There is nothing more disheartening than checking on your seedlings and pots only to discover that the squirrels have been digging in them. This is my solution to keeping squirrels out of my seedlings and pots in the spring.
Years ago, before my discovery of masonry ladders, I used to grow epic numbers of morning glories and other vines every year in containers. I wanted something that was mobile, had something to climb, and was easy to swap plants in and out of. I came up with "Pots in Pots."
As a collector of the rare, the unusual, and the hard to find and a hybridizer, I’m always on the lookout for the best way to label and catalog my inventory of seeds and plants as well as the data I collect. Over the years I’ve auditioned various methods, but I finally have evolved a system that is easy to maintain and extremely flexible.
Many years ago I totally changed the way I repotted plants that don’t like their roots disturbed and I have never lost a plant since. Since then I have repotted all of my plants this way. When I start seeing roots coming out the bottom, I know it’s time to repot.
When I harvest my seeds, before they are catalogued and logged in, I always sprinkle some Diatomaceous Earth in a small container and add the seeds, then shake to distribute the DE among the seeds. This will take care of any bugs that were harvested along with the seeds, as well as any that may hatch out later.
Among the most frustrating things about gardening are the mystery plants remaining when their tags fade away from sun and rain. The fix is embossable tags, but the cost of buying them is prohibitive if you use a lot, as I do...
As I morph into a Cranky Little Old Lady, working in the garden takes just a little bit longer each year, I'm always trying to figure out ways to save time and make it easier on me. One of the things that took a lot of time was deep watering large beds.
I’m the first to admit I’m a lazy gardener to some degree. One of the worst chores for me, especially as I have positional vertigo, was weeding large beds. Again, enter the most versatile of garden tools, the Bread Knife!
A large part of my garden is in containers, so I am constantly battling ants that would like to take up residence. Here is how I get rid of them. When I find a pot crawling with ants, I sprinkle a little granular insecticide on the ground and a little on the surface of the soil in the pots, then water. Ants will vacate the premises in about 48 hours. I've also started sprinkling a little granular insecticide when I set out pots on the ground in the spring before the ants even have a chance to build a new home. It usually keeps the pots ant free for 2 months or so. This also works well for plants I keep in the greenhouse with saucers under them.
Love my hummingbird feeders but hate the ants -- after trying numerous ‘fixes’ to keep ants out of the feeders, I came up with my own fix that actually works using a can cap, wire, and cork.
I tend to make a lot of small bordered beds. I don’t like to use a shovel for edging because they aren’t very precise. Enter the most versatile of garden tools: the bread knife!
I think my all time favorite plants are vines and climbers. My biggest problem has been giving them something to climb on. For years I was using those flimsy arches you get at a Dollar Store which would snap if you looked at them wrong; so last winter I was determined to find something sturdier.