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SHARING SECRETS: General Gardening Tips

Photo credit; Karen England
Karen England demonstrating her garden tip!

Edited by Tina Ivany.

Do you have any general gardening tips for 2020 that might not fit into any particular category, but that you have learned from your own experience/mistakes or learned from other gardeners?  (Thanks to Marilyn Wilson for suggesting this topic.)

Marilyn Wilson: My tip: before using any store-bought product on your plants, READ THE DIRECTIONS.  Failing to do so has had disastrous results for me more than once.  Second tip:  Make sure every potion has a label.  Thinking it was an insecticide, I once sprayed all my lily buds with an herbicide.

Cathy Tylka (Escondido): The only thing I can say is: go with it. Whatever the weather or predicaments... find the silver lining. One February we almost drowned, but this was a perfect opportunity to pull out my overgrown Lilies of the Nile, aka Agapanthus. When we are super dry, I finally get to those grasses that are invading. Most recently I put down a lot of mulch that was hanging around and wet, now it will keep some areas cool and moist!

Joselle Spinoza: Just discovered this great pdf from Grangetto's -- Companion Planting for edible gardens. A few things I'd seen elsewhere, but this is the most comprehensive list I've seen:

Karen England (Vista) - I used to make herbal soap for my home based business and I always told gardeners to use my bar soap before gardening. You can employ this tip with any well made, naturally scented cold process soap bar that you find in health food stores. Choose a soap scent such as lemongrass (or Citronella) -  Cymbopogon nardus and other species that will help repel bugs as you work. And, because cold process soap bars are softer than soaps made by other methods like French Milled soaps, you can drag your fingernails along the bar and fill the void between the nail and the finger with soap so that dirt can’t get in. Makes clean up after gardening a snap!

I store my gardening bar of soap on a nail brush by the sink so that it is always full of a gentle cleanser for when I clean my hands after a dirty day working in the soil.


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