Vegetable Gardening Tips

We garden because we love it. But be honest, aren’t there times when you wish it was easier? These vegetable gardening tips will make your garden work easier, save money and give you the helpful advice you can use for more successful gardening.

To wipe scale insects and mealy bugs off your houseplants, use a small paint brush instead of the cotton swabs usually recommended. Also, although the old remedy, rubbing alcohol, works just fine to reduce their numbers, lightweight mineral oil is even better because it smothers eggs as well as adults.

Save old tires to recycle as containers for raised beds to grow a plant or two of squash. A scrub bucket that has sprung a leak makes a handy tote for taking away stones and rocks dug out of the ground in preparing a bed, carrying fertilizer to spread around or compost to mix in a planting hole or row.

Save your empty seed packets each season and bundle them together in a plastic bag or large mailing envelope marked with the contents. The following year as you plan your garden, you can look back at the packets and quickly refresh your memory as to exactly which flowers and vegetables you grew the year before, and more importantly, the varieties.

If you keep fish, such as goldfish, don’t throw away the water in which they swim when you change it. Instead, use it to water your plants, thus taking advantage of its valuable nutrients. These are the kind of vegetable gardening tips that almost make you want to go out and buy that goldfish your kids have been bugging you for.

An old tire rim attached to the tool shed or a post finds a new purpose as a reel for storing a garden hose neatly coiled out of the way.

Hang a plastic shoe bag as an organizer to quickly put your hands on such things as plant labels, marking pen, small hand tools, pocket knife, twine, garden gloves and the like. This is one of the most helpful vegetable gardening tips I have discovered. I would be lost without plastic shoe bags throughout my shed to keep me organized.

To plug the drainage hole in a small pot when planting seeds or transplanting seedlings, cut up white paper towels or discarded pantyhose and lay a piece over the hole. The barrier, while preventing the loss of soil, will still permit the release of water.

Folks who save plastic jugs to cover young tomato or other plants to pull them through a cold snap will find the jugs take up less room if they are stacked by sliding the handles over a broomstick or mop handle.

When harvesting vegetables, put them in a plastic laundry basket and hose off the dirt before bringing them inside.

The key-lock-type fasteners that come with plastic trash bags also make good clasps for tying up tomato vines or tall flowers, or putting together wire plant cages.

To identify plants in a row, mark them with the packets from which they were sown. Enveloping each packet in a see-through plastic bag will protect it from getting wet, and anchoring it in a holder made by wrapping a length of wire coat hanger around a hoe or rake handle, to form a sort of clip, will keep the packet from blowing away, besides propping it up so you can easily read the name.