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  Joy Blooms in Lubbock


 Lubbock became home in the Spring of 2011.   Moved from hardiness zone 5  to zone 7
Increased the growing seasons by 3 months.  Boy have the rules changed!

Last Updated on:  Tuesday May 24, 2016 06:41 AM

Gardening in Lubbock    Month-by-Month   Out Door Projects     It's for the Birds    Gardening Lessons from Daddy       
        Compost It!     Gardening Tips /Design     Veggies Anyone?    Gardening Links       Seed/Bulb Resources      My Garden Photo Albums

Gardening Wisdom acquired from trial & error;
from friends; and from website visitors
  • Apply a generous portion of regular table salt to kill dandelions.

  • Epsom salt is a great source of magnesium - tomatoes love it.

  • Bury chopped up banana peeling around the base of roses.  They contain potassium.   Roses love it.
  • Pour water in vase about an hour before adding cut flowers.  Add a drop or two of bleach to prevent the water from going sour.  It is best to re-cut the stems before putting the flowers in water.
  • With cut roses, dip the stems in boiling water for 15 seconds.   The flowers will last longer.
  • Grass seed need an abrupt change in temperature before they will sprout.   That's why is it best to plant grass in the spring or fall.  To help this process, and to be able to grow grass from seeds in the summer, freeze the seeds before planting.
  • When the tops have fallen over on onions, they are ready to harvest. Before pulling them out of the ground, let the soil dry out a little.  The store the onions in a dry dark place (basement or garage or shed). When the tops dry out cut them off.
  • When transplanting tomatoes, bury them to the first set of leaves.  More roots will form and as a result you will have a happier, stronger and healthier plant, i.e. more tomatoes.  Now that's a good thing.
  • Caffeinated coffee is said to kill slugs.  Pouring black coffee (slightly diluted with water) around the base of plants is said to repel slugs.
  • When potted plants need a little boost or when they appear to have stopped growing, add 1 aspirin (non-coated type) to 1 pint of water.   Let the aspirin dissolve and then "feed" the plant.
  • Add 1 teaspoon Epsom salt to 1 cup of warm water to give your plants a dose of magnesium.
  • Use beer to clean the leaves of house plants.
  • Companion gardening champs are French marigolds & tomatoes.   The smell of the marigolds wards off white flies.
  • Apply broken eggs shells around the base of plants to ward of snails & slugs.  They don't like crawling over rough surfaces.  Also apply powder suds around the base of the plants.  They will foam away.  You can capture them by place the 1/2 shells of an orange or grapefruit upside down in the garden.   The snails will crawls under and consume from the inside.
  • Always water your garden in the early morning.   This practice not only conserve water because less evaporates but also decreases the chances of powdery mildew and other fungal diseases.  These need high humidity levels.
  • Add a handful of compost into each transplant hole. You will enrich to soil and the plant will be happy.
  • Plant Tansy around your garden.  It  will discourage mosquitoes.
  • Plants in terra cotta pots tend to dry out and require extra watering.  Try putting a plastic grocery bag (with holes at the bottom) in the pot.  Put the dirt in the bag.   The plants will retain water longer.
  • Hang red unbreakable ornaments on tomato plants early in the season. Hungry birds will check them out for a quick meal.  They won't find appetizing tomatoes but rather plastic globes.  Not wanting more they will abandon your plants.   The real fruits will be safe for you to enjoy.
  • An apple corer makes an excellent garden tool.
  • Pour hot water on weeds in between sidewalk cracks.  Kills 'em dead.
  • On a wooden shim, write the plant name with a permanent marker.  Then apply a coat of clear fingernail polish to prevent the letters from fading.
  • To battle mildew on roses - mix 1 T baking power in 1/4 pint of milk.  Pour mixture into a spray bottle and apply to infected leaves.
  • A friend of mine, who shall remain un-named, uses a dab of clear silicon to keep vine attached to her trellis.  She pushes vine into glob.  She says it will stay up all season.
  • Rhododendron and Azaleas both like iron.  A good source of iron is from brewed black tea.  Give them a drink of room temperature tea once a week or so.
  • Sprinkle washing powder on top of a newly planted bulbs.  The soap willl keep squirrels from digging them up and having an afternoon snack.
  • Use a bag of garden soil as a planter.  Punch a few holes in bag.  Cut the bottom or a plastic nursery pot.   Make a slit by cutting an "X" in the bag (on the opposite side of the holes).  Place pot 1/2 way in slit.  Place plant in pot and fill with soil.  Treat plant as if planted in a container.   Can have multiple pots in one large bag of garden soil.
  • Kill the Ant Queen by applying a equal mixture of sugar and borax.  Workers will take the "treat" to the queen.  She will eat it and die.   The workers will scatter.   End of ant problem.
  • In the fall, place egg carton upside down in the garden.  Lady Bugs and other helpful insects will make these their winter houses.
  • Dill or borage planted with your tomatoes will discourage hookworms from having an afternoon snack.
  • In your vegie garden - water young seedlings with a mixture of 1 teaspoon salt to 1 gallon water.  Apply once a week for a month or so.  The salty taste will deter bugs of munching out on your plants.   The salt will not harm the plants or change the flavor you later enjoy.
  • To hurry tomatoes ripening on the vine - hang a banana on the tomato cage
  • An easy way to grow cuttings is to add soil to the corner of a plastic bag.   Water lightly.  Put cutting in soil.  Loosely tie end and using a clothes pin - hang from a line strung up in the green house.   This method eliminates using valuable counter space.
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Note:  I have not tried all of these.  Let me know if you have any comments or ideas to add.  eMail me

Joy Blooms . . . in the garden!

The seed is hope; the flower is joy

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