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GREEN FINGERS

Gardening tips 2022 live – $1.25 Dollar Tree product will keep your plants healthy in summer heat, and it’s easy to use

How to transform your garden on a cheap budget
Five tips to starting your own garden at home
Five tips to getting the greenest lawn
Best flowers for hay fever sufferers

A SIMPLE $1.25 Dollar Tree purchase can help you out this summer, as it is now time to tend to your garden.

If you're hoping to grow colorful flowers in oversized planters this season, one TikTok user shared an easy way to achieve this.

Jamie, who goes by  on TikTok, recommends purchasing a foam noodle at Dollar Tree and cutting it up to take up extra space in large pots.

“For those large flower pots, use pool noodles to take up extra space,” she said, while cutting up chunks of a foam noodle and placing them at the bottom of the pot.

She also said the method provides drainage for your plants.

Read our Gardening Tips live blog for the latest news and updates...

  • Carsen Holaday

    Mulching makes a healthy garden

    Mulch is an organic covering for the top of your soil and it helps keep it moist by protecting the surface of the soil.

    Mulching reduces the amount that you should water your plants, so it’s important to get it right.

    When you make a raised bed or any type of bed, you should always add mulch.

    You can use a shredded straw or composted wood chips.

  • Carsen Holaday

    Best time to remove weeds revealed

    De-weeding after a spell of rain could save you a lot of time and hassle and lead to a healthier garden, according to .

    You’ll have a much easier time removing weeds when the ground is wet because damp soil is more flexible and should allow you to rip out the root of a weed intact.

    There might be an extra mess but it’s much easier than trying to dislodge weeds when the ground is rock hard.

    It also minimizes ripping the body from the stem, getting a clean sweep instead.

  • Carsen Holaday

    Hanging a water bottle

    You could create a slow-release watering system by hanging a plastic bottle over your plants.

    Simply take a bottle, pierce tiny holes in the bottom half and then enclose the bottle in a sock – other fabric should work just as fine.

    You can then hang this above your plant by securing it to a stick that rests inside of your plant pot – but make sure it’s done so securely.

    Just like with the ‘magic’ burying method, the plants will have a steady flow of water.

  • Carsen Holaday

    Leave space between beds

    When creating your garden, remember to leave about two feet between raised beds so that you can tend the plants comfortably.

    “People don’t think about the fact that they have to come through and work on these gardens and then they get annoyed and then they stop working on the beds,” gardening expert Kevin Espiritu explained.

  • Carsen Holaday

    Investing in good products matters

    Espiritu also noted that having good soil is key to maintaining a successful garden.

    “If you’re going to invest in something, you should invest in your soil,” the expert noted.

    “You don’t go buy a nice quality raised bed and try to grow plants in that system with crappy soil. It doesn’t make any sense at all.”

  • Carsen Holaday

    Mistakes to avoid when starting a raised garden

    Starting a raised garden can be overwhelming, but Youtuber Kevin Espiritu shared a to hopefully help prevent common mistakes.

    First of all, the position of the garden matters. Gardeners should make sure that their plants face the sun to get the proper amount of sunlight.

    Gardeners should also be sure that their gardens are getting the proper amount of water – and an irrigation system is important.

  • Carsen Holaday

    Gardening interests spiked during Covid-19

    During the early months of the Covid-19 pandemic, spikes in an interest in gardening were reported by many media outlets, according to  (ESA)

    The exact reason for the spikes has not been determined, but the ESA reported that the spikes are being investigated further.

  • Carsen Holaday

    How to use sugar on lawn

    Expert Jordan Page said you don’t have to be precise and use a spreader, but instead, she recommended using an old juice container with a wide mouth to shake out the sugar.

    She advised that you can’t use “too much” sugar, but typically you will want to use a 5-pound bag for every one thousand feet of lawn.

    Page also recommended applying sugar several times during your first year of the process to help make up for years of chemical damage.

    After applying the sugar, she said to simply wet down your lawn.

  • Carsen Holaday

    Organize with a storage shed

    Installing some form of storage, such as a shed, is essential in keeping your garden clean and tidy and it’s the first step to achieving a stylish look.

