Tuesday, February 06, 2007

10 Free Gardening Products

10 Free Gardening Products
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by: Linda Gray

One of the pleasurable spin-offs in organic gardening is finding alternative ways of coming up with the same, if not better, end result.....Household throwaways can be valuable to the alternate enthusiast. Here are ten recycleable ideas to make gardening a little less hard on the pocket!

1. Hedge clippings: Instead of burning or direct composting, beg, borrow or even buy, if the quantity justifies the price, an electric garden muncher.Branches up to an inch in diameter are posted into a slot and the machine munches them up into small chips. Spread these chips thickly around shrubs or fruit trees to help keep moisture in, and control the temperature of the soil.

2. Food Waste: All food waste must be composted.
Composting is becoming quite an art form, and special composting bins can be bought, or very simply made.There are many different theories and each gardener will find his or her preferred way. Keeping the compost fairly warm is the overall key to a good result. Or, if you're in no hurry, simply keep adding to a heap, and dig out the bottom when required. Sieve before using and the compost will be ready for planting small plants and even seeds.

3. Old carpets, large damaged cardboard boxes; and similar materials can be laid over the vegetable plot in autumn to help prevent those early spring weeds appearing. Spread over a whole patch and weigh down with stones or logs. Lift off on a sunny day in early spring a few days before digging.4. Paint trays: Keep old roller painting trays and similar containers for seed trays. Punch a few holes in the bottom for drainage. Add a little fine gravel before filling with seed compost. Seed trays shouldn't be deeper than 15cm.

5. Yogurt pots: All plastic yogurt or dessert pots can be washed and saved for re-potting seedlings. Make a hole in the bottom of each and add a little fine gravel before filling with compost or soil..

6. Glass jars: Glass jars with sealable lids are excellent for storing seeds, beans and peas for planting next year. (Safe from mice as well) After washing the jars, dry in the oven to remove all traces of moisture before storing your seeds. Collect dark glass jars, or wrap paper round clear jars to prevent seeds being damaged by light.

7. Ice Lolly sticks: Make perfect row markers in your seed trays or greenhouse beds. The wooden ones won't last for ever but you can at least write on them with pen, pencil or crayons!

8. Wire coat hangers: Make mini-cloches with discarded or broken wire coat hangers. Pull into a square shape. Place the hook in the soil and push down gently until the natural bend in the wire rests on top of the soil. Place another a short distance away in your seed bed to create two ends of a cloche. Now throw over a sheet of plastic and hold down with logs or stones.Note: this will work only when creating very small cloches.

9. Clear plastic: Keep any clear plastic containers that could be placed upside down over a plant. Cut a mineral water bottle in half to make two handy individual cloches. Large sheets of clear plastic from packaged household items are fine for throwing over mini coat hanger cloches.

10. Aluminium bottle tops: Keep aluminium tops from milk or juice bottles, and also coloured foil around beer or wine bottles. Thread together to maka bird scarer. Simply thread with thick cotton and hang on your fruit bushes before the birds find the new fruits.

Look out for other tools for the garden from kitchen throwaways such as: old kitchen spoons and forks for transplanting tiny plants in the greenhouse. Leaky buckets for harvesting small quantities of potatoes, carrots etc; light wooden boxes for harvesting salads through the summer, and transporting pots etc;Keep an eye on that rubbish bag and turn today's throwaways into tomorrow's tools!

About The Author
Linda Gray is a freelance writer and, with her partner, has spent ten years renovating an acre of neglected woodland. With a growing family to feed 'off the land', frugal gardening has become second nature! Drop in at
http://www.flower-and-garden-tips.com for pots of gardening inspiration! This article was posted on June 19, 2004

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Growing Nostalgic "Old Roses" In Your Garden

Growing Nostalgic "Old Roses" In Your Garden
by: Simonetta Jensen

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"Old Roses" Convey Time Honored Tradition In the 18th Century, the practice of tending rose bushes was popular and a handy source for young men to offer as gifts during courtship. These roses were not only beautiful to admire and richly fragrant but also highly symbolic of an unwritten and often unspoken language between admirers. In ancient times, some even believed that these roses contained medicinal properties.

Most of these "old roses" came from hardy shrubs that required moderate tending. Today's "old rose" varieties are also for the most part hardy but require consistent attention before you'll achieve a seasoned gardener's level of perfection. The category of "old roses" is from a hardy stock of rose bushes and climbers that were popular in the Victorian age. Most of these Victorian-age roses were imported from varieties that were first grown in Greece and Persia during the 15th Century. These aromatic roses are still highly popular in today's gardens since they grow well in several zones and don't require the same highly detailed attention as many hybrid roses. To select an "old rose" for your garden, begin by examining your garden area and figuring out what roses work in that area.

For instance, some "old roses" bushes work best as hedges while others prefer to crawl low as bed covers. Many climbers first look like small bushes but climb well up patios, sides of homes, and fences. Some other factors to think about when picking and arranging "old roses" are drainage, sunlight, shading, and insects. Most "old roses" must be watered very frequently on a daily basis. Sunlight is needed for about five hours a day for most "old rose" shrubs

About The Author
Copyright 2005 Simonetta Jensen. All rights reserved.Simonetta Jensen is the webmaster and operator of Roses ABC Inc which is a principal resource for information on roses and other flowers on the internet. For more info visit her archive of articles:
http://www.rosesabc.com/ This article was posted on August 16, 2005

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