AN EVERYDAY item you might already have in your pantry can help banish pests from your beloved garden.
Outdoor experts at Garden Buildings Direct said copper tape also acts as a great deterrent because it gives the pests electric shocks.
Meanwhile, hot soapy water will keep caterpillars out of your garden so they can’t eat their way through your fruits, vegetables, and flowers.
Plus, on TikTok, gardening enthusiast Megan London explained there’s a super cheap item that you may already have — or that you can find at any grocery store — that will work wonders to get healthy plants in your garden if you’re on a budget.
“You’re probably like, what could that be? Powdered milk,” she revealed in a recent video. Holding up a bag of Walmart’s Great Value brand instant nonfat dry milk, Megan showed that the common pantry item has plenty of calcium and potassium, both essential for healthy plants.
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Repelling mosquitoes: Grow peppermint
Similar to basil, mosquitoes hate the smell that peppermint plants produce.
They also detest the taste of the plant.
Peppermint leaves are useful because they can also be used to treat mosquito bites as well.
It helps soothe the wound, meaning it shouldn’t sting as much.
Repelling mosquitoes: Grow basil
Basil can be added to salads, put onto a pizza, or used as a garnish to finish off a dish.
It also happens to be a handy way to ward off mosquitos and other pests.
Basil is one of the most pungent herbs and mosquitos detest the smell.
It contains compounds that disrupt the insects’ carbon dioxide sensors, causing them to become confused.
How to repel mosquitos
Some pest control experts are afraid that this summer will be buggy because of the wet spring.
Mosquitos are attracted to the carbon dioxide humans emit, water, and damp plants.
However, experts say that growing plants commonly used to flavor food can help keep the bugs away this summer.
Experts on using straw
“Straw in the garden is best used like a mulch,” horticulture expert Eric De Boer told Homes and Gardens.
The material acts “as a barrier to protect from weed germination and to also help shield the soil from the sun to increase the soil’s water retention.”
Other plant experts told the outlet that using straw in the garden has countless benefits that preserve the longevity of your plants.
“‘Straw is a natural weed suppressor. It will help keep weeds from growing in the garden while also conserving moisture,” said Brody Hall, a certified horticulturist and land manager from The Indoor Nursery.
Keep weeds away with straw
According to horticulturists and plant professionals, all-natural straw is one of the most effective tools to bring into your garden.
You don’t need to buy a whole bale – you can typically buy smaller bundles at your local farm store for upwards of $2.
Some hardware stores even sell pre-portioned bags made for gardens, which can cost closer to $15 but can be found on the shelves or online.
How to use garden lime to kill weeds
To combat pesky weeds, the experts at Balcony Garden Web advised to: “Spread lime using a spreader if your soil doesn’t have a calcium to magnesium ratio of 7 to 1.”
Simply follow their soil-sample collection directions and you’ll receive all kinds of information back about the conditions of your garden, including its calcium and magnesium levels.
$4 weed killer
According to the experts, the secret to a weed-free garden and lawn is lime, and no, it’s not the kind you eat.
Lime used in gardens is made from crushed-up limestone, rock, or dolomite, and when applied to soil, it raises the pH level, making the soil less acidic.
Lime also contains magnesium and calcium, which are vital for a healthy garden.
It’s actually the lack of calcium in soil that provides the condition for weeds to thrive in.
Organize with a storage shed
Installing some form of storage, such as a shed, is essential in keeping your garden clean and tidy and it’s the first step to achieving a stylish look.
If you already have a shed, don’t forget to give it a fresh coat of paint by choosing a color that will match the rest of your garden furniture.
Laundry detergent can kill moss
You can also use remove moss by sprinkling laundry detergent powder over the moss.
Gardening experts advise that it’s best to do this on a day where it will rain as this will kill the moss.
However, you can make your own solution by mixing together the detergent and water and pouring it over the moss.
Once the moss has turned brown (an indicator it is dead) you can sweep it away with a hard-bristled brush.
Vinegar can remove driveway moss
The rough surface of tarmac, typically used in driveways, gathers and retains water more than other materials – making it the ideal breeding spot for moss.
Luckily, a simple solution of distilled vinegar and water can kill moss.
Gardening experts recommend filling a spray bottle with the mixture and spraying daily until the moss dies.
The secret to fresh flowers
The key ingredient for fresh flowers, according to horticulture experts, is something you probably already have on hand: household bleach.
Although it may appear to be the worst thing you could possibly put to your flowers, experts claim that it is the secret to vivid, long-lasting blooms.
However, it’s vital not to use too much bleach in your flowers; about a quarter teaspoon per liter of water is recommended.
For an even greater result, some green-fingered experts recommend adding a spoonful of sugar to the bleach.
