Caring for a garden involves many jobs that we do over and over again, but we do not always complete them in the most efficient way. These fourteen tips may be simple, but are none the worse for that. They will certainly save you time and possibly money too if you follow them. For instance you will discover how to prevent the line on your strimmer from jamming and a way to guarantee that your garden twine is always to hand. These tips come from Master Gardener Paul James who is the host of Gardening By The Yard.
1. To remove the salt deposits that form on clay pots, combine equal parts white vinegar, rubbing alcohol and water in a spray bottle. Apply the mixture to the pot and scrub with a plastic brush. Let the pot dry before you plant anything in it.2. To prevent accumulating dirt under your fingernails while you work in the garden, draw your fingernails across a bar of soap and you’ll effectively seal the undersides of your nails so dirt can’t collect beneath them. Then, after you’ve finished in the garden, use a nailbrush to remove the soap and your nails will be sparkling clean.3. To prevent the line on your string trimmer from jamming or breaking, treat with a spray vegetable oil before installing it in the trimmer.4. Turn a long-handled tool into a measuring stick! Lay a long-handled garden tool on the ground, and next to it place a tape measure. Using a permanent marker, write inch and foot marks on the handle. When you need to space plants a certain distance apart (from just an inch to several feet) you’ll already have a measuring device in your hand.5. To have garden twine handy when you need it, just stick a ball of twine in a small clay pot, pull the end of the twine through the drainage hole, and set the pot upside down in the garden. Do that, and you’ll never go looking for twine again.6. Little clay pots make great cloches for protecting young plants from sudden, overnight frosts and freezes.7. To turn a clay pot into a hose guide, just stab a roughly one-foot length of steel reinforcing bar into the ground at the corner of a bed and slip two clay pots over it: one facing down, the other facing up. The guides will prevent damage to your plants as you drag the hose along the bed.