Member Ideas

Welcome to the Member Ideas area! This community feature is where our members can post their own ideas. These posts are unedited and not necessarily endorsed by the National Gardening Association.

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Building Pergola-Type Structures for Your GardenBuilding Pergola-Type Structures for Your Garden
By Werepanda on June 23, 2017

I thought I would share one way of building some type of pergola structure for use in your yard/garden. For this application, I'm making a swing out of an outdoor papasan chair for my wifes upcoming birthday. I have also used this same building technique for a large privacy panel near the fence. This is very adaptable to most projects, so follow along if you'd like.

(Full article4 comments)

Love My Vinegar!!Love My Vinegar!!
By bloominholes2fill on June 22, 2017

The majority of us are well aware that distilled white vinegar has more uses than we can fathom, right? After all, there are plenty of books written on the subject. Well, in the summer of 2011, I discovered a new, brilliant (even if I do say so myself) use for distilled white vinegar that will save you a little more time for your backyard R&R. So what is my, best-thing-since-sliced-bread-and-insect-screens new use for distilled white vinegar?

(Full article34 comments)

Watering Tips and Tricks for Potted Plants, RevisedWatering Tips and Tricks for Potted Plants, Revised
By DaisyRyder on June 21, 2017

Spring is here, which means summer is right around the corner. Last year our region suffered a record breaking drought, and in areas where water is limited, one has to get creative when it comes to keeping potted plants from drying out in the harsh winds and baking temperatures of the season. A little bit of planning ahead can save you time and water in the future.

(Full article8 comments)

Simple DIY Handyman Projects for Your Summer GardenSimple DIY Handyman Projects for Your Summer Garden
By Dima on June 20, 2017

Most DIY handymen spend a long winter looking through garden catalogues and the entire spring bringing outdoor spaces to life, while the summer is finally the time you get to actually enjoy the fruits of all handy work. Whether you use your garden as your private spot for relaxation, a playground for children, or the neighbourhood party venue, it is always refreshing to add various small to not-so-small home improvements that let you, your family, and your guests enjoy the warm summer days and breezy evenings. Here I’ve set up a list of simple handyman DIY projects every garden could really use in the hot summer months.

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Raised Bed GardeningRaised Bed Gardening
By punk_rock_garderner on June 19, 2017

I live in zone 8, in WA, and I decided to use raised beds as my soil was very clay-heavy and full of rocks.

(Full article7 comments)

Little Water GardensLittle Water Gardens
By pinenuts4 on June 18, 2017

For a N.E. gardener, winter is certainly a time to plan, but I still like to enjoy my gardens and share them with others. The ground is frozen, but with clippings from perennials, herbs, and common houseplants, I can make small arrangements that please me and often surprise guests.

(Full articleone comment)

Portable Composting and EarthwormsPortable Composting and Earthworms
By cwhitt on June 17, 2017

Living in a condo, I don't have a lot of space, so I sometimes need to get creative with my gardening. I can't imagine a garden without compost, but did not have a large permanent place for a compost pile, so I took a large black pot that had once held a tree and I started using it for composting. The idea worked very well -- with added benefits. I had placed the pot in my rose bed. Earthworms quickly found their way up into the pot from the drainage holes in the bottom of the pot. They delighted in the constant supply of fresh kitchen and yard waste that I kept putting into the pot, especially my coffee grounds, banana peels, and egg shells. Soon, I had an entire nursery of baby wrigglers, and my kitchen/yard waste was rapidly composted and became full of earthworm castings. Then, I had another idea: I had a rose bush that was not doing very well, so I moved my compost pot next to the rose bush during the rainy season. Nutrients must have drained out of the bottom of the pot, and baby earthworms made their way back out of the bucket and into my rose bed. Soon I noticed a great improvement in the rose bush, and a definite increase in the number of earthworms. It seems that this was a win-win situation: I was breeding earthworms, composting, and improving my soil -- all at the same time! This summer my composting pot is moving again. I have another bed that needs some soil improvement and is lacking in earthworms. What an easy way to improve my soil!

(Full article21 comments)

Recycling Lamps ...Part 2Recycling Lamps ...Part 2
By Suga on June 16, 2017

Recycling floor lamps that don't work anymore.... They make great planters.

(Full article5 comments)

Kill Virginia Creeper ... Not Quite OrganicallyKill Virginia Creeper ... Not Quite Organically
By greene on June 15, 2017

Not long ago NGA member WARYR1 posted a query in the Ask A Question Forum: "What is an organic way to get rid of Virginia Creeper?" The question received many excellent replies. To date, there are 23 replies. One suggestion involved pouring herbicide into a trash can and stuffing the vines into the can. The purpose of that method was to contain the herbicide and reduce the risk of damage to desirable plants.

(Full article10 comments)

Nontoxic, Recycled Wasp (Yellowjacket) TrapsNontoxic, Recycled Wasp (Yellowjacket) Traps
By UndertheSun on June 14, 2017

How to create a wasp trap using empty water bottles. The idea behind it is, the wasps grab a bite to eat, then fall into the soapy water.

(Full article2 comments)

Strawberry Fields ForeverStrawberry Fields Forever
By Suga on June 13, 2017

Paint "strawberries" from walnuts!

