time weeding.

  33. Brittany Harrison says:

    If your onions sprout in the pantry, you can plant them in soil. They will eventually flower and go to seed and you can grow your own onions, or, you can also let the sprouts grow and then cut and eat them. The sprouted part of the onion is known as “spring onion”; some people consider it a form of scallion. It was a nice onion flavor that goes well in stir frys.

  34. Carla says:

    I love the brightness and flavor of fresh mint to adorn ice cream and summer desserts and drinks, but growing your own can be challenging, because if not controlled, mint can take over your garden in no time. Plant the mint seeds or small seedling in a basic plastic pot. Bury the pot in your garden or a decorative mixed garden pot up to the rim. Now enjoy mint’s wonderful color and fragrance without worrying about it taking over your entire garden plot.

  35. Cathy says:

    My gardening tip?…don’t take yourself or your garden too seriously. I didn’t try to grow any veggies for a long time because I thought I might do it wrong…but it doesn’t have to be perfect. Just try to have fun with it and see what happens. :)

  36. Carrie says:

    We put our vegetable scraps in a compost bin, so when the next planting season comes around, we have some rich soil from our compost to start with.

  37. aster says:

    I added banana skin to the soil. Banana has potassium on it. It helped to grow vegetables and fruits more than normal.

  38. Mindy says:

    I belong to a community garden with raised plots and they give out plants to all of the gardeners. I started Square Foot Gardening this summer. When you have a small plot you’re able to plant your vegetables in a grid of one type per square foot. This allows you to plant many different varieties and only as much as you can harvest to eat. It also keeps down the weeds.

  39. Kimberly Moore says:

    I mix coffee grounds with my soil – I find it helps lighten up the hard, claylike dirt I have to plant in.

  40. Robin says:

    A great way to keep from weeds growing in your garden boxes is to lay down cardboard and newspapers first. Saturate paper with water, add your topsoil and then plant your seeds. Your garden will be weed free the entire season!

  41. Cindy says:

    I do square foot gardening since I don’t have very much space. I find that it is useful to weed every 2-3 days, therefore, my plants don’t get robbed of nutrients by the weeds. Also, this saves you time in the long run.

  42. Rikki Klontz says:

    I turn crushed Lime Stone into my soil before I plant. I also plant all my tomato plants in sets of two. They grow to over 4 feet this way.

  43. Christina says:

    Water plants in the morning! Watering during the evening or after sunset encourages fungal diseases because it takes longer for the excess water to dry out.

  44. Angel Kropf says:

    I like to make sure to plant companion plants like marigolds near my garden. It keeps some pests away and looks good too!

  45. linda says:

    I compost and in return I get black gold! It’s very easy to use all my kitchen scraps and yard scraps. Enriched soil makes enriched food! Thanks!

  46. Kaarina says:

    I buy my plants and herbs already stared from my local farmer’s market because not only will you get a good price on the plants, they will also give you the best tips on planting them, etc.
    Buy local if you can not from some big box store!

  47. Pam Stump says:

    After making coffee or iced tea, I put the grounds or tea leaves around my pepper plants & they are very happy.

  48. Julie says:

    I have a container garden and I’ll take my old clay pots, break them into large chunks, and line the bottom of larger containers with them before filling with soil. It makes a huge difference in drainage! Great tip about the eggshells, I’ll try that this year.

  49. Patty says:

    My family – we live in an apartment and cant plant a garden – but we have planted a pot with strawberry seeds which we keep inside by the window, and well it has started to bloom – so we shall see what it becomes!

  50. Kristi says:

    Use bagged grass clippings in between rows in the garden to prevent the need to do everyone favorite task of weeding the garden! Plus the grass can be worked into the soil to make the dirt even better the next year!

  51. kim kaminski says:

    I love my raised garden. If you plan on using pots for all your veggies, think about making one raised garden instead of using all those pots. They’re really easy to make and it’s very handy to have everything in one place.

  52. Breezy says:

    Rather than dealing with our dirt, we built on top and added all organic soil. Good to add some type of non-weed material before topping with organic soil. We purchase our organic seeds online via Seeds of Change.

  53. Scott says:

    I re-use empty water bottles as fillers at the bottom of large pots. Not only does it help improve drainage, but since less potting soil is used, the pots are lighter and easier to move.

  54. Susan Tanty says:

    Many times we’ll get a late frost when we already have flowers planted and blooming. If you hose them off gently before the sun hits them they will be fine. I’ve done it and know it works.

  55. PHerrera says:

    To start my plants early, I use cardboard egg cartons for my starter pots.

  56. Angi Mahnke says:

    I use several layers of newspaper on the ground when I plant new plants. The newspaper will break down and provides an effective barrier against weeds.

  57. Andrea says:

    I save my banana peels, allow them to dry out then I put them in my rose flower beds, water the roses and watch them become beautiful. :)

  58. Susan Gilbert says:

    We have a big problem with deer eating our garden plants. A veteran gardener shared with me how to keep your plants from being “salad” for the deer–just shave pieces of Irish Spring soap and place around your plants. The deer dislike the strong fragrance and will leave your plants alone!

  59. Brenda Gregory says:

    My husband uses twine and stakes to create a walkway down the middle of our 7X7 garden. The walkway is 1 foot wide so there are 3 feet on either side. We can now reach everything we planted from the outside edges or from the walkway and we never have to stomp down the soil around the plants, giving them more loose soil to grow in.

  60. Amy Steely says:

    No yard? No room in your yard for a garden bed? No problem!! You can grow veggies in a container garden. Lots of fruits and veggies grow in containers: tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, lettuce, herbs, strawberries, blueberries, spinach, etc. Your local library probably has books that can help you pick crops and pots that will work perfectly for your growing zone. Container gardening is also great for people that can’t get down on their hands and knees anymore. There are also fancy “self-watering” growing boxes like the “Earth Box” that can make the job easier. But you don’t have to spend money to make it work. Try it, you’ll love it!!

  61. Crystal Linskens says:

    I have my own compost pile. Last years trash is this years organic fertilizer!

  62. Angel says:

    The best suggestion I can give is to give your garden attention. My neighbors marvel that I don’t have any weeds in my vegetable garden even though I don’t use any chemical herbicides, but every morning I look through the patch and pluck any pesky weeds when they are just tiny sprouts before they have a chance to become a problem. It’s become a part of my morning routine, and it lets me check for any ripe veggies to use for my lunch!

  63. Lisa Ellerbrock says:

    Like a lot of people, I’m lazy. When planting my garden, I make sure to plant basic herbs near my back door. Even if it’s planted in pots. I’m more inclined to open up my back door and snip a few sprigs than walk across my back yard to get to my garden. There is nothing like throwing some fresh thyme, basil, rosemary or parslay into a dish I am preparing.

  64. Susan says:

    If you’re planting your own garden to have fresh and wholesome produce, don’t forget to purchase organic seeds to plant! If you leave shallow plates of beer in your garden, it will attract bugs abd slugs and keep them off your plants–no need for pesticides.

  65. Josie says:

    I keep rain buckets handy so i dont have to water my garden with the city water thats full of chemicals. Also, for sweeter tomatoes i put a teaspoon of raw organic sugar in the hole before i put in my plants.

  66. Laura says:

    Get the kids involved-they just might eat what they plant. Our kids help get the soil ready, plant seeds, compost, weed, and get water from the rainbarrel. They know they are helping our family save money and eating healthy food. If they don’t eat what we plant, atleast they are learning to how to garden-a great hobby!

