All thumbs when it comes to gardening – with not a green one in site? Try our gardening hacks for busy Moms.
Gardening is supposed to be a relaxing pursuit, where you take time to lovingly tend to your plants, raising them on organic fertilizer and classical music! The demands of modern life often mean that whispering sweet nothings to your hydrangeas has to take a back seat – and not everyone has green fingers anyway.
Luckily – like most other things in life these days – there are plenty of ‘hacks’ to help busy moms vroom up their veggies or fast-track their flowering friends.
Fostering seeds or cuttings into fledgling plants can be a hit or miss affair – so why not keep it simple?
You can make a mini greenhouse out of an empty 2l cooldrink bottle. Cut the bottom off the bottles, remove the labels and drive the upturned bottle into the soil over your sprouting plant to help keep it moist. Remove the bottle once the seedling is rooted.
You can also get seedlings off to a flying start by planting them in a halved lemon. Scoop out the flesh and poke a hole in the bottom of the peel for drainage. Fill the hollowed-out peel with potting soil, sow the seed and sprinkle on some water. When the seedling is looking strong, pop the whole thing into the ground, and the peel will decompose, nourishing the young plant as it grows.
Food for Thought
Plant foods can be expensive – and come in enough varieties to confuse most people. Take the guesswork out by using natural ingredients that’ll help your plants thrive.
Honey is an excellent fertiliser of sorts, for plant cuttings. An enzyme in honey promotes root growth, so squeeze a few drops into your seedling’s new home before planting and the honey will help it grow and keep the roots free from fungal problems.
Eggshells can serve a dual purpose – decomposing to act as fertiliser (giving the soil a calcium boost) and keeping away critters who’d like to feast on your seedlings. Cut-up banana peels can also add phosphorous and potash to plants which need these elements, to grow.
In too much of a rush to water your plants. Fill an empty wine bottle (we know you have one or two lying around!) with water and ‘plant’ it upside down in your pot plants. The water will trickle out and keep the soil moist for a few days.
Pesticides and herbicides can seem a little intimidating – so go natural, again! Cinnamon has some anti-fungal properties and a little sprinkle can help prevent certain diseases in seedlings.
Used coffee grounds can help keep away pests like ants, snails and slugs, while crumbled eggshells present a jagged physical barrier to soft-bodied garden pests.
Looking to get rid of weeds? Try vinegar instead of synthetic chemicals. Hydrogen Peroxide is also great as an antifungal, and it’ll also help improve your plants’ root systems.
Coming Up Roses
Our friends at Ludwig’s Roses have come up with a schedule-proof cheat-sheet for tending to all varietals of roses. Keep track of their pruning, watering, fertilizing and spraying schedule and reap the rewards of hassle-free rose-tending.
Ludwig’s Roses have lent their green fingers to the list of prizes – worth R200 000 – which you and your Mom stand in line to win with www.mothers-day.co.za. Enter before 17 May to stake your claim for amazing prizes from top brands!