Yard Maintenance: 4 Gardening Tips and Tricks
The upcoming summer season presents more opportunities for dining al fresco, backyard barbecues and other outdoor fun. However, summer also comes with its fair share of yard maintenance with mowing the yard sometimes twice a week and plucking those pesky weeds out of your garden bed, among other seasonal tasks. Wondering how to create a stress-free summer when it comes to yard and garden upkeep? Here are four gardening tips and tricks to take note of so that you can spend less time on yard maintenance and more time enjoying the sunshine.
1. Tend to your tools.
While spring cleaning likely involved getting your home’s interior in shipshape, did you consider applying the same mindset to your gardening tools? All you need to do is soak your tools in vinegar for 24 hours; scrub any gunk off with steel wool; then wipe clean with an old towel. They’ll be good as new!
2. Only pull weeds once.
It sounds like a perfect world to think of only having to pull the weeds out of your garden beds just once in a summer. However, this kind of gardening utopia can be reached. With a little help from newspaper, pulling the weeds in your garden won’t have to be a weekly or daily occurrence any longer. Here’s what to do: Pull your weeds. Then, layer newspaper in your garden bed, and add mulch over top. The newspaper prevents weeds from taking over your garden, and in turn, your flowers will benefit by receiving more moisture. And you don’t have to worry about the newspaper as it breaks down in the soil.
3. Keep pests away with food scraps.
Did you know that you can put common food scraps to use in your garden? That’s right! Used coffee grounds, for example, will add nutrients and healthy acid to your soil by acting as a fertilizer. Just make sure to mix them with some brown leaves and dead yard clippings so that the acid isn’t too overwhelming for your plants. Eggshells are another great accompaniment to your garden as these add calcium to your plants as well as act as a pest repellent to protect plants that attract snails (e.g. broccoli, peppers and cabbage).
4. Use water bottles for watering your plants while on vacation.
Whether you’re going away on summer vacation or you’re simply just forgetful when it comes to watering your plants, a few water bottles can be your helping hands. All you have to do is fill the water bottles up with water. Seal the bottle with the cap, then puncture a few tiny holes in the cap using a needle or safety pin. Finally, bury the water bottles cap down, just halfway in the dirt next to the plants that need to be watered. The tiny holes in the cap allow for the water to be slowly released while also keeping your plants hydrated. Depending on the size of your water bottle, your plants could remain hydrated for up to a couple of weeks.