Gardening equipment on grass

Simple Gardening Tips The Pros Don’t Want You To Know

Including why eggshells are your plants' BEST friend...

By Alexia Dellner, 18 March 2016
Simple Gardening Tips The Pros Don’t Want You To Know

Whatever the weather, now is the perfect time to get outdoors and put those green fingers to work. Whether you're a novice gardener or a seasoned pro, these expert gardening tips can help you with your planting this season.

The good news is that sowing seeds and tending to a garden isn't nearly as difficult as you may think. Of course, there may be a few surprises along the way but that's half the fun of gardening. It may take some experimenting and failed attempts to learn what works best for you but armed with these clever gardening tips, you'll be off to a cracking start! From tackling pesky garden invaders to making your tomatoes sweeter than ever, these expert gardening tips are all you need to get started this season. 

Pot-in-pot gardening

Spending time outdoors is lovely but having to redo your garden each time the season's change can be tiresome. Here's a clever tip – dig a hole in the ground and fill it with an empty pot. Then, simply drop in your seasonal plant pot and voilà! Now you can switch the pots out as the seasons change, hassle-free. 

Re-use your grounds

Love a cuppa? Use leftover tea and coffee grounds to keep acid-loving plants like roses, rhododendrons, evergreens and hydrangeas, happy. The addition of tea and coffee to your soil will increase nutrient levels and improve its quality. 

Slug control

Another benefit of sprinkling ground coffee on your soil? It will keep those pesky slugs away! That's because slugs hate caffeine, which causes them to produce extra slime thereby drying them out. Gross but true! 

Know your area

You may be dreaming about all the homemade tomato sauce and berry crumbles you'll be making this year but before you get carried away, remember that not everything grows everywhere. You'll save yourself a lot of disappointment if you speak to an expert at your local garden centre to find out the limits and possibilities of your area, which will depend on multiple factors including soil type, weather and sun exposure. 

Tomato tips

Still lusting after those juicy tomatoes? Try giving your plants Epsom salts. The extra magnesium boost will aid growth plus actually helps to yield sweeter tomatoes. Simply dig a hole and put one tablespoon of salts in the bottom of the hole, cover with a thin layer of soil, and then plant your tomato seedling. Then, once you've planted the seed, add a tablespoon of the salts to warm water in your watering can once or twice a month. 

Pinch don't tear

For herb plants, basil in particular, pinch the upper portion to encourage new growth. The pinching action sends a signal to the plant to stay alive and multiply, which then causes sleeping buds to grow. Easy! 

Save your eggshells 

Made scrambled eggs this morning? Keep those leftovers and spread them around the bases of your plants to nourish the soil with calcium. Extra bonus? The eggshells can also repel some insects and protect your plants from pests. Eggs-ellent!

Use seedling starters

Growing seedlings indoors is the best way to ensure your plants start off on the right foot. And by using objects you have lying around the house, making a seedling starter is surprisingly easy and cheap! Try using eggshells or a carved-out orange for a natural container with built-in nutrients. Just remember to poke a hole in the bottom for drainage. And the best part is that when your seeds start to grow, you can plant the whole container in your garden as it is! 

Another tomato tip

Tomatoes and potatoes are members of the same family (nightshade) which means that they're susceptible to the same diseases. For best results, avoid planting them in the same bed in succession.

A solution for poor soil

If the soil in your garden is subpar, opt for raised beds instead. You can fill them with high-quality soil and compost, and grow whatever you like. Raised beds are easier to maintain and kinder to your knees!

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