Garden Types - Created Date : 1.8.2019

Budding Home Farmer? 25+ Clever Ideas To Check Out

Budding Home Farmer? 25+ Clever Ideas To Check Out

Budding Home Farmer? 25+ Clever Ideas To Check Out

Did you know you can make your own rooting hormone using willow twigs? Or that geraniums can be overwintered? How about a few ideas for soil savers, pest control and fighting weeds? You’ll find all that and more in this collection!

First, here’s an interesting tip I came across while reading the book “The Essential Urban Farmer”, did you know that willow trees contain a lot of natural rooting hormone that you can tap into for your own cuttings? Here’s how to make it:

15 to 20 thin twigs (any variety of willow tree) gallon of water

Directions: Place the twigs in a bucket then top with water, cover with lid. Let this sit for at least 24 hours then strain out the twigs.

To Use: Place cuttings in the water solution a day before potting.

Storage: Can be refrigerated for up to one month.

Ready to check out the rest of the goodies? Here’s a bunch that I’ve handpicked from around the net or highlighted from here on Tipnut…(and don’t miss the vintage tip at the bottom of the page for growing your own dishcloths with luffa gourds!).

PS: I’ll be adding more goodies to this list as I find them so you may want to bookmark this page!

Diaper Liners: Line the bottom of baskets and pots with a disposable diaper to help retain soil moisture.

14 Simple Tricks: Includes a great idea to mark long handles on garden tools so you can use them as measuring sticks.

Dried Banana Peel Shakes: Save banana peels, dry them then blend with a couple cups of water to make a promising plant pick-me-up.

Do You Grow Dishcloths? Luffa Acutangula Gourd

*First published October 30, 2009 and moved to this page for better organization

The gourd Luffa acutangula is easily grown from seed and produces a very satisfactory, sanitary dishcloth. Most seed catalogs list it.

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Plant the seed of the Luffa vine about the middle of May, or the time you plant your cucumbers should be right.

In the fall the gourds produced on this vine may be cut open lengthwise, the fibrous mass inside taken out, thoroughly washed in hot soapy water to remove pulp and seeds, then dried in sun and there you have the dishcloth ready for use.

These are very durable and easily kept sweet and clean as long as they last. Dirt and grease do not penetrate the fibers as they do in an ordinary cloth, this makes it more desirable for separator and milk utensils.

When saturated with water the Luffa is agreeable to the touch. The smaller ones may be used for bath sponges, those of medium size for dishes, and the largest for “rags” to scrub automobiles. I have heard of people selling the prepared “rags.”

These vines are vigorous growers. One or two vines, if given room, will produce many gourds, which are often a foot or more long.

Let the children have plants of their own. Any child who can handle a small saw or a knife to whittle, can make handles for Luffa dish mops. Our children had lots of fun preparing these mops and giving them away for Christmas presents.

What Readers Are Saying: 58 Comments

On the packing peanut idea. I have a home business and many businesses that ship are environmentally aware. Many of the packing peanuts that business are using will dissolve in water. Many will include a note saying that the peanut will dissolve, many won’t bother, though they are fun to watch dissolve to nothing in the sink. When the peanuts are trashed the rain will dissolve them to a corn flour or rice flour mixture, not harming the environment. If you want packing peanuts to stay around May want to toss some in water first to see if they dissolve. Otherwise on the first watering in a garden they will be gone! ?? RJF

I put the peanuts in a heavy duty plastic bag and tie it closed before putting in the bottom of a large pot or planter, usually taking up the bottom third of the pot. Then I add potting soil, super phosphate, plant food and I’m ready to plant.

However, putting packing peanuts in the ground that aren’t biodegradeble is a stupid idea, same with the diapers.. It’s putting plastics in the ground! A better idea is to just put in some rocks or shards from pottery –> old way to do it. The plastic nusery pots might work better because you can more easily seperate. Otherwise, some very nice ideas, especially the luffa plant, didn’t know how that worked!

I make “Green” bluebird houses that have a garden for the roof. As the roof is only 2 1/2¨ deep, a diaper (or part of one) helps retain water (what they were intended to do) and makes watering a lot less frequent.

