Garden tips I've happened across that work

Go to the drugstore and get a bottle of Castor oil. House plants love it. They'll be greener with a few drops added to the SOIL every six weeks.
Keep the water you boil eggs in, letting it cool and water your African violets with it once cooled. They'll thrive on the extra calcium.
Are your ferns anemic? (I know mine are! so this works!) Give them a tonic. Water them with weak tea once a week. And if you want to keep your ferns a bright, healthy green, give them a dose of Ammonia--one teaspoon to one quart of water whenever you water them.
madgardener
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tonic.
a
So, Marilyn, just curious...... what in the world ever made you try these to begin with? And, how did you get *brave* enough to try these???
Cheryl
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So, Marilyn, just curious...... what in the world ever made you try these to begin with? And, how did you get *brave* enough to try these???
I can't lie about these things Cheryl..............I came across this really old book. It was actually moldy and in the shed behind my house in a box of Joyces stuff. It was household tips and such. I started peeling the pages apart and was reading some of the things written in it, and there were these neat tips on assorted things. The parts concerning gardening were intriquing to me, so I easily ripped out the pages that were already coming out of the book (it was a really old book, over 70/80 years old, but totally shot due to the molds working on the stitching, the inks and such. There were whole sections on sewing tips that were glued together. But gardening tips were too tempting. So I decided to try them. Apparently these are tried and true household tips that women had used in times of desperation when there was no such thing as a garden center, Lowes, Home Depot or whatever. There were dime stores and general stores, but from the sounds of the tips, these were things that women tried because things were too dear to just let die or throw away. These were the times when a woman darned a sock because there was a hole, not go to the store and buy another pair. I was curious about the castor oil. So I went to my old fashioned drug store in town where I knew there would still be castor oil and got a bottle. I remember that crap. My grandmammy always gave all of us grandkids a huge spoon of it followed by half an orange to "make us regular" even if that wasn't the case. The smell was like a memory slap in the face. But the hint said a few drops added to the soil, and I thought, what the heck. I'd love to know what the chemical (that is harsh and expurgative to us) is that gives nutrients to the plants. My mom always saved the boiled egg water and used it for her georgous African violets. That was on one of the pages and it was funny since I KNEW that one worked.
The tea for a weekly tonic for anemic ferns was easier. I drink about a half gallon of tea or more a day. So I had a gallon that was left too long brewing on the kitchen counter and rather than waste it and pour it out or drink it and get sick (it didn't smell bad but I wasn't taking chances) I kept it in a container on the porch. I knew about using tea to wipe furniture down (unsweetened of course) and thought I'd give the ferns a shot. They seem to be happier about it. Wheather it's the tea or just the extra watering is still debatable. The ammonia is yet to be done, but after sharing that tip with another garden friend, she tried it and said it was incredible. So Dollar store here I come to get a bottle of ammonia to use just for the plants.
How about this one? A teaspoon of household detergent to one quart of water will revive wilting cut flowers. It's either the potassium in the detergents or that the weakened solution of soap that removes the scum on the bottoms of the stems.
Short stemmed flowers stay fresher longer if placed in a bowl of well watered sand.
Or rose bushes will reward you with good, clear blooms if you dose each bush periodically with one ounce of Epsom salts before watering. Or relocating wasps if you place a few moth balls in an open container near their nests. And stamp a few moth balls into the ground around flower beds and vegetable beds and dogs will give them a wide berth.............and moth balls sprinkled near tomato plants and other fruits will keep the squirrels and rabbits away..
placing coffee grounds in the runs of moles to eleviate them from the area. Green sage or black pepper placed in the haunts of ants and that will drive them away (I tried this on the piss ants and damn if it didn't work)
A teaspoon of sugar, yes, SUGAR added to soapy lather will remove gardening stains from your hands.
and the best one yet........an extendable curtain rod being a perfect support for all plants. As the plant grows, lengthen the rod.<g> while this sounds like it might not be too good for the thiner rods, I was thinking though......there are extendable rods for shower curtains and livingroom curtains that are larger, and dang, that might just work!
I love gardening tips. That's just one of the reasons I enjoy Horticulture magazine and Fine Gardening. Their 100th issue had the best tips of the last 100 issues and it was awesome.
madgardener
Cheryl
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We've usually got tea left over as well. But no ferns in the house. Have you. or anyone who reads this, tried it on other plants?
--
Homo sapiens is a goal, not a description

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My MIL always saved the left-over cold tea from the teapot, to feed to her tomatoes. She grew amazing crops of tomatoes.
Janet.
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I occasionally give tea to the several orchid cacti but since those thrive no matter what I do to them it's hard to know if the tea means diddly. I can't grow ferns in the house because even if I remembered to water often enough the humidity in our place is too low.
-paghat the ratgirl
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"Of what are you afraid, my child?" inquired the kindly teacher.
"Oh, sir! The flowers, they are wild," replied the timid creature.
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I know much about nothing.
So with that caveat, the ammonia comments made me wonder.
From, Secrets of Companion Planting (1975): "The steps in the nitrogen cycle can be traced in the growth and use of clover: (1) Atmospheric nitrogen is changed into proteins by the action of nitrogen fixing bacteria growing in nodules on the clover roots. (2) After plowing under, the clover proteins become changed into ammonia by ammoninfying bacteria. (3) Ammonia is then changed into nitrates by nitrifying bacteria. (4) Both ammonia and nitrates are used by other plants to form plant proteins."
There is another page in the book that indicates that stinging nettle is good and helps other plants and that the stems of stinging nettle contain ammonia and carbon which is useful. Specifically it mentions stinging nettle is great for tomatoes and mint. And more specifically it's good to use against slugs, snails and lice during wet seasons. I was reading another thread indicating that someone had some problems with a wet season, I'll have to go and find the thread.
"Nettle ... slows fermentation, keeps fruit mold free and thus enables it to keep better. Fruit packed in nettle hay ripen more quickly. Stinging nettle is helpful to stimulate fermenta- tion in compost or manure piles, according to British author M.E. Bruce, who advises making a curshed nettle solution."
It also mentions nettle plants well with spinach, lettuce and horseradish. It improves the health or horses and cattle. Powdered nettle helps hens lay more eggs.
It mentions a caveat about having to wear gloves because the fine hair on the nettle leaves and stems contain formic acid. The juice of the plant is used to releave nettle rash.
Thanks for the great stuff! All the stuff I've posted I have no personal knowledge of and it is being relayed as related by the book mentioned. I thought it worked well in with the comments about ammonia. Remember to keep chlorine and ammonia separate... DO NOT MIX those two things. Very poisonous gas is created. I don't know the specifics. So be careful with Clorox or any chlorinated product in combination with ammonia.
-- Jim Carlock Post replies to newsgroup.
"madgardener" wrote: : "clc" wrote: : So, Marilyn, just curious... what in the world ever made you : try these to begin with? And, how did you get *brave* enough : to try these??? Cheryl
I can't lie about these things Cheryl.. I came across this really old book. It was actually moldy and in the shed behind my house in a box of Joyces stuff. It was household tips and such. I started peeling the pages apart and was reading some of the things written in it, and there were these neat tips on assorted things. The parts concerning gardening were intriquing to me, so I easily ripped out the pages that were already coming out of the book (it was a really old book, over 70/80 years old, but totally shot due to the molds working on the stitching, the inks and such. There were whole sections on sewing tips that were glued together. But gardening tips were too tempting. So I decided to try them. Apparently these are tried and true household tips that women had used in times of desperation when there was no such thing as a garden center, Lowes, Home Depot or whatever. There were dime stores and general stores, but from the sounds of the tips, these were things that women tried because things were too dear to just let die or throw away.
These were the times when a woman darned a sock because there was a hole, not go to the store and buy another pair.
I was curious about the castor oil. The smell was like a memory slap in the face. But the hint said a few drops added to the soil, and I thought, what the heck. I'd love to know what the chemical (that is harsh and expurgative to us) is that gives nutrients to the plants.
My mom always saved the boiled egg water and used it for her georgous African violets.
The tea for a weekly tonic for anemic ferns was easier. I drink about a half gallon of tea or more a day. I knew about using tea to wipe furniture down (unsweetened). They (the ferns) seem to be happier about it. Whether it's the tea or just the extra watering is still debatable.
The ammonia is yet to be done, but after sharing that tip with another garden friend, she tried it and said it was incredible. So Dollar store here I come to get a bottle of ammonia to use just for the plants.
How about this one? A teaspoon of household detergent to one quart of water will revive wilting cut flowers. It's either the potassium in the detergents or that the weakened solution of soap that removes the scum on the bottoms of the stems.
Short stemmed flowers stay fresher longer if placed in a bowl of well watered sand.
Or rose bushes will reward you with good, clear blooms if you dose each bush periodically with one ounce of Epsom salts before watering.
Or relocating wasps if you place a few moth balls in an open container near their nests. And stamp a few moth balls into the ground around flower beds and vegetable beds and dogs will give them a wide berth... and moth balls sprinkled near tomato plants and other fruits will keep the squirrels and rabbits away.
Place coffee grounds in the runs of moles to eleviate them from the area. Green sage or black pepper placed in the haunts of ants and that will drive them away (I tried this on the piss ants and damn if it didn't work)
A teaspoon of sugar, yes, SUGAR added to soapy lather will remove gardening stains from your hands.
and the best one yet... an extendable curtain rod being a perfect support for all plants. As the plant grows, lengthen the rod.<g> while this sounds like it might not be too good for the thiner rods, I was thinking though... there are extendable rods for shower curtains and livingroom curtains that are larger, and dang, that might just work!
I love gardening tips. That's just one of the reasons I enjoy Horticulture magazine and Fine Gardening. Their 100th issue had the best tips of the last 100 issues and it was awesome.
madgardener
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"'"Remember to keep chlorine and ammonia separate... DO NOT MIX those two things. Very poisonous gas is created. I don't know the specifics. So be careful with Clorox or any chlorinated product in combination with ammonia'""
THE MIXTURE CAN CAUSE A POISONOUS GAS. An old friend of mine was found early passed out crawling from her barhroom trying to get to a poe. She was unhappy with the way her housekeeper had cleaned her bathroom and decided to do it herself and thought if one cleaner would be good, two would be twice as good. if her daughter hadn't found her, she would probably have died unless she could get out of the bathroom to fresh air. leo/lee
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wrote:

Here's a home-brew for African Violets that I've used for many years. I found a dramatic difference between AFs fed this solution and the control group, both flowering and overall size.
AFRICAN VIOLET FOOD
1 t. baking powder 1 t. epsom salts 1 t. saltpeter (potassium nitrate) 1 t. clear (soapless!) household ammonia 1 gallon water
Recently, due to the demand for meth-lab supplies, it can be difficult to buy clear (soapless) household ammonia. Do not use ammonia with the soap in it. You can substitute 34-0-0 fertilizer for the saltpeter. Epsom salts provides the magnesium and is good for evergreens and lawns too.
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