I've learnt many tips and tricks over the years and this is a space where I can share them with everyone. Some of them I've read about, some I've seen in gardens I've visited and others I've made up myself. They are my #toptiptuesday (tips and tricks) and you can see them here or on our instagram account, every Tuesday. Hope you find something useful to help you on your plastic free gardening journey.
I’ve found that supporting your squashes with scrunched up hessian helps to keep them protected from any chance of rotting, especially if you are growing in pots or planters. It also helps as a barrier from slug and snail attacks, the rougher the better!
Now is a great time to be making and putting up bug hotels, in preparation for your overwintering guests. Pollinators are vital for the ecosystem in your garden, so lets look after them. Whilst they are visiting the garden pollinating your flowers & vegetables, why not catch their eye with some fancy dwellings.
Use old strips of wood as plant markers, sand them down and they are good to be used over and over again.
'Some see a weed, others see a wish.' These 'weeds' can result in enough nectar for 10 times more bees and other pollinators. So don't be ashamed of the dandelions in your lawn because someone somewhere loves them!
Using pistachio shells around the edge of a pot sure does make life a little uncomfortable for the uninvited slugs and snails. I’ve found that pistachio nuts work best probably due to the salt on the shell, which they really don’t like.
At this time of year many of our beautiful garden birds will be on the look out for nesting material & its a good idea to give them a helping hand by putting out some old twine & bits of old basket coir for easy access. The less time they have to spend searching for material the more time they can spend building & laying eggs. And with all that building and rearing going on, make sure your feeders & tables are stocked well, as these new parents are going to need all the energy they can get.
Adding a pond or water feature adds diversity to the natural eco system. It encourages wildlife which may predate on some of those uninvited garden guests like aphids, slugs and snails in the most natural way. It’s not just beneficial for wildlife, the benefits go beyond aesthetics. Research shows just being around water can help reduce stress. Flowing water releases negative ions into the atmosphere that help to purify the air thus helping to sooth and even lower blood pressure.
One of the first easy swaps we did when we started our #plasticfree journey was to change from a plastic toothbrush to a bamboo toothbrush. Back then most bamboo toothbrushes still had nylon bristles. But now there are many bamboo brushes on the market that have biodegradable bristles. Once we have finished using them, we remove the bristles, compost them and then use the bamboo handles as plant markers in our garden.
These sharing tins from Two Farmers Crisps tend not to last as long as they probably should in the Good Roots Barn but once they are empty, they make a fabulous planter. Another good reason to buy one, order yours today at Two Farmers Crisps and get munching & sowing! If you have any questions about them, pop them in the comments below and I will be sure to come back to you.
At this time of year its important to look after our garden guests. And whilst most gardens have a bird feeder, some birds won’t use them. Adding a ground feeder will also encourage Robins, Blackbirds, Thrushes and Dunnocks into your garden as these type of birds prefer to feed on the ground.
Using snail shells as cane toppers can look quite attractive in the garden. Obviously making sure that the shells have been vacated before use!
Using toilet roll holders for root trainers can be a bit tricky when you are trying to fill them with growing medium so try using an old milk container as a funnel. The opening of the milk carton is a good size and fits perfectly in the tube, just cut out the bottom and feed in your growing medium. Sometimes we simply can’t escape the plastic in our lives, so why not put it to good use!