Besides, they said it was to make a large planter lighter in weight if you needed to move it from time to time in your yard. You could also put the peanuts in old pantyhose legs (cut) to make them more manageable. As for me, I used crunched 1 gal. milk jugs and 2 qt. juice jugs (lids on) in my huge planter and it worked like a charm. I too, will be using the diapers in my hanging baskets.

I put the disposal diaper in my hanging baskets (not the ground) to retain water. My plants look great this year! Usually they start drying out when it gets really hot and I water them daily. I was using the crystals that absorb water, but that didn’t work nearly as well.

these are not for drainage but rather to take up some space in pot. If you are using an actual container soil in your pots the drainage will be fine. Gravel or broken pots were used in the day when ordinary garden soil was used in the pots. this is NOT a good idea as the soil will pack hard and drain poorly. Always use a potting mix.

I noticed that the type of hanging planter that was pictured in the diaper advice portion is one that I used every year and every year my plants die. I water religiously but find that those type of planters promotes quick drainage so the heat and sun here fries the plants anyway. so for me I will be trying the diaper idea!

I have used diapers in all of my hanging baskets for years. It does help, but I have found once we get into the hundred degree days, because they are on the west side of my house, they still need a lot of water. I soak them every morning around 5:30 and then a brief shower in the evenings as the sun is going down. If they are on the north or east side or temperatures are below 100, one watering a day works just fine. Good luck!!

I use plastic pots inside my coconut husk lined baskets to help retain water. I’ve also heard put the packing peanuts inside a dollar store laundry bag–so when you empty your pots the peanuts are “contained” inside the bag. Would work for the corks too.

To help keep fire ants out of potted plants, line the bottom of the pot with some weed barrier cloth, the kind that allows water to pass thru. Then add the layer of pebbles and fill the rest of the pot with dirt. Putting a piece of the weed barrier under the pot helps some too. I have pets so I try and avoid the use of fire ant poisons and I definitley can’t us Amdro and similar poisons around my potted herbs.

I learned a great trick for the ants. I filled a turkey baster with baby powder and stuck it into the ant bed and squeezed it deep into the bed. The powder dries out the ants even the queen. I had a large ant mound move into the middle of my eggplants shortly after they were planted. I also sprinkled the powder around the mound so when they came out they had to cross the powder. It worked like a charm. I have since eliminated a few other mounds around my property.

Thank You, Brenda for the great tip. I Have ant mounds everywhere and have tried a lot of things to no avail. When it came to the ant traps I watched a couple go in when that happened I saw the other ants immediately bury the traps. I would uncover them and they would bury them again. I was amazed at how wise they were for insects.

I have used the packing peanuts to take up room in the bottom of big pots. Either anchor the pot to the ground, or put a few bricks or rocks in the bottom. The pots can get top heavy. Also, put the peanuts in recycled grocery bags and tie them shut. Otherwise they get mixed in with your soil and you have to sort them out when you turn over that soil the next year. (All hints learned the hard way.)

Also be careful if you toss your old potting soil into the compost heap. I did not consider that when I used them, and ended out having to pick through the soil, which was a pain in the rear! Alternately, you could dump the soil out over a sifter and sift them out, but again, a lot of work.

If packing peanuts are an issue for you, I suggest milk jugs or 2 liter bottles in the bottom of your big pots. It really reduces the amount of potting soil you use. Of course they are reusable year after year.

I dont think i would use packing peanuts/diapers/plastic containers or cans in any garden. All of those things would leach toxins damaging your soil. I definitly would not use any of those things when planting edibles. I could see them used in containers for flowers only. I do like the loofa tip. I think i will try planting some of those!


Yes the toothpaste idea has helped me on numerous occasions for many bites, not just fire ants. (But that method I will try if I get stung) However, as a small note: the toothpaste should be the paste kind, not a gel kind. I have a small tube in my camping “gear”!

When using the packing peanuts I put them in old panty hose and tie the end so when you empty the pot it`s easy to seperate the soil and peanuts.And you can also wash out all the dirt with a water hose an hang up to dry to reuse again next year.

Thanks so much for the helpful Tips! I was so excited when I saw the post about growing your own dishcloths! I have heard of these gourds but didn’t know what to look for! Now I can’t wait to order so seed and try them out! AWSOME!!! Thanks Again!


