Sunday, 21 April 2019

Top tips to help give your garden a boost

WITH Spring on its way, Henley’s gardening enthusiasts are getting organised and making plans for the year.

Garden Buildings Direct has revealed that a number of everyday household items, that might otherwise have been thrown away, can help you care for your garden.

The company says that tossing banana skins into your garden will give your plants a potassium boost as they break down, helping to make your plants strong and healthy, allowing them to fight off pests such as aphids.

Hair — whether human, dog, cat or horse — works surprisingly well as a natural fertiliser, thanks to its high levels of magnesium. Hair can take up to two years to break down, but when used in compost, it can provide structural support for roots and help break up thick or clay soil.

Mixed with water, white vinegar makes for a great acid feed. Mix a tablespoon of vinegar into a gallon of water to feed your roses and hydrangeas once per season.

However, do make sure you test your soil before doing this, as you don’t want the PH level to be too low.

Eggshells are also useful to gardeners. Dry them out and put them under your mulch and they will slowly break down and give your plants calcium. For even quicker results, you can grind them up and place them in a small amount of vinegar overnight to break them down.

Lightly coating your soil with fireplace ash will supply potassium and calcium carbonate, and increase the pH level of your soil.

A brew of one tablespoon of dried coconut powder to five gallons of water — used once a week or every other week, the mixture adds electrolytes and bacteria to the soil.

The gardening company has also provided other useful tips which cut down on everyday waste.

These include using coffee grounds to fertilize your soil and provide your plants with antioxidants, potassium, phosphor and nitrogen but make sure the grounds are dry, as using wet coffee can cause fungus to grow which can harm your plants.

Also, the water you use to boil potatoes can be used to water your plants, as long as you haven’t added any salt — so think twice before tipping it down the drain.

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