  67. Jane says:

    If you purchase plants already germinated, look for ones which have good root growth. You can tell by looking at the roots, look for a lot and they should be thick and fibrous. Don’t buy if the plant is looking brown, dries leaves or curling from lack of water or too much sun.

  68. Linda says:

    The eggshells worked exceptionally well around my rose bushes! I also put coffee grounds and banana peels around the roses.

  69. Doug Smith says:

    Consider putting in an asparagus bed this year. It takes a couple years to get established but then it provides the first fresh produce of the season year after year with very little work. We’re enjoying a bumper harvest from our 10 year old asparagus patch right now.

  70. MIKE says:

    I always put down a small amount of balanced organic fertilizer like a 5-5-5 and work it into the soil right before I plant.

  71. Stephanie says:

    I start my seeds indoors in recycled egg cartons!

  72. Kacie says:

    I find it wise to plant flowers and simple green plants alongside my vegetables to help wth pest control and keep my garden from looking boring while everything is still growing into food. Plus, flowers can always be cut for table/household decoration!

  73. Dee Bowers says:

    I put used coffee grounds and tea leaves in my garden to make my plants GROW

  74. Amanda says:

    Some people believe that by roto-tilling a garden they are getting rid of weeds as they are turned under the ground. You could actually be making your weed problem worse, because turning over the dirt could bring weed seeds underground to the surface. The best thing to do is to cover your garden with a mulch each fall to prevent seeds from getting into your garden.

  75. Darin says:

    My wife is the gardener, but I like to take care of the prepwork. We compost to enrich our soil, which down south in red clay country is a plum necessity. Instead of buying some fancy system for our compost, we just built our bin out of old pallets. It works great, looks nice, and gets the job done right.

  76. dana jaques says:

    I love the egg shell idea, think I will give that a go this year as well. I grow most of my tomato and hot peppers in large pots on the deck. This lets me get them started much earlier as I can quickly slide them together and cover if there is a frost threat. I also start my lettuce bowls very early indoors, one every 2 weeks, and have a steady supply of fresh greens all summer.

  77. Mary says:

    Use your old coffee grounds & coffee (cooled) on the soil around plants. It’s a stimulant for the plants too so don’t over do it

  78. Janet says:

    I made a trellis for my cucumbers to climb. The trellis is shaped like a tent, so the cukes will hang and not rot on the ground. Also, can plant radishes, carrots, etc. under the trellis. Gives more room to grow in the garden :)

  79. Linda Fox says:

    Anyone can do a rain gutter garden! recycle an old gutter…or get a new one … drill drain holes in the bottom, fill with soil or potting mix and plant away. Mine are filled with green onions and lettuces. Partial shade is good as they will dry out in direct hot sun (just keep an eye on them) I have a 3 tier gutter attached to “picket fence” boarding. too cute, too easy, you will love it!

  80. Amber says:

    We have two small raised garden beds in our backyard. The raised bed is great because it doesn’t allow for as many weeds plus the soil isn’t as compacted. During the spring and fall when things are not growing in the beds, we put all of our compost scraps right in the garden to help the soil get richer. We just step on the deck and throw our scraps right it – super easy way to get more nutrients in the soil!

  81. Cori says:

    I like to use root pots to start growing the seeds in. When it’s time to transfer them to the ground, you just plant everything. They provide extra “nutrition” and are eco-friendly!

  82. Marie says:

    I will use egg shells too, great tip. I also use newspaper as weedstop it is cheap and good for the environment and effective.

  83. Jennifer Gramling says:

    I know this may sound wierd, but pull the old hair out of your hairbrushes and lay it in your garden. The human scent will keep animals away from your plants.

  84. Sally Burg says:

    To help prevent weed growth, we put our grass clippings in between the rows in our garden.

  85. Robert Brooks says:

    Tomatoes like to have warm roots. To get an early start and if you don’t have raised beds, cut the bottom out of a black nursery pot and push and push into the ground about 2 inches. Fill with good soil and plant your tomato. Black pot will absorb heat and keep roots warmer. If you put a tomato cage around it you can cover on cold nights with a plastic garbage bag. Using this method I get tomatoes about 3 weeks earlier than my neighbors.

  86. HJ says:

    Water and rabbit proof fence!

  87. Lois says:

    I use cardboard between plants to decrease weeds and preserve moisture in the soil. As the plants grow, the cardboard is barely seen, if at all.

  88. Kim W says:

    I get rid of any fungus or mildew in the flowerbeds with a mixure fo baking soda, water and oil. Works like a charm- and is super inexpensive!

  89. monica says:

    I spray vinegar on the weeds instead of using harsh chemicals. And they go away. It works great!

  90. lara says:

    I save all my coffee grounds and spread them around my flower and vegetable beds.

  91. christyb says:

    Plant the right things for the right area. Up here in the cold north we have to be very careful about growing seasons and how long it takes for the veggies to mature. A long maturing tomato will still be green when frost comes! But we can get in two crops of cool weather, short season veggies, like lettuces and peas. Ask friends and neighbors what they’ve had work well in your area, if you’re unsure – gardeners are happy to share!

  92. Jennifer says:

    I know this may sound wierd, but pull the old hair out of your hairbrushes and lay it in your garden. The human scent will keep animals away from your plants.

  93. Jason says:

    We have raised bed gardens right off our deck. We dump all our compost (fruit peels, coffee grounds, etc.) into the beds all year long and it has created a great soil!

  94. Regina says:

    I use raised beds for vegetable plantings. I turn over the soil in each bed and add plenty of composted leaves from last fall. The leaves help to aerate the soil and retain moisture. Additionally, there are typically lots of worms in with the compost which is another bonus.

  95. Julie says:

    Put coffee grounds around your azaleas. The nitrogen in the grounds will make them thrive!

  96. Sue says:

    Key to success: Add compost to planting holes to improve the soil’s structure, provide slow-release nutrients, and activate the beneficial microbes in the soil.

    Happy Gardening :-)

  97. Maggy says:

    For mulch, between my rows of veggies, I lay out sheets of already-read newspaper and cover them with straw from my chicken coop to weigh them down. It’s a great way to keep weeds out, add carbon to your soil (and nitrogen with the chicken manure), and put an old newspaper to good use!

  98. Kara says:

    We always use the best soil possible….it’s amazing what a difference it makes!

  99. Andrew says:

    My wife and I don’t have much room to grow in our garden, so we are very very intentional about inter-cropping. This year, we planted rows of lettuce, with summer squash between them. This way, the lettuce is ready to be harvested just in time to let the summer squash go wild! We also do this with asian greens and other hot season annuals. It works so well to maximize a small space!

  100. BettyG says:

    We live in the woods and have problems with deer, raccoons, squirrels, you name it, we have it. In the spring before we plant anything, I sprinkle cayenne pepper all over the soil. The animals don’t like the smell or taste of the pepper!

  101. Becky says:

    If you are new to gardening, try easy vegetables like beans,radishes and lettuce (from seed), tomatos and peppers (buy plants). Skip the carrots (you need deep sandy soil, corn (you need to plant a whole plot of it!), and melons.

  102. Rochelle says:

    Always water your tomatoes very slowly and at the roots/soil.

  103. Carol says:

    I wrap foil around the tomato stem at ground level when I plant to keep cut worms away.

  104. Nicole says:

    I fertilize my garden with compost. It’s natural, free, and a better way to dispose of food and lawn scraps than sending them to a landfill. I’ve never had to pay for chemical fertilizers, and my fruits and veggies thrive!

    Another tip is to use marigolds to help ward off garden pests naturally. I surround my garden with marigold flowers to keep unwanted visitors away.