The clever trick works because the bleach prevents unpleasant bacteria from proliferating in your vase. These germs clog the stems of the flowers, preventing them from absorbing enough water, but the bleach kills them, resulting in fresh blooms.
Water is critical, especially during summer
When the heat is at its peak in the middle and late summer, watering is essential.
Almanac.com recommends you set up a rain gauge to see how much rain you’re getting from the thunderstorms: one to two inches each week is ideal.
It’s time to perform some deep watering yourself if you’re not receiving enough rain.
How pool noodles can help your garden
A garden pro named Jamie, who goes by @mama.jmarie on TikTok, loves the look of oversized planters.
These giant pots, however, are sometimes hard to fill so that the flowers stand tall enough.
Jamie said she has an easy solution— and it only requires one Dollar Tree purchase.
“For those large flower pots, use pool noodles to take up extra space,” she said, while cutting up chunks of a foam noodle and placing them at the bottom of the pot.
“This also provides drainage for your plants.”
Do not forget to water your plants
Always check the soil before watering your plants.
Use your hand to push down into the dirt a few inches to see if the soil is dry below the surface.
If it is still wet, wait another day before watering.
Regrow your green onions
Green onions are one of the easiest veggies to test your kitchen scrap gardening skills.
Take the white end of the onion, with its roots intact, and re-plant it in potting soil.
The place it in a sunny window and keep it watered, the publication says.
It can take less than two weeks until the plant will be tall enough to snip the top off and add to your next meal.
Grow your own food with kitchen scraps
The kitchen scraps you usually toss in the trash can actually be used to grow your own food, according to a gardening expert.
In an online post, the gardening experts at Farmer’s Almanac say you can build a surprisingly robust garden by regrowing vegetable scraps into plants.
“Kitchen scrap gardening is the ultimate in recycling,” the Farmer’s Almanac writes.
“It’s environmentally friendly, can save on grocery bills, and it’s a fun, hands-on science lesson for young children.”
The periodical lists a dozen veggies that are great for kitchen scrap gardening, with tips for how to blossom them into fully growing vegetables.
Hanging a water bottle
You could create another slow-release watering system by hanging a plastic bottle over your plants.
Simply take a bottle, pierce tiny holes in the bottom half and then enclose the bottle in a sock – other fabric should work just as fine.
You can then hang this above your plant by securing it to a stick that rests inside of your plant pot – but make sure it’s done so securely.
Just like with the “magic” burying method, the plants will have a steady flow of water.
Water your plants with ‘magic’ water bottle trick
Gardening experts have said that a cheap, plastic water bottle can be an eco-friendly watering tool for gardeners.
“Using a plastic water bottle to create a simple, yet effective, watering system is a great solution to repurpose an item that could otherwise end up in a landfill,” expert Sara Dixon told The Express.
To make the irrigation system, simply poke holes in the water bottle and cover it with a sock or another piece of fabric before burying it inside of the planter – with the opening visible at the top of the soil.
The small holes mean the bottle will act as a slow-release watering system.
Best plants for a first garden
A plant expert at Insider reported the six best plants for new gardeners to grow in their garden.
Leave space between beds
When creating your garden, remember to leave about two feet between raised beds so that you can tend the plants comfortably.
“People don’t think about the fact that they have to come through and work on these gardens and then they get annoyed and then they stop working on the beds,” gardening expert Kevin Espiritu explained.
Mulching makes a healthy garden
Mulch is an organic covering for the top of your soil and it helps keep it moist by protecting the surface of the soil.
Mulching reduces the amount that you should water your plants, so it’s important to get it right.
When you make a raised bed or any type of bed, you should always add mulch.
You can use a shredded straw or composted wood chips.
Investing in good products matters
Espiritu also noted that having good soil is key to maintaining a successful garden.
“If you’re going to invest in something, you should invest in your soil,” the expert noted.
“You don’t go buy a nice quality raised bed and try to grow plants in that system with crappy soil. It doesn’t make any sense at all.”
Mistakes to avoid when starting a raised garden
First of all, the position of the garden matters. Gardeners should make sure that their plants face the sun to get the proper amount of sunlight.
Gardeners should also be sure that their gardens are getting the proper amount of water – and an irrigation system is important.
Gorgeous garden shot
A Twitter user shared a photo of their North Yorkshire, complete with rolling, grassy hills.
“Good morning from my garden in North Yorkshire,” they wrote.
The post was followed by several other amateur gardeners sharing their own gardens in the replies.
Level garden tips: How to fix sloping gardens
Building terraces to create level zones is the greatest technique to remedy a sloping garden.
Retaining walls will be needed to keep the soil in place on steep slopes, and the soil should then be piled up behind them.
Retainer walls can be made of wire, bricks, or stone.
For this, Real Homes suggests hiring a professional gardener.
Retainer walls that are badly constructed might collapse, resulting in costly and severe effects.