I love the idea of milk jugs in the bottom of large containers. I acquired 2 very large cast iron cauldron type pots and had been wondering about cutting down on the weight issue with rocks and soil. This idea works perfectly for me. Thanks!!

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6 Lawn Care Musts for Your Fall Yard

Among lawn care professionals, the best way to achieve thick, green and healthy lawn in spring is to give a well-timed care in autumn - in other words, right now. However, according to Scott Frith, CEO of Lawn Doctor, a lawn care company with more than 200 franchises nationwide, many homeowners make the same basic mistakes before they fall asleep and then cause better performance of their lawn. Wonders. . I wonder more. Here is Frith's seven-step program to get a nice lawn next year.

1. Remove the leaves.

A carpet of colorful autumn leaves can look nice and can be fun to play, but they are not good for your lawn. Blocks light and traps moisture, potentially fatal strokes for unlucky grass beneath. So as the leaves fall, blow or rake them as often as possible. Even after the trees remain bare, continue to remove the corners of the wind. If you don't do this, come on the grass at the bottom of this grassland, the rotting mat will be dead.

2. Continue cutting, but to the correct height.

Don't put that mower away yet. The grass continues to grow until the first hard frost and therefore requires regular cuts to keep it ideally 2 to 3 inches high. If you let it stay too long, it becomes dull and vulnerable to fungi such as snow mold. Cutting grass too short is equally bad because it shortens the root system - the root depth is proportional to the cutting height and prevents the ability of the lawn to withstand cold and dryness in winter. Regular mowing also gets rid of pesky leaves, cuts them and leaves behind a soil-enhancing mulch.

3. Continue watering.

Frith says people tend to stop watering in the fall as the weather gets cold. Lar They think nature will do things for them, or he says. While it is true that there is more rain, more dew and less evaporation at this time of year, this may not be enough to keep the grass roots juicy and healthy in the winter. If your lawn does not receive at least an inch of water per week - the best way to follow a simple rain gauge - then run the sprinklers or irrigation system until the end of October. Until then you will want to remove hoses and flush the irrigation system to prevent frozen pipes and plugs.

4. Loosen the soil.

According to Frith, regular ventilation - every few years, prevents the soil from being compacted and covered with thatch, and a thick layer of roots, stems and debris that prevents water, oxygen and nutrients from reaching the soil. A core aerator corrects both problems by drilling holes in that hole and pulling the earth plug up. "It is a good idea to ventilate a lawn just before fertilization," says Frith. "All these holes in your lawn will allow the manure to reach the roots that it can do best."

5. Add fertilizer.

Just as grass roots need water to last in winter, they also benefit from a shot of plant sugars that protect the roots against frost and give energy to the whole plant to spring back in the spring. These sugars are produced by chlorophyll, which is produced by the grass in abundance when there is enough nitrogen. Frith therefore recommends a slow release of the slow release granular fertilizer 24-0-10. The figures indicate the weight percent by weight of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, respectively. Potassium is also important because it helps root growth, disease protection, drought tolerance and cold resistance. (A soil test can tell you how much of your lawn really needs it.) However, be careful about spreading fertilizers near the waterways; they are vulnerable to contamination from the second stream. The Grass Doctor's company policy is to provide a 5-meter buffer wherever there is water.

6. Seed spread.

“A dense lawn also provides good protection against weeds, Fr says Frith. It is therefore important to inspect existing lawns. This not only fills fine stains or bare stains, but also allows you to get to know the last, durable, drought-resistant grass. The best time to fall is autumn, because the ground is still warm, the humidity is higher, the nights are cool and the sun is not that hot during the day. But even then, “over-seeding is one of the most challenging lawn care jobs, Fr says Frith. You cannot simply release the seeds on a lawn and wait for them to wait. They must be in full contact with the soil, remain moist until they germinate, and be sufficiently stable before very cold. Renting a split seeder is a better option than broadcasting, but these machines are notorious for tearing the lawn and making your lawn look like a rake. Frith says the Lawn Doctor's special Turf Tamer power seeder, which injects seeds into the soil, is a less damaging option.