  105. Laura says:

    We don’t have any land, so wew container garden. For a container garden the one piece of advice that helped me the most was not to underestimate how large a pot you need. Those roots need lots of room to grow! I got ours from ikea. Their pots were a little pricey, so I bought trash cans for $2 each and drilled holes in the bottom of them.

  106. Steveanna says:

    As an artist, one of my missions is to connect children to the garden. Get your little ones involved. Let the plant seeds and veggies. It’s so great to involve them in the process and they’re more excited to eat what they’ve harvested.

  107. Georgia says:

    I make sure to water my garden very early in the morning. This not only helps to save on water evaporation, the plants like it better too! Good water saving tip, and great for your garden!

  108. Chris says:

    I recycle newspaper and brown grocery bags and use them as weed block in flower beds. Also a perfect way to prepare a new bed. In the fall, put down the paper or bag covering the area you want to prepare, wet it, and weight it down with soil, mulch or rocks. In the spring, just make a hole in the paper and insert your plant. The paper also helps prohibit weeds from sprouting up with your plants.

  109. Michele Zurawski says:

    I use Preen in all of my gardens to control weeds. It comes in different varieties for vegetable and flower gardens.

  110. Jason says:

    Adding fireplace ashes to a garden adds some nutrients, but also adds calcium carbonate, a liming material that increases soil alkalinity, so if your soil’s pH balance is off, it will help.

  111. Maegan says:

    I always seem to have problems with aphids and I do not like adding pesticides to my garden (why poison yourself and the ecosystem that surrounds your plants?). I have found that mixing vegetable oil, water and a little dish soap (without bleach) and spraying it on the plants is a great way to rid the plants of aphids (make sure to get under the leaves). Also ladybugs think of aphids as a delicacy. Aphids also do not like the smell of garlic or onions so add these to your garden.

    On another note– COMPOST! I use egg shells and fruit and veggie peels. (I try to only use organic compost products and organic soil)

  112. Kathryn says:

    We planted all of our vegetables in containers and put them next to a brick wall in order to protect them from the wind and predators.

    When plants are young, the wind can easily cause damage so make sure you pick a good area to grow your garden!

  113. Marguerite says:

    I save transplanting chores for cool, overcast days. Doing so gives the young plants time to start making new roots instead of fighting off sun-scald.

  114. Lynn says:

    On my outdoor table, I put a wide shallow round planter in the middle and plant it with herbs. That way, it does double duty as both an attractive centerpiece and functional herb garden. Rosemary is especially fragrant and appetizing.

  115. paige says:

    Try something new! Gardening is a relatively inexpensive hobby with great returns so don’t be nervous about buying fruit or vegetable seeds you’ve never grown before. This year we started blueberries!

  116. Jamie Chambers says:

    We started a compost pile last year. Now we have a bunch of beautiful black dirt ready for our garden.

  117. Janice white says:

    We put pine needles around the blueberry plants and they thrive!!! It is an easy, cheap fix for huge, flavorful blueberries.

  118. Marilyn says:

    Lay boards down between rows. you can walk along the boards between the rows, and no weeds will grow there, so less weeding.

  119. Cathy says:

    To keep the wildlife from raiding my vege garden, I plant hot pepper plants and marigolds around the perimeter of the garden. They look pretty and deter the critters.

  120. Sam says:

    I research all the flowers/ veggies i plan on growing so I can plant them at the best time possible to get the best results.

  121. Megan says:

    Go back to the native American roots– plant squash, beans and corn together; they’re mutually beneficial and save trellis building and weeding.

  122. chris says:

    wear gloves when you garden to protect hands and sunscreen and a hat to protect your skin and hair from the sun. A kneeler is great too if you will be on your knees a lot in the garden.

  123. Sandy says:

    I live at high altitude, so gardening is tough. We only get 23 frost free days a year. I make sure to plant hardy plants or have them in containers that I can move in and out every day. Hopefully will have my greenhouse soon.

  124. Vanessa says:

    We always start our garden from seeds; every time we get half grown plants they seem to be more fragile. We also try to mulch in our garden to help keep in moisture and hand pluck off snails and other pests instead of worry about a level of pesticide/pest spray. Effective and natural!

  125. Karlie says:

    I cover my veggie plants with thin netting so the darn squirls don’t eat everything. It allows the plants to get the light they need, and I get to eat everything I grow!

  126. Megan says:

    Living in an apartment, I plant my tomatoes and such in a big pot outside to still enjoy the vegetables of summer without a yard!

  127. Jennifer says:

    We plan our garden plot well in advance to make sure certain vegetables are not in the same place as previous years to prevent disease. Also, I love to plant pumpkins, they are easy to maintain and fun to have around for Halloween!

  128. Bonnie Pallasch says:

    Tomatoes will ripen faster if they are around anything bright red. Use Red tomato cages or a red stake for a more plentiful harvest.

  129. Melanie Shellito says:

    Rabbits are a huge problem for small veggie plants, and even things like hostas. Purchase a box of clear plastic forks, and poke them (tines up) around your plants so the top of the fork is about 4″-5″ high. Three or four per hosta or every 3″ or so down your garden row. Rabbits will be deterred by the points, and you can remove the forks when the plants are large enough to fend for themselves. Reuse the forks each spring. Works like a charm, and the clear forks blend in with the garden reasonably well.

  130. Jasmine says:

    Apartments are the anti garden. I have been fed up with out some green. I noticed that often at the start of spring garden stores offer a deal where if you bring in a planter and buy a plant they will fill it in with great soil. This gave me the start of my potted herb plant garden. I recomend checkign out deals in your area and working with what space you have, I found a spot on my porch that gets plenty of sun but partly covered so it doesnt get over watered when it rains.

  131. Denise says:

    In the fall I dump all of my rotten apples on the garden beds and cover with mulch. By spring time they are pretty well broken down and I just till them in and ammend the soil with them. They are a great additional to my other fertalizer.

  132. Dona says:

    I keep large pots of cherry tomatoes and other plants on terrace. This gives me closer access and I keep a more frequent eye on them.

  133. K. ONeill says:

    Gardening in pots: If you use large pots, they can be too heavy to move when they are filled with soil. Instead, fill the pot half-way with the plastic containers that plants come in. Stack the plastic to use up as much space as possible. (At the end of the season, recycle them!) Then put in soil, and plant as usual. It’ll be much lighter if you need to move it.

  134. John says:

    I sprinkle cayenne pepper around the edge of outdoor pots or the base of plants to keep squirrels and other animals from bothering them.

  135. Vicki says:

    My grandmother always put her eggshells and coffee grounds in her garden, and she had the most amazing results. Now that I finally have a sizable garden space this year, I can’t wait to try it myself! I understand you can also use coffee grounds in your compost.

  136. Sandy says:

    Our granddaughters are the love in our garden…they are the magic in the growing…they sing to the plants & I do believe it’s the heavenly secret to its success!

  137. Cheryl Klejka says:

    I plant herbs in containers on my deck. That allows me easy access to them when I’m cooking. When I need some cilantro or parsley, I just walk out onto my deck, cut just the right amount of herbs, go inside, wash them, then cut them up and use them. Easy, simple, cheap and MUCH better than dried herbs.

