- Harvest your vegetable plants often. The more you pick tomatoes, cucumbers, and squash, the more they’ll grow.
- Place freshly picked, green tomatoes in a brown paper bag to ripen. (Contrary to what many people believe, its temperature, not sunshine, that makes tomatoes turn red).
- Animal pests don’t like strong-smelling plants. Surround your garden with marigolds, zinnias, or wormwood. Sneaky yet easy: To keep small animals out of your garden, cut an old hose in three-foot lengths. Place the pieces around your garden. These fake snakes will scare away small animals.
- Plant dill near tomato plants to prevent tomato worms. It works.
- Start seeds in eggshell halves. It’s economical and earth-friendly. Fill shell 3/4ths of the way to top with planting soil and seed, then store in egg cartons. This will keep the shell safe and allow you to easily carry the seedlings to sunnier locations or out to the garden. When ready to plant, leave the seedling in the shell. The roots will break through and the decomposed shell will act as a fertilizer.
- When choosing annuals, bigger isn’t always better. When shopping at your local greenhouse, choose the plant that is well proportioned, not the tall one that has become root bound. Watch out for signs of insects or diseases.
- Sprinkling the lawn out of habit is wasting a natural resource and money, too. A healthy lawn will signal it’s thirsty when walking on it makes footprints.
- Some vegetable gardeners use newspapers as a mulch when cold weather threatens. This practice is ecologically good but don’t use the colored sheets. They contain harmful chemicals.
- Position garden stakes so the wind blows plants toward the supports, not away from them.
- To catch slugs, put a dish of beer in the garden at night. They will desert the plants and drown in the brew.
- Best Days