Gardening tips

If you blanch and skin tomatoes, save the skins to dehydrate and pulverize for a tomato powder to thicken sauces.

If you forgot to water a potted plant / it's really dry, use a spray bottle first.

A lot of the potting mediums seem hydrophobic if they're really dry and big water droplets can mix things up, make perlite float to the top, etc.Misting it first seems to let the potting mix open those pores back up and be happier to accept water after.

Remember to weed your gutters!

A leftover rotisserie chicken container makes a great mini greenhouse!

Drinking wine next to flowering Hyacinths makes the wine taste more bold (literally it's actually amazing you should try it!)

Don't use your girlfriend's expensive horse food for mulch if you want to live.

Join a local Facebook gardening group.

Not only will you learn more about gardening and make new friends, you'll also (most likely) find many opportunities to trade plants. After having a ton of extra seedlings this spring and giving them away, I've made a lot of contacts in my local group and have found that people will give you extra pots, plants and help... which not only saves you money but saves you a ton of time as well! Example: Last night a lady friend in the local FB group that I had hooked up with a bunch of tomato seedlings called me (knowing that I really like growing peppers) and told me that she had some free plants for me. I went over to check it out and she literally had 3 flats of carolina reapers, scorpions, chocolate habaneros plus about 3-4 other varieties... all for free. Totally made my day!

Low-cost dirt.

Just this weekend I found out that our local county landfill has several types of 'dirt'-- leaf-gro, topsoil, fill, etc-- and a variety of mulches available for sale. We got a truckload (a full, large (borrowed) pickup) of leafgro for 30 bucks. Last year, I paid nearly 4 times that. If you are starting out, expanding your space, or just need to top off-- this may be of help. (You'll have to decide for yourself whether the diversion-from-landfill element balances the lack of true organic status...in the end, I decided that since all my other practices are organic, I could balance out the provenance issue...Hope I don't regret that.)

Wait for the tendril closest to the watermelon to die off. Once it's COMPLETELY brown and shriveled, mark the date the tendril died and give it 2 WEEKS. You will know when the watermelon is ripe for harvest when you check the date.

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