  138. FISH TANK WATER!!! Ever heard of Aquaponics? My husband and I recently added a pond full of fish to our hydroponics system, and we couldn’t be more pleased!
    It is astounding what fish and plants can do for each other. All you do is feed your fish. The fish water is then pumped over the roots of the plants (ebb and flow system) and then drains back into the pond. The fish waste provides your plants with all of their nutrients, and the plants clean the water for the fish. Aquaponics works hands down better then any chemical fertilizer you can purchase!
    I know, it is so simple, it sounds too good to be true! I think it is gardening’s best kept secret. Obviously the fertilizer manufacturers aren’t going to tell you…
    Not everyone can set up their own Aquaponics system, and many people are very happy with their gardens as is, so this is what you can do (if you have a fish tank) – next time you clean your tank, instead of dumping all that fish waste water down the drain, poor it on your garden. Your plants will love you! Give it a try and see for yourself :)

  139. Jane says:

    Plant your tomatoes nice and deep, up to the first leaf. If you are new to gardening, be careful when watering and don’t water from above once blossoms appear; it’s the blossoms that “blossom” into tomatoes.

  140. Melinda says:

    Since I live on the 3rd floor of an apartment complex, so I have to have window boxes full of herbs and upside hanging tomatoes and berries. My advice is that everyone should do some sort of gardening even if they don’t have “ground”. Potted herbs and vegetables are just as tasty and healthy!

  141. Karen Cohn says:

    I tie long white ribbons to my tomato cages. They wave and blow in the wind to keep the birds and other animals away. It better than a scarecrow.

  142. Kelly says:

    I sprinkle black pepper around my plants. It is a natural rabbit repellent that helps keep my plants from being nibbled on.

  143. Matthew says:

    If you’ve got extra fruits and vegetables, you can give them to friends, or sometimes even donate them to a local food pantry!

  144. Jen says:

    I take several sheets of newspaper and cut a hole in the middle of them. I plant my tomato plant in the hole, and then cover the newspaper with straw. The paper prevents weeds from popping up around my tomatoes and helps retain moisture in the soil so my plants don’t dry up!

  145. Sarah Beiswanger says:

    To save money on gardening, we use the water from our dehumidifier to water the garden. It is very humid here in the summer so we are able to collect many jugs of water!

  146. Cara says:

    To retain moisture in the soil, especially during the really hot months, I mix dryer lint in the soil. I know it may sound weird, but it works!

  147. shirley says:

    I have a patio garden and I mulch my tomatoes with grass clippings and newspapers to cut down on weeds,, the grass clippings gives them the natural moisture without added cost..and I also use crushed egg shells to prevent cutworms in my potatoes..

  148. John Cornelius says:

    I make sure to involve my family. My daughters job is to remember to water the plants daily. My boys have to weed and clean up. That way whether the garden turns out green and productive or not we all get some benefit.

  149. Daphne says:

    Cats LOVE garden…for digging and depositing. The perfect deterrent? Sprinkling black pepper over the soil.

  150. Megan says:

    Try square foot gardening if you have a small space. http://www.squarefootgardening.com/

  151. Daphne says:

    Cats LOVE my garden…for digging and depositing. The perfect deterrent? Sprinkling black pepper over the soil.

  152. Anna says:

    Our community garden has started planting our potatoes in old tires! The black tires attract sun and warm the soil. Stack tires up around the plant as it grows taller!

  153. Rebecca says:

    I use epsom salts instead of fertilizers. Easier to distribute and better for the soil and the grass!

  154. Corinne says:

    I let the kids get involved. They love to dig, pull weeds and water the plants. Helps get everyone involved and helps me with the work!

  155. theresa says:

    I only have a small yard so I built raised beds out of concrete blocks I also have trouble bending so I made them 3 high and filled with good dirt I can raise multiple veg in them i.e. sweet potatoes on one side 3 tomatoes in center of each and 3 cucumbers on other side works great

  156. Judith says:

    When planting pepper plants, put a match beneath the roots. The additional sulpher will give the capsacium a real boost.

  157. Jim Hinshaw says:

    We planted a garden last year, first time in new home in Colorado. it was located right along the fence to our property, a wrought iron fence. We had cucumbers and melons galore, and some ended up right underneath the fence bars. So we had flat cucumbers and melons with dents on one side! Looked funny, tasted great.

    Not much of a lesson here, except the vines will grow where they want, and you may end up with unusual vegetables as a result.

  158. Denise says:

    I get my starters ready ahead of time indoors and under a heat lamp, so they are ready to go in the ground as soon as the weather is nice!

  159. Cory Tinsley says:

    I use a layer of “Moo”nure in my flower beds. It’s a combination of manure and compost (that doesn’t stink) that enriches the soil and helps the flowers do their very best without a lot of maintenance.

  160. Sarah says:

    Be sure to pay attention to the details about what you are planting and how much sun it needs. If you mistakenly place something that needs a lot of sun in the shade, it could greatly affect your results.

  161. Jennifer says:

    Love corn, but hate those nasty worms? When the ears first tassel, just put a few drops of mineral oil on them. This works for the pincher bugs, too.

  162. Sandra says:

    I do a raised garden (mostly because I am lazy). Instead of digging into the ground, you build up. Start with some layers of old wet newspaper on the ground (this step not mandatory). Pour bags of topsoil. Plant seedlings, etc. Pour a thin layer of dirt on top. I mix tomato plants, hot peppers, and herbs (which are easy to grow and rabbits don’t eat) with flowers. I toss leftover ground coffee out there every day and sometimes crushed leftover egg shells. Then, every year you continue to mix up and add dirt and you end up with a nice garden space with good dirt. No digging!

  163. Shannon Mezzanotte says:

    Keep a journal of what you plant, when you plant it and how it yields. This way you can track what works and determine what works with your soil the best and which additives to use to grow the things you want.

  164. keith says:

    Problem with slugs? Just set out a bowl of beer and let them have at it — they’ll be permanently taken from your garden’s banquet.

  165. Megan says:

    My tip is when you are weeding, try to get as much of the root of the weed as possible. It helps the weeds to not grow back.

  166. Kathy says:

    To keep rabbits and deer from eating my lettuce and carrots I form a little rounded cage over therow using chicken wire stretched over croquet hoops. It is easy to lift up to harvest and ensures that we get to eat the crop not the crritters!

  167. Summer Groth says:

    I find that using mulch on strawberry and raspberry plants really really helps to keep the weeds down and they end up spreading and growing much larger healthier strawberries and raspberries! So, use mulch!!

  168. Kathy Cassidy says:

    I have found that kids who never eat veggies will eat ones that they have grown themselves. It is amazing to watch them care for a plant and see it grow into something that they can pick, wash and eat. Even though it may be more difficult to garden with kids, the reward of having them learn to love their veggies is well worth it!

  169. jill says:

    i always plant marigolds around my tomatoes this will keep those nasty tomatoe worms away

  170. Honey says:

    Start seeds indoors in an egg carton. It’s an easy way to keep all your plants together in one spot and then transfer to your garden

  171. April says:

    When planting my fruits and vegetables I fill the hole with fertilized potting soil before adding my plant. This will feed the plant as the roots develop and continue to grow. With my tomatoes, I prune them every 1-2 weeks (cut the leaf close to the stalk after the new shoot comes out). By doing this I have tomatoes up until frost even after others gardens are done. I still have ripe and green tomatoes and even blooms on my plants.

  172. dimple says:

    I tried planting some tomatoes and herbs indoors in my apartment. This kept the plants bearing fruits for a longer time, since I could get keep them closer to the windows for light while in the warmth of the house when its cold outside. Its a good exercise too moving the pots from one corner to the other in the apartment.

  173. Leslie says:

    I plant merrigolds around the perimeter of my garden. It helps keep the bunnies away and also some bugs! :)

  174. Kerry says:

    grub issue. I put beer in a shallow lid around my plants that attract grubs. The grubs drown in the beer and stay off my plants.

  175. Liliana says:

    I’ll share a tip that was given to me! Tilling the soil is actually counter-intuitive to how Mother Nature develops really good soil.