(Full articleno comments)

Hail, Yes!Hail, Yes!
By Charlemagne on June 12, 2017

Many of us have daylilies that we leave to the fickle fate that Mom Nature provides and we deal with whatever the outcome is. Sometimes Mom gives us hail.

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Tomato Plants for FreeTomato Plants for Free
By Englishgardener on June 11, 2017

We were all taught to remove the lateral shoots when growing tomato plants. This is the shoot that appears in the axis between the stem and leaf, also known as axial shoot, sucker, etc. The removal of these shoots would enable the plant to put all of its energy into fruit production. We were advised to pick out and discard, but not anymore!

(Full article12 comments)

Hosta Light Requirement TidbitsHosta Light Requirement Tidbits
By Hostalady on June 10, 2017

Here are some hosta light/sun requirement tidbits (with examples) gleaned from my experience.

(Full articleone comment)

Gable End Vent for My HFGHGable End Vent for My HFGH
By Eric4home on June 8, 2017

This article was written with the home greenhouse gardener in mind and especially the Harbor Freight Greenhouse projects (HFGH) thread, but would actually be adaptable to almost anyone with a similar frame greenhouse.

(Full articleno comments)

Gardening on a HillGardening on a Hill
By tinabarlow on June 7, 2017

I have battled mowing a hill for years, I finally decided to plant flowers and do landscaping where it was hard to stand up. Putting in railroad ties for steps on a hill is great. Now I can actually walk up and down the hill without rolling down. You can also see in the pictures that I put flowerbeds on either side of the steps. An arbor, simply made out of pressure-treated posts, with long bolts holding them together and then set in concrete, gives the wisteria plenty of support. When planting on a steep hill, you have to make sure everything gets watered well until established as rain runs off a hill so fast it doesn't give the plants the water it needs. I also have juniper shrubs on another hillside that help with erosion and that's another area I don't have to worry about mowing. I actually have raised beds on some of my slopes.

(Full article7 comments)

Ice Cube Poppies (Growing Poppies in Warm-Spring Areas)Ice Cube Poppies (Growing Poppies in Warm-Spring Areas)
By Jai_Ganesha on June 6, 2017

Annual poppies, such as Shirley poppies and breadseed poppies, are fleeting and ephemeral bloomers. Compared to other annuals, the flowers last only a short while, but in that relatively short time period, their beauty can and will steal your heart forever. This article offers hope to those who live in areas with warm and humid springs (such as the American Southeast) and who want to grow annual poppy varieties, such as the Shirley poppy or breadseed poppy.

(Full article8 comments)

ATP Podcast #109: Working Your LandATP Podcast #109: Working Your Land
By dave on May 24, 2017

This episode is a little different from our usual gardening topics. Today we discuss some of our thoughts and ideas of living a semi self-sufficient lifestyle, and we talk about growing animals for food.

(Full article33 comments)

ATP Podcast #108: Plants of the Smoky MountainsATP Podcast #108: Plants of the Smoky Mountains
By dave on May 4, 2017

We recently took a trip to East Tennessee to visit the Smoky Mountains National Park, and in this podcast we will discuss our thoughts about the plants that grow in the Appalachian Mountains.

(Full article25 comments)

Daffodil CorsetDaffodil Corset
By Fleur569 on April 6, 2017

After the delightful blooms of daffodils have faded and the leaves must stay on to nourish the bulbs for next year's bloom, my solution is to get their corsets out and tidy up the bulge.

(Full article11 comments)

ATP Podcast #106: Pruning Clematis, Some Thoughts on Herbicides, and Other StuffATP Podcast #106: Pruning Clematis, Some Thoughts on Herbicides, and Other Stuff
By dave on February 24, 2017

Trish shares her tips on pruning clematis, Dave shares some thoughts on untraditional non-organic herbicides, and of course we share plenty of regular folksy gardening banter! :)


ATP Podcast #105: All About OnionsATP Podcast #105: All About Onions
By dave on February 13, 2017

How do you grow onions? What varieties should you grow? How do you care for them, harvest them, cure them, etc? In today's episode we cover all things onions.

(Full article9 comments)

Making Small Seedling Pots from Sports Drink ContainersMaking Small Seedling Pots from Sports Drink Containers
By chris1948 on February 5, 2017

Tired of needing to put your seedlings into pots only to find you don't have any to spare?

(Full article15 comments)

How To Organize Your Seeds or Confessions of a SeedaholicHow To Organize Your Seeds or Confessions of a Seedaholic
By DomehomeDee on February 2, 2017

When I first started “seeding” I kept my seeds in a shoebox, but then I read the seeds could benefit from being refrigerated, so the shoebox turned into a plastic box in the refrigerator. As my seed collection grew, so did the boxes, and then one Christmas I received a mini-frig from my chef husband. He wanted me out of the kitchen and the refrigerator.

(Full article24 comments)

Waiting, Impatient, and I Want To Get DirtyWaiting, Impatient, and I Want To Get Dirty
By lilmoose on February 1, 2017

The days are getting longer, but my LFD is May 25. What do you do to keep from seeding too early?

(Full article5 comments)

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