Regular readers will know that I’ve been getting into my gardening over the past few months, having hitherto abhorred it! Well, in recent weeks I can be find pottering about out there most days, and am becoming a little, dare I say it, passionate about it all. I find myself becoming engrossed in gardening magazines and brochures, choosing new plants weekly and taking every opportunity I can to be outside, planting, weeding and tidying it up. So, I want to learn more about looking after it, ridding myself of common pests, feeding the garden as best I can and ensuring it looks good.
And so in the interests of being both thrifty, and wanting to use things that are safe for the kids and the dog out there, I’ve become interested in hearing about natural products to use in the garden, whether it be to help things grow, keep weeds under control or deter pests – I want to know about it! And so, as is often the case when I want to know something these days, I took to Twitter for some suggestions…
For the soil & plants:
– nettles or comfrey steeped in water for a few weeks to make natural fertiliser, can get a bit smelly though! (@WoodlandRealms &@EcoGitesLenault)
– Most organic kitchen waste, e.g. tea bags/leaves, potato peelings, etc. can be used to lighten heavy clay soil (@fireflyphil)
– Banana skins are good for feeding roses. This is a tip that means a lot to me, as not only do I adore my roses, of which I have several and can’t seem to be able to stop buying more, but also because my kids both love bananas so we’re never short of the skins here!
For the pests
– dried eggshells, crushed then spread around the base of plants/flowers as a natural deterrent for slugs and snails (@shay_noble)
– if you’re not an egg-eater, coffee grounds can be effective, too, with slugs and snails (@AtHomeWithMrsH)
– sprinkle rolled oats around vulnerable plants to deter slugs. They eat them, swell up and then die. (@HortG33k)
– If you have a problem with cats at your flowerbeds half fill a plastic bottle with water and place it on it’s side in flowerbed. (@LittleHandsBI)
– Orange peelings are supposed to deter cats from your garden and the peelings release nitrogen into the soil. (@mumwithnocareer)
For the weeds:
– a bit of salt, washing-up liquid and white vinegar makes a good weed killer (@shay_noble)
– Baking soda to kill weeds. Obviously not one to use in flowers beds, but I’m currently trying it our on a brick pathway to stop those weeds from popping up.
Thanks so much to everyone who shared their tips with me, it’s much appreciated. I’m thinking I’ve enough there to be going on with and trying.
What about you? Have you tried any of these, and if so, with what success? Or have you another tip to share?