    Instead of loosening the soil (which slows down work of the microbes and bacteria breaking down organic matter in the soil), create your own rich soil by “sheet mulching. Place corrugated cardboard (or weed-blocking fabric, but you can find cardboard for free!) as the base of your garden bed and layer a few inches of organic matter, such as hay, compost, worm castings, dry leaves, wood mulch (not the dyed, chemically treated stuff, look for free wood mulch from tree removal companies or from craigslist!).

    Top it off with some good garden soil that you can plant in and in a few months Mother Nature will work its magic and you’ll have way better soil than any bag you can buy at the store. Happy Gardening!

  176. Judy says:

    Take your morning coffee grounds and add to your soil to give your roses an extra boost.

  177. Valerie says:

    Used newspapers make good inexpensive mulch.

  178. mdtolic says:

    When growing tomatoes in a container garden, ball up some newspaper and put them in the bottom of your pot before you fill it with soil. It helps retain moisture when the days get long and hot out on your deck or patio.

  179. Christina Lynn-Craig says:

    I empty out tea bags and combine them with coffee grounds to amend our clay-like Colorado soil.

  180. Heather says:

    Mulch to retain moisture after the soil has warmed.

  181. Melanie says:

    Take up composting and add nutrients to the soil, instead of filling up landfills. Take it a step farther with worm composting to get the richest compost for your garden.

  182. Emily says:

    You can use damp newspaper instead of landscaping cloth to keep weeds from coming up between your plants. Cover with a thin layer of mulch, compost, or dark soil for a more aesthetically pleasing look.

  183. Brenda says:

    Know what your plants need. Tomatoes and peppers need heat-including warm soil- to grow. Lettuce, broccoli, peas etc need cooler spots to grow. We may need to BUY the heat this year in Minnesota!

  184. Yvonne W. says:

    We mulch garden thickly with straw after planting seeds and then replenish the mulch as need throughout the growing season. The straw keeps weeds from growing and retains soil moisture so our veggies always thrive! Then, in the winter, the mulch breaks down, making the soil more rich and aerated for the next spring. Mulch is one of the keys to a great garden!

  185. Danielle says:

    Plant marigolds around your garden to keep away animals that like to nibble on growing things.

  186. Allison says:

    keep a compost bucket in the kitchen and throw all your fruit and veggie peels, etc in it and take it out to the garden and rototil it in!

  187. Katie says:

    Plant your tomatoes down deep to make more of a root system. Plastic pots or buckets around the plant will keep out cut worms.

  188. Karen says:

    To prevent cutworms from damaging garden plants I place a nail next to the stem. This keeps the cutworms from wrapping themselves around the stem and they can’t eat the plant.

    Use cardboard between plants as a mulch or between rows. You can walk on it, keep the weeds down, and it will compost itself. One can always find cardboard for free.

  189. Janel says:

    These tips are for tomatoes:
    1. Plant them deep.
    2. Choose indeterminate variaties because they yield more fruit. They also nee more space, though.
    3. Keep young plants warm. If they get too cold at night (below 55 degrees F) they won’t set fruit.
    4. Spary once a week with kelp seaweed to increase the health of the plants.

  190. Kate G says:

    Use brewed coffee grounds are a great additive to the the garden. Pick them up at your local Starbucks.

  191. Sally Valdes says:

    This year I have placed a mason bee house close to my garden. Mason bees are native bees that are very efficient pollinators. They are also non-aggressive and unlikely to sting. They found it and have started to fill it up with eggs and food for their young. In past years some of my vegetables and berries haven’t had sufficient pollination so they haven’t set as many fruits as I would like. So I am looking forward to having lots of hard-working bees helping me with my garden this year!

  192. Angelia Brown says:

    use your used coffee grinds in the garden..my plants love it!!

  193. NinaW says:

    My father has a fairly large garden that is not quite rectangular. To make straight rows and maximize the plantable area, he marks off a straight line with twine. Then he runs his tractor parallel to the twine with a post dragging behind the tractor to make an indentation in the soil. Then drives the next row with the right tires from the previous row in the left tire tracks of the new row. Works like a charm!

  194. Tesha says:

    My tip would be to not take on too much all at one time. Start a little at a time then go from there once you have the hang of it.

  195. Steve says:

    Keep the weeds out! Weeds will strangle and overcrowd crops. Maintain a weed free garden by pulling them when possible and using good, rich soil.

  196. penny says:

    make plant markers by cutting out a plastic milk carton into long strips. use sharpie pen to write name of plant.

  197. Jennifer says:

    The key to my garden is to prep, I plant before the weather is good. I have a small green house in the garage and have many that are by the kitchen sink. I not only use egg shells but also mix into the dirt coffee grounds, banana peals, mint leafs and garlic . The mint and garlic help to keep animals away from the plants.

  198. Tom McCormick says:

    When planting on a hill or slope, do not forget to contour plant. This will save soil from eroding as quickly.

  199. Louise McFadden says:

    When planting veggies in my high mountain desert garden, I cut the bottom of inexpensive planters out and buried the planters at least 8″ into the ground. It kept most of the grubs out and the slippery planter edge that stuck up protected the plants from many of the creepy crawlers. It was also an excellent way to conserve water!

  200. nan says:

    I bought red wiggler worms and started a compost bins…they LOVE to eat table scraps…now after several months, I have wonderful soil that has germinated many a seed! wonderful soil!!!

  201. Tina says:

    put a wire fence around your garden to prevent rabbits from eating your crops.

  202. Diane Mendenhall says:

    We utilize companion planting to help reduce the need for pesticides. We also use dishsoap for some pests and when we get our hair cut we keep the clippings to deter rabbits.

  203. ruth says:

    I found that gardening in various cups, old bowls and pots and gardening pots works really well on our upper deck. Now they get lots of sunshine, plenty of watering and I can avoid having the rabbits and deer that pass through and devour our yard each day bother the new flowers and veggies and strawberry plants I planted :)

  204. Barb says:

    Coffee grounds are great if you mix them in your soil a bit as they can be a bit acidic on some plants. If you don’t drink coffee, Starbucks packages their grounds and usually have them for pick up in the front of their stores for free. Ideally it’s better to combine the grounds with topsoil prior to planting, but they also work great after planting. Eggshells take a longer time to decompose but eventually work their way in.

    Planting catnip amongst other vegetables is a good way to keep the bugs away too!

  205. Jessica Tye says:

    Before you grow snow peas, so them in a bowl of water a night before planting. This speeds up germination. Also, using innoculant in the soil when planting creates a more bountiful harvest!!!

  206. Ryan Tye says:

    Use straw instead of mulch!

  207. I Berman says:

    We have alot of deer in our yard. We have learned to surround our garden with plants that the deer dislike-such as plants with fuzzy leaves or plants we know they shy away from.

  208. Jon says:

    I put sturdy stakes in the corners of my garden areas to make sure I don’t drag the water hose across the plants when I move the hose from one end of the garden to the other. The hose hits the stakes, not the plants.

  209. Mike says:

    I start my seeds in paper egg cartons I save throughout the year. When I go to plant the seedling, I tear off the individual compartment and plant the whole thing in the ground.

  210. Ashley says:

    I’m an apartment dweller so I only have a small balcony for my garden. I plant cherry tomatoes in hanging baskets which I hang from the balcony railing. I use the handrail and railing spindles as a trellis for the vines.

  211. Geneva Lawrence says:

    To cut down on worms in organic apples, pour vinegar around the tree roots periodically. This doesn’t affect the taste of the apples for the humans, but changes the taste just enough that the bugs don’t like them as much.