    If you already have a shed, don’t forget to give it a fresh coat of paint by choosing a color that will match the rest of your garden furniture.

  • Carsen Holaday

    What is corn gluten?

    Corn gluten is the by-product of corn processing and it's great for killing weeds.

    Corn gluten contains proteins that inhibit root growth during seed germination for a number of small-seeded annual and perennial weeds that frequent lawns.

    Not only does it act as a natural herbicidal alternative to toxic “weed and feed” lawn products, but it also contains a significant amount of nitrogen that full-grown turf grass loves.

  • Carsen Holaday

    Half of American households garden

    A study by Scotts Miracle-Gro and Wakefield Research in 2020 found that 55 percent of American households garden in some way.

    Another 20 percent of American households plan to start gardening in the near future.

    The study also found that 67 percent of adults are growing or planning to grow edible plants like fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

  • Carsen Holaday

    Natural weed killer has narrow window

    Corn gluten, which you can get on Amazon, is a winning formula for eliminating weeds, according to .

    However, there's a narrow window of opportunity to use the powder because if you apply it too soon, you'll allow dormant weed seeds to dodge the corn gluten's preventative effects.

    If it's applied to established weeds, they'll just build resilience to its pre-emergency herbicidal effects.

    The key is to apply the corn gluten when it attacks a weed just before germination or sprouting.

  • Carsen Holaday

    Dollar Tree hack revealed

    Whether you're protecting your plants from pests or looking to make an incredible terrarium, Dollar Tree's plastic cloche domes will get the job done.

    In outdoor gardens, cloches are used to cover plants while offering protection from things like harsh weather, and pests.

    They can also be used to create a warmer climate that will nurture germinating seeds and young plants in colder weather.

  • Carsen Holaday

    Easiest herbs to grow revealed

    Boston chef Jason Jernigan has his own rooftop garden, where he grows multiple herbs and vegetables.

    He named the two easiest herbs for first-time gardeners to grow.

    “The first thing I started growing was basil. It's just such a versatile herb, and it is easy to grow,” he told local ABC affiliate .

    Another easy herb for fire-time growers, according to Jernigan, is mint.

    “Mint is one of the things that you can definitely start off with. It is very hearty.

    "It is forgiving, so if you forget to water it, just like anything else, it is going to let you know. It smells great.”

  • Carsen Holaday

    Blue grass means no recovery

    Silver or blue-colored grass is the worst news for a gardener.

    Sean said: ";When turf turns a silvery blue, it is dead. At this stage, there is no recovery."

  • Carsen Holaday

    Rust disease turns grass orange

    Orange is an alarming color for your grass and means that a fungus is loose in your lawn.

    Expert Sean Lade explained: "Orange is not a natural color found in grass. This is a sign that your grass is suffering from rust disease.

    "The orange color comes from the fungi spores on the leaves. This comes about in wet and warm conditions and when the grass has not been cared for properly.

    "This can kill the leaves of your turf, but in general, will not kill the entire turf plant.

    "To control this, invest in some lawn fertilizer, mow your turf properly, maintain good drainage, and water your turf properly to the guidelines above."

  • Carsen Holaday

    Take action on a red or brown lawn

    A lawn with a brown or red tinge is not in great shape and Sean explained that this means you need to take action straight away.

    The expert said: "This is a sign the grass is stressed and you should take action as soon as possible.

    "A brown color is usually a sign that the grass is dormant, a natural protection mechanism for grass to withstand weather changes.

    "Grass is very tolerant and can recover from stress with just a bit of care and a regular watering regimen."

  • Carsen Holaday

    Yellow means your grass needs water

    If your lawn is yellow it probably means it's been too hot and needs some more water.

    Gardening expert Sean Lade said: "Your lawn is deficient of chlorophyll and could do with a little care.

    "This is to be expected in hot and dry conditions. Now would be the perfect time to give your lawn a good soaking to get it looking its best."

  • Carsen Holaday

    Green grass is a green light

    Different colors of grass have different meanