Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Preparing for Spring Gardening

After enduring the harshest winter of my lifetime I am more than ready for Spring.  A few weeks ago I started preparing for the upcoming gardening season.

(1)  Picked up this vintage blue watering can planter from the thrift store.  I cannot wait to fill this with beautiful flowers.  Hardest decision will be figuring out if it belongs on the front porch or back porch!

(2)  Started saving used coffee grounds in a container.  Usually we add the filter and all to the compost bin, but I like to sprinkle the coffee grounds around my hydrangeas:  

Last year the coffee grounds changed the PH of the soil around the Hydrangeas and turned the flowers from light pink to a gorgeous blue/purple.The plants were also healthier than ever before:

(3) Saving eggshells which will add calcium to the soil and also deter slugs and Japanese beetles.  I have been rinsing out the egg shells and keeping them in a closed container.

I plan to use the coffee bean grinder to make a course powder of the eggshells. They will be sprinkled around Hosta plants to keep slugs away and at the base of roses for the calcium.  I have also read that if you have a Japanese beetle infestation that you can sprinkle it right onto the critter and it will kill it.  Last year a pesticide worked to get them off of my knockout roses, but if this organic method works I will be happy.

(4) Save your large plastic produce containers.  Any size will do, but I like these super sized ones.  I use these to start seedlings.  They have built in drainage and become a miniature green house.  I line the bottom of each container with coffee filters and then add quality potting soil and seeds.  I use a Sharpie marker to label the type of plant and sun conditions on the lid. Once they are all planted I put a board across my kids wagon and roll them into the sun during warm days.  Be sure to take the lids off in the sun or your plants may fry up!  During chilly nights I close up the lids, roll them into the garage and cover them with a thick blanket.

(5) Lastly, do your best to protect your plants from hungry deer. Last year the deer were quick to devour my hyacinth, tulips, hostas, and sedum. This year I will be ready and will spray my plants before it is too late.  I use a large spray bottle (approx. 1/2 gallon size) filled with water and a Tablespoon of Murphy's Oil Soap shaken in.  Simply spray your yummiest plants and the deer will hopefully dislike the flavor and leave them alone.  Respray after it rains.

(6) As I wait for the snow to melt and for gardening season to begin I am staying busy by designing gardens as well as working on projects inside our home.  Stop back soon to see the fun I've been having!  Happy prepping.

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