    Also, to those of you who are beginners, or who don’t have a great deal of time to invest in gardens – containers are the way to go. You don’t have to have an ag degree to get good tomatoes, peppers, and herbs.

  212. Jared Vincent says:

    for a fun twist on cherry tomatoes, plant them in a container with basil. The tomatoes will take on a nice basil flavor! Also, if you don’t have a lot of room for a garden, many herbs and veggies look great mixed in with perennials in your landscaping.

  213. Dominique Sturdivant says:

    Adding some sort of nutrient rich ‘compost’ when transplanting your plants outdoors, ensures a healthy start. BUT remember to check for pests. They can completely wipe out a crop in a day or two. Use row covers to prevent infestations and research what you find in your garden so that you can come up with the best way of treating it. && Water your babies!!

  214. Fern Russell says:

    I put used coffee grounds in the soil rather than toss them. The plants love it! Helping the planet and growing happy veggies…it’s a win win.

  215. Nick says:

    I water everything in compost tea, it works quickly if you have a plant that needs help fast

  216. Cindy says:

    The local coffee shop has bags of coffee grounds free for the taking! Great for gardeners!

  217. Margaret says:

    For those who want to use coffee grounds, but may not be coffee drinkers – local coffee companies will give you used grounds (our Starbucks has a box just for this purpose).

    We don’t have much room to garden, so we have learned that most anything can be grown in a container. A friend suggested growing potatoes in a garbage can – we are going to try this next year!

  218. Laura says:

    Plant herbs in containers on your deck or patio. When you dine outside you can sit, chat and munch on the herb leaves after dinner. Herbs provide extra nutrients; and it’s a fun way to try different herbs. Herbs like mint and parsley are popular after dinner choices but I like to munch on any herbs after dinner.

  219. Erin says:

    I can’t believe all of the wonderful ideas from this blog. I am certainly most interested in the hydroponics post. I will also be trying the pepper to keep the critters away.

  220. Julie says:

    I gave up on the ornamentals and now I just plant veggies in my flowerpots on my porch. I would rather have fresh lettuce and herbs than flowers!!

  221. Jaclyn says:

    Sprinkle chili powder around plants to keep sensitive nosed critters like rabbits out. Make sure to reapply after it rains.

  222. Alisa says:

    I never prune my trees and bushes in the summer, this scortches the ends and hurts the trees more. I always wait until the fall when the sun is not beating so hard onto my trees.

  223. Kelsey says:

    Every spring my great-grandmother would ask for two five-gallon pails of fresh manure for her flower beds. Since then, I have found this to be the best fertilizer around.

  224. Frances says:

    This year, I planted lettuce in b/t the flowers in my flower boxes. Beautiful and tasty :)

  225. Caryn says:

    Worm castings are great fertilizer but a bag is pricy. Save money by growing your own. Add worms to your compost bin. Google “worm composting” to get instructions on starting your own worm farm. They’ll eat everything except citrus.

  226. Amy B says:

    Start the plants inside early in the spring in egg cartons so they will be nice and hearty by the time you move them outside.

  227. Mandy says:

    I noticed many people mentioning putting coffee grounds in their soil. This is a great idea, and for those of you who do not brew coffee at home, Starbucks has a program called grounds for your garden and you can stop in at any time and ask for used coffee grounds and they will give you a good amount for FREE!

  228. Sue A. says:

    Keep those seeds and baby plants moist!

  229. Shelly says:

    Compost takes time to stabilize in the soil, I’ve always made sure to mix it in at least two to three weeks prior to planting.

  230. Ashley Kirchner says:

    After going fishing and filleting the fish, we bury the remains in our garden. It’s a free fertilizer that really works!

  231. the Artist says:

    When setting up your garden beds for the season, lay a soaker hose around the base of your plants, then cover it up with mulch. This is the most efficient way to get the water right where your plants need it, as well as conserve water as it does not evaporate into the air. It also helps to avoid foliar diseases from water on plant leaves, as well as keeping the mulch wet and cooler which keeps the plants cooler, too.

  232. Rita says:

    My best advice – ask someone who knows what they are doing. Mostly senior citizens and professional gardeners.

  233. Lynn says:

    I grow nasturtiums in a deck box-they are very colorful and edible-I use to decorate desserts and always get comments on them.
    I also put small cups of citrus scented dish detergent around my deck-it attracts mosquitoes and japanese beetles and they drown in it.

  234. B. DeLong says:

    I love to garden, hate to weed. So I put down cardboard and cover it with hay between all my plants. It hold the moisture in the soil and keeps the weeds down.

  235. Cathy Wallner says:

    We put several layers of newpaper between the rows to prevent weeds from coming up.

  236. Lynn says:

    To keep the bunnies from eating our veggies. I plant some of them in pots and put them off the ground.

  237. Sarah P. says:

    A little habanero goes a looooong way. A single one of these little guys is plenty of enough heat for an entire quart of homemade salsa. Therefore, only grow a few of these plants (not a whole row). Also, wash your hands often when handling these bad boys–especially before touching your eyes or nether-regions!

  238. Anna says:

    Take the Master gardener class available through your county extension office. A wealth of information on your local climate and gardening expertise for a low price.

  239. Joyce says:

    I use the top of our deck as the top of the trellis for pole beans. Use twine and hang about 2 feet apart and long enough to be just above the small plant. The beans will climb the twine and because it dangles, it makes it easier to harvest reaching between the plants as they sway freely. Also provides some privacy and greenery for the deck.

  240. kendra says:

    I pour boiling water on the weeds that come up between the cracks on my paver brick walkway. Cheaper and better for the earth than chemicals. And it works!

  241. P. Girdhar says:

    We used an old vinyl tablecloth as a barrier against weeds in our raised vegetable patch

  242. Lily says:

    The bricks and large stones left over from our landscaping project from last fall gave us the perfect borders for our raised vegetable garden.

  243. Sarah says:

    Water at the base of a tomato plant. Make sure that no leaves are touching the soil by plucking the lower leaves off. In terms of types of tomatoes, cherry tomatoes are very easy to grow, and roma tomatoes are good for making salsa.

  244. Kathleen T says:

    My son loves to pick off any bugs he sees on our strawberry plants–it keeps him busy and the strawberries BUG-FREE! :) This year we are going to plant blackberries too.
    We always use large stakes and tie up our tomatoes as they grow since the cages can sometimes bee too confining if they grow large!

  245. Bill T says:

    In our planters, we crush aluminum pop cans to put on the bottom for better drainage and don’t have to use as much potting soil. Also, we always use a potting soil, such as miracle grow, which has everything needed included in the package.

  246. Karen Buckman says:

    I live on a farm, and am lucky to have access to good old cow manure. When planting tomatoes, I dig a deep hole, put in some manure, then cover that up so the roots of the tomato plant dont come in direct contact with the manure. Then plant the tomato plant on top of that. As the plant grows, the roots gradually grow down through the manure, making the plant that much stronger, and healthy. It is the best fertilizer, and I always get strong healthy tomato plants with large, healthy, delicious tomatoes, no matter what kind of tomato is planted!

  247. Nina says:

    I grow cabbage plants from cabbage cores. After you eat the cabbage, don’t cut all leaves down to the core, leave some for re-growth. Takes some time, but leaves soon start to re-grow and roots soon sprout from the bottom of the core (set it in a glass of water on kitchen windowsill; change the water once a week and keep at least the bottom of the core covered in water) and once the roots long/strong enough, you can plant the core for a new cabbage this summer!

  248. Kathleen says:

    plant mint in containers… unless you want it taking over your entire garden!

