While looking for inspiration for an urban garden, I stumbled upon this HGTV article from Paul James, host of Gardening by the Yard, which details tips and tricks for urban gardening. Urban gardening refers to growing plants in pots or other containers, rather than the ground, which is useful for those in cities who do not necessarily have yards to garden in. I thought I would share some of my favorite tips below, which will help you save time, energy, and money on your garden.
1. Breathe new life into your clay pots
If you need to remove salt deposits that have formed on your clay pots, then combine equal parts white vinegar, rubbing alcohol and water in a old spray bottle. Apply the mixture to the pot and scrub with a plastic brush. Remember to let the pot dry before you begin planting anything in it.
2. Sick of dirty fingernails?
Draw your fingernails across a bar of soap! This will help seal the undersides of your nails so that dirt cannot accumulate under them while you work in the garden. When you are finished the garden, simply use a nailbrush to remove the soap and your nails will be perfectly clean afterwards.
3. Get rid of the aphids
You can control the aphids with a strong blast of water from the hose or with insecticidal soap. But if you are looking for a more entertaining way to remove them, get some tape and wrap a wide strip around your hand (sticky side out), then pat the leaves of the plants. Concentrate on the undersides of the leaves, because that is where they like to hide.
4. Save the water!
Next time you happen to boil or steam vegetables, save the water for your patio plants. You may be surprised to see how positively the plants respond to this water!
5. Plants like coffee too?
Well not all of them. But acid-loving plants such as azaleas, rhododendrons, camellias, gardenias, and even blueberries do! Use leftover tea and coffee grounds to acidify the soil of these acid-loving plants. A light sprinkling of about one-quarter of an inch applied once a month will keep the pH of the soil on the acidic side.