LANDSCAPING TIPS

  • Besides the personal enjoyment you'll get from a prettier yard, landscaping is a very simple way to add more value than almost any other home renovation.
  • Use mulch around shrubs and garden plants to reduce water evaporation from the soil surface, reduce weed growth, retain moisture, and add nutrients to the soil which benefits gardens, plants, and shrubs.
  • Fluffing the old mulch before adding more will prevent it from forming a hard surface that deflects water rather than retaining it.
  • Annual additions to mulch should be made to maintain proper depth. Removal defeats one of the purposes of mulch, which is to decay and mix with the soil, providing nutrients to the shrubs and plants.
  • To create perfectly natural markers, write the names of plants – using a permanent marker – a on the flat faces of stones of various sizes and place them at or near the base of your plants.
  • The next time you boil or steam vegetables, don't pour the water down the drain, use it to water potted patio plants. You will be amazed at how the plants respond to the "vegetable soup."
  • Use leftover tea and coffee grounds to acidify the soil of acid-loving plants such as azaleas, rhododendrons, camellias, gardenias and even blueberries. A light sprinkling – a layer of about one-quarter of an inch – applied once a month will keep the pH balance of the soil on the acidic side.
  • The quickest and most efficient way to dry herbs: just lay a sheet of newspaper on the seat of your car, arrange the herbs in a single layer, then roll up the windows and close the doors. Your herbs will be quickly dried to perfection. What's more, your car will smell great!
  • Adding mushroom compost to any planting area will give it plenty of nourishment to flourish through the growing season.
  • To make an old rain gauge easy to read from a distance, just add a few drops of food coloring. Each time you empty the gauge, add a few fresh drops and occasionally change the color.