Garden Tricks

Cut flowers in vasescutflowers

  • Re-cut the stems under warm water before arranging them.  Mix one cup Up with one cup hot water and ½ tsp. household bleach.  Use this mixture in the vase and the cut flowers will last much longer.
  • Change the water every three days and always re-cut the stems by ½” before putting them back into fresh mix in the vase.


Epsom Salt – a magnificent magnesium supplierepsom salt

It contains magnesium one of what growers call the “major minor” elements. It helps speed up plant growth, increase a plants nutrient uptake, deter pests, increase flavor of fruit and veggies, plus increase the output of vegetation – especially with tomatoes, peppers and roses.

Applying Epsom Salt
It is always advisable to have a soil test done before applying any nutrients to soil.
Soil Incorporation – Broadcast 1 cup per 100 square feet, mix well into before planting.
At Planting Time – When planting seedlings or new plants, dig a hole and place about 1 tablespoon of Epsom salt in the bottom of hole and cover with a thin layer of dirt, place the plant in the hole and finish planting.
Pre-Planting Soak – Prior to planting, soak root balls in 1/2 cup of Epsom salt diluted in one gallon of water.
Top Dressing – During the growing season, sprinkle about a 1 tablespoon directly around the base of the plant and water it in.
Applying in Liquid Form or Drenching – Drenching plants with Epsom salt improves the overall health of the plant by providing a good dose of magnesium. If your plants are needing a boost, dissolve about one to two tablespoons of Epsom salt in a a gallon of water. Pour at the base of the plant and allow the water-salt solution to soak into the ground. Repeat throughout the season as necessary.


Homesteading an Acre

by David Goodman from Florida Food Forests

A wall, huge rock may pull up two zones on the south side; it is necessary to plant delicate trees 10″ off the thermal mass – longer distances are inefficient.

mokitofishWaterplants and algae
Use excess water in stale tanks to grow waterplants and algae for feedstock and compost. The moskito larvae which will appear can be eating by a moskito fish (gambusa affinis). This transforms a moskito nursery into a moskito trap because the life of a moskito ends after laying the eggs and the offspring is devoured by the moskitofish…

Nematodes & fresh Compost
You can protect fruit trees and other plants which love lots of compost by putting kitchen scraps directly on the ground and covering it with mulch. Nematodes don’t like organic matter…

Wasps and hornets
They eat caterpillars and other nuisenses. Wasps like to build nests in mailboxes 😉

Establishing new beds
Dig a 12″ deep trench with a spade shovel; then stick the shovel fork in and loosen the soil for another 12″, so the roots can go deep. Then fill in the compost and put a 4″ layer of soil back on it.

Compost tea
Weeds and epson salt and borax and compost into a barrel and fill it up with water – this multiplies compost quantities and is easily applied to plants via the water. There are tons of micro-organisms in there; you can put a bubbler into the barrel to make the processes more aerobic and less stinking!

Big Wood Rot
good idea to let old worthless tree chunks slowly rot into the ground: they are real industries of mycellium etc.