Gardening tips and tricks Nov. 2022

Cali O'Hare file photo

The 2022 garden season was once again unpredictable and surprising as we are at the whim of Mother Nature, whether we garden outside, inside, in a greenhouse or in containers. Let’s all just keep gardening, since there are many, many benefits. Use the following suggestions (results may vary) to help with your gardening adventures!

• Cinnamon has some antifungal qualities and smells great. Use it to prevent and stop diseases on seedlings, keep cats out of the garden and relieve insect bites. Spray a liquid solution on plants and put powder on the soil.

• Encircle roughly crushed layers of eggshells around plants sensitive to snails and slugs and add to tomato soil to retard calcium deficiency in tomatoes.

• Use a coffee filter or newspaper to line pot bottoms to keep drainage holes from clogging up and soil from leaking out.

• Turn a shipping pallet on its side to store rakes and other garden tools. Attach this pallet to a fence, shed or exposed wall studs in your garage. A mailbox near the garden provides a convenient home for small tools.

• Use honey to enhance root growth for plant cuttings.

• Apply a layer of petroleum jelly, mineral oil and/or silicone on blades and edges of tools to protect from rust and make working in clay soil easier.  Stick tools into sand where they will stay upright and easy to grab. 

• Start seeds in biodegradable newspaper pots. Make a 4-sheet stack of newspapers and cut into three parts. Roll each one to form a round “cup.” Fold the edges at the bottom to close the end. Cut toilet paper/paper towel tubes into 2-inch lengths and set them in a waterproof tray for use as seed starters. When the seedlings are ready to move to the garden, plant them right in their compostable planters.

• Press a muffin tin in soil to make planting holes.

• Use a fork to pull herb or other leaves off a stem. Start at the bottom of the stem and pull leaves towards the top.

• Use vegetable cooking water to water indoor plants. Throw vegetation into a bucket of water and use for fertilizing outdoor garden plants.

• Fill water/milk jugs with water, let sit in the sun to warm and place around tender plants to extend the garden season.

• Use a posthole digger for planting vegetables.

• Use a 5-gallon bucket (preferable metal) in the garden to collect weeds, carry/collect tools and use as a stool. 

• To keep fingernails clean when working in dirt, scrape fingers against a bar of soap first.

• Many seeds stay viable for many years, so shop for next year’s seeds now, possibly at reduced prices.

• Start your compost pile now. Decide on an area where you can throw “greens” (vegetable scraps and other items considered greens in compost language) and “browns” (leaves and other items considered browns in compost language) so they can start decomposing over the winter.  Do not let the pile get compacted, so keep turning the pile until the snow flies. You will be rewarded with terrific garden mulch. Be sure to learn what material should not be in the pile.

• Mark planted rows with silverware from the secondhand store.

– The Sage and Snow Garden Club is available for gardening advice and appreciates hearing about your combat gardening in Sublette County. They are on social media and can be contacted via email as well.