  249. Mike says:

    I’ve found that strawberry plants are very easy to grow if you keep them watered and protected from pests. They need about 6 hours of sunlight each day, so keep that in mind when you plan your garden!

  250. Allie says:

    I get chicken and goat manure from neighbors and throw it in my garden!

  251. Dawn says:

    I plant my lettuce in a shallow container on my deck that way I have salad all season and it’s easy to reseed as needed. I started it early And am already enjoying salad while I wait for it to sprout in the big garden!

  252. Rebecca says:

    Mix in crushed egg shells with the soil when planting tomatoes. The calcium gives them a better flavor.

  253. Pamela says:

    I do roof top container gardening in a big city. I have found that with my lemon cucumbers, the key is to plant less and give them something to climb up. I’ve had great success.

  254. Vanessa says:

    I use a tablespoon of epsom salts at the base of my plants. My advice to everyone is to just try growing something…you’ll feel so good about it!

  255. Cecelia Thomas says:

    For people with arthritis (or any other disability), use the adjustable legs camping table and build a potted “raised garden” on your patio. The adjustable legs will help the table be at the right height for you without having to do a lot of stooping or kneeling and the cost is nominal.

  256. Elaine says:

    Get a windowsill planter fill with potting soil and add a few herbs. And you can have fresh herbs year around on your windowsill. Perennial herbs like Thyme, Chives, Sage and Tarragon seem to thrive better than annual herbs like Basil or Cilantro. If you want to have mint, plant it in its own little pot. It will take over any container to try to grow it in.

  257. Elaine says:

    Easy way to grow root vegetables. Get one of those huge plastic/recycled shopping bags like the IKEA ones. Fill it with dirt and place it where you want to grow your veggies outside and then plant your root veggies. when it is time to harvest, dump out your bag either into a wheelbarrow, another bag or a clean trash can. No digging to harvest!

  258. That is a super-peachy-keen post. Thanks for really blathering on like that! Seriously, I don’t think I could have spent more effort wishing for something heavy to fall on me to erase that nonsense from my mind!

  259. I take clean egg-shells and put several in a blender with water at high speed. W

  260. I take clean egg shells and blend with water to a salt grain consistency. Then, I add more water to water my tiny tomato plants to prevent blossem end rot.

  261. Marci says:

    We till in soil pep and organic soil before planting. Start pumpkins and squash from seed in the house first.

  262. skarione says:

    Have a garden you can manage, try not to do too many things. Compost from your own waste veg. material, and bring kids in the garden so they can learn with you.

  263. Laurie says:

    Planting tomatoes and peppers along a wall that gets lots of mid-late day sun helps them retain heat to survive mild frost when covered and even produce much later into the season than usual.

  264. Ryan says:

    Since I have limited space in my small back yard, I go vertical with as many crops as possible. One crop that works well is a bean teepee, and if I leave one side open, my kids love to use it as a fort!

  265. Ned says:

    diatomaceous earth is a good way to get rid of unwanted crawling critters.

  266. AE Keller says:

    Irish Spring soap is a great deer repellant for your garden.

  267. Matt says:

    When growing Cucumbers use a 3 foot high trellis and angle it at 45 degrees with some fence posts. Guide the plants on to it and your cucumbers will not yellow from laying on the ground.

  268. Monica says:

    Deer are a big gardening problem in my area. I’ve tried various things to keep them away and they work for a while and then the deer grow a custom to them (hair, blood meal, egg and pepper soap spray. I’ve finally started using the netting for birds and it works like a charm!

  269. Bob says:

    I have found that growing zucchini on a trellis gets far better results than growing on the ground, with far fewer bug or rotting problems.

  270. Megan says:

    My mom and I use bobcat urine to chase away the bunnies and other garden-munchers that like to feast on the lettuce, kale, and other veggies in our garden. It’s potent, but it works!

  271. lois says:

    Ants.. in my small condo yard, ants seemed determined to build a metropolis from sand beneath my new pavers. Nothing seemed to deter them until I tried pouring on ammonia – not harmful to any neighbors’ pets, and inexpensive at the dollar store.

  272. Marisa says:

    I put small pavers in my garden- they keep the weeds down and help divide the plants into sections. It keeps the spreading plants (like strawberries) from getting too out of control. Also, when I go to weed, it is more bearable if I can set a goal of weeding a certain section:)

  273. liz says:

    I love having an herb plant in my kitchen for easy access to fresh herbs. Nothing like a little fresh basil to add to any pasta dish!

  274. Nikki says:

    We plant on a back porch in containers because we have a small city lot. It also keeps critters from eating our plants.

  275. Kyna says:

    We dig walking paths between our beds and then just throw pulled weeds from the garden bed into the walking path. It makes weeding easier and keeps new weeds from growing in the path.

  276. Kevin says:

    Coffee Grounds mixed with my soil provide the perfect amount of acid needed to germinate the seeds. I chop up mushrooms and blend with the soil too …. everyone LOVES our cucumbers they are a delicious snack straight from the vine!

  277. Jackie says:

    Make sure your garden has enough drainage. If not, your plants will get too much water and delveop a fungus that will kill them. Also, egg shells and old coffee grounds are great for plants!

  278. Mark says:

    Remember that Hops can be fatal to dogs, please place a fence around them to keep them away.

  279. Lori Peterson says:

    Moving from a home with a yard for gardening to a condo with only a small patio was a difficult transition made easier by finding a beautiful hanging basket planter with a huge cherry tomato plant cascading from it. I can hang it like a decorative planter while enjoying the fruit it produces! I am making the most of limited space. Yum!

  280. Jim says:

    I like to spend a little bit of time everyday outside checking out how things are doing and pulling weeds. That way if anything looks like it is having problems I catch it right away. In terms of gardening tips, I think it’s a hit or miss depending on where you live, the weather, and your yard’s sunlight/exposure. So, if something fails, try something different…

  281. Carol Wood says:

    We always place a peice of fish and banana peel in the hole, before placing our new plant or bush for planting. I like the frozen filet best for it gives extra moisture to the plant also.

  282. Cheryl Pierce says:

    Give asparagus 3 years to grow after you first plant them, otherwise they will die back.

  283. Jodi says:

    Used Coffee Grounds make everything just a bit greener!!!

  284. David says:

    Keep it moist, keep it healthy is what my mom always said. Don’t drench them, but most plants want to stay a little moist.

  285. Rachel says:

    My mother and I always sprinkle just regular black pepper outside the perimeter of our garden. It seems to keep most animals out, my neighbor’s outdoor kitties stay away from it, as do bunnies. We also use coffee grounds in the soil!

  286. Brenna Kelly says:

    This may sound strange but whenever my brother or a family member is given a hair cut, we use the cut off hair in the garden. Hair is actually packed with nutrients that the soil will absorb and the plants will love! It’s an excellent natural and eco friendly fertilizer.

  287. Stella says:

    Don’t forget to use a rooting hormone when planting to help your new plants get a good start, especially if you have never planted this variety in your garden before.

  288. Ta says:

    I believe in planting a variety of plants/ flowers that blossom at different times withing the same bed/ garden. We moved into a home where the previous owner had done this. We have enjoyed the garden earlier then expected and every day since with something new every time. One thing I really like is how the herbs are mixed in with the flowers to give the garden substance and a variety of textures. The other was all the hosta which has grown larger then our youngest child. The final thing is the hen and chick flowers. Plant wherever unexpected. These hen and chicks give our rock wall such beautiful touch.

  289. Lisa K says:

    A natural way to get rid of snails, just fill a bowl about half full of beer and place in garden. Snails are attracted to the beer so they crawl in and die. Clean out dead snails every few days and add more beer as needed.

  290. Robyn says:

    I will be purchasing some lady bugs from my local nursery. Ladybugs help protect your garden by eating aphids and other insect pests without using pesticides. You can also order ladybugs online…just google it :)

  291. Lisa McLaughlin says:

    To keep weeds at bay I put down newspaper and cover it with about 3 inches of grass clippings. (It is hard to get clippings with my mulching mower; so I get it from neighbors and a friend who mows professionally). My parents have been doing this for years. You just til it in the next year to improve the soil.

  292. Heather says:

    All winter I save my used coffee grounds and the contents from used tea bags (I just dump them in a freezer bag and keep them in the freezer). When spring arrives I mix some of the grounds with a pitcher of water to make my own fertilizing “tea.” I pour this over all of my veggie plants and new starts to give them the extra nutrients they need.

  293. Art says:

    I’m not familiar with this banana peel thing. Anyone use them in a veg garden? I don’t have roses. C

  294. Bryan says:

    Use a rain barrel for watering your garden. They are easy to make out of on old food barrel or a giant trash can. If your not that handy the can be purchased. Not only do they save you money on watering they also supply nutrients and the correct pH to your plants, whereas city water is stripped of everything and heavily clorinated.

  295. Kathy says:

    Plant small crops of lettuce and spinach every couple weeks for a constant harvest of fresh salad all summer.

  296. PL says:

    I place black garbage bags on the ground around my tomato plants. It helps reflect the sun resulting in larger plants and provides a weed barrier.

  297. Sophie says:

    Put a fence up to try to keep the critters out.

  298. Scott says:

    You can make your own organic animal repellant with Tabasco Sauce and and a gallon of water.

  299. Mandy Gerads says:

    Use compost dirt it makes the veggie grow fast and strong and is a very green thing to do.

  300. Doug says:

    Does Irish Spring soap work also work as a rabbit deterrent? I’ve heard of this but don’t know if it’s true. Rabbits are feasting on my lawn every night and I’ve tried a lot of things but nothing seems to work.

  301. KSten says:

    There are many plants that are supposed to act as natural insect repellants, to keep the little boogers from eating your plants. Search “Insect repellant plants” online or try http://www.rexresearch.com/agro/comp1.htm. Something had been eating the leaves of our raspberry bushes last year. We planted catnip, and the leaves made an amazing comeback. The cat was thrilled too!

  302. Barbara Stapf says:

    I don’t currently have a garden, but I always save my egg shells and coffee grounds to toss in the wilder part of my small yard so that they can energize the soil.

  303. Myra says:

    I find it important to pay close attention to my tomato plants and make sure to watch them at the correct time, not during the heat of the day. Last year living in a new location I had a new problem, something that every should watch out for…the plants and weeds that were around my tomato plant actually choked and killed my tomato plant when I got busy for just a few days. It is important to check regularly and make sure no weeds or other plants are growing too chose to your garden. Happy growing!

  304. Sandy says:

    I use old pistachio shells (unsalted only!) to line the bottom of containers. It improves drainage and keeps the shells out of the landfill.

    Also, I’ve found that used soymilk cartons work well as tall, narrow planters. Just punch a few holes in the bottom, and voila! My peas and peppers are doing great so far.

  305. Nick says:

    Get the fresh veggies right away before animals can get at them. So check it dayly

  306. Mandy says:

    Use compost in your garden.

  307. stacy rose says:

    I belong to a CSA so I get a farm share of fresh organic veggies each week, so I don’t garden much…but I do grow basil b/c my son lives on pesto! My tip is to grow several different varieties, in large pots which are half sunk into the ground, which keeps them cooler and you don’t have to water as often…and pinch off the flowers as soon as you see them forming to keep the basil from turning bitter. To wash any leafy veggies, swish vigously in a large bowl of tepid water, using your fingers to unroll any folds that can hide dirt. Then remove the leaves, and dump out the water. Refill the bowl and repeat, until the water shows no sign of sand. Roll leaves in dishtowels to dry or use a salad spinner.

  308. Lynn R says:

    Small apartment balcony, so I do container gardening. Total novice, but do have three useful ideas:
    1) put gravel at the bottom of containers for drainage, then add a cut-to-size piece of plastic needlepoint mesh (found in hobby/craft stores) over the pebbles before adding soil. It keeps the soil from draining away through the gravel and keeps roots from spreading into the gravel. (Metal mesh rusts.)
    2) cut some narrow PVC pipe to place into the container before adding the soil, to a few inches above the plastic mesh, the tops sticking several inches above the soil. This allows watering deep without having to buy all those fancy contraptions!
    3) I planted zucchini last year and got lots of lovely (and tasty) flowers, but wasn’t getting any zucchini. Read later that the flowers weren’t being cross pollinated (no way on the 10th floor!). So, when the flowers appear, use a little brush and transfer the pollen manually between the male and female flowers!

  309. Amanda says:

    For container plants, nothing beats petunias. They get huge and don’t require deadheading. They also do fine in shade and thrive even when it is over 100 degrees outside. All you have to do is water and enjoy!

  310. Bonnie says:

    I always water my plants either early in the morning or in the evening. Don’t water them in the afternoon in the heat of the day. Your plants will just fry.

  311. roxy says:

    Make a tent of cheesecloth to put over your tender tomatoes, pepper and okra when first planting. It will keep new plants from being sunburn, hailed on and avoids high winds. Great protection which can be removed as the plants harden off. Bunnies avoid this “tent” too! God bless

  312. jill blardinelli says:

    My gardening tip is to plan ahead to choose veggies and fruits to plant that will save money on meals. The first group of foods I plant in containers that I have on my balcony or hanging baskets. I always plant berries and cherries because they arecostly at the grocery store. I freeze some for winter 3enjoyment. I also plant heirloom and baby veggies in containers.
    In the yard I plant veggies that grow easily and in large amounts. These include zucchini tomatoes cucumbers and lettuce.

  313. Marta says:

    I like to get the most out of the season and my plot. I make sure I plant cooler weather crops in between the rows of later harvest plants. For example, I have tomato, pepper, and eggplants for the later season crops, but I also put lettuces, radishes, and spinach inbetween them. They get the shade from the larger plants, and will be done and harvested by the time the other plants get too big and the weather is too warm.

  314. Mark B. says:

    When planting items from seed, we get them started inside. We then use cardboard egg cartons to plant them in. When it is time to transplant them outside you can cut the egg carton compartments and plant them in the ground, paper and all. The paper will decompose in the ground.

  315. Liana says:

    My very best tip has to do with tomatoes. Most people don’t realize that tomato plants have the ability to sprout roots all along their stems. Instead of planting your tomato seedlings just up to the bottom leaves, remove the bottom set of “branches” entirely and plant the seedling deeper. Better roots mean better stability and a healthier plant!

  316. Erica says:

    I heard that in Colorado the soil is lacking in magnesium and we should add Epson salt to the soil. Does anyone know how much I should add to the soil?

  317. DC says:

    Garlic repels many insects. Plant garlic next to your Italian Cypress to keep the dreaded spider mites away.

  318. Jessica says:

    When I clean my fish tank I save to water I drain out and give it to my plants! It seems to work great!! Better than fertilizer.

  319. Jessica says:

    these are all such great ideas! I’ll have to try some out!

  320. Carson says:

    My best tip… get someone else to do the gardening for you!

  321. Greeeeeeeeat Blog Love the Infomation you have provided me .

  322. xxxtube says:

    Nice Blog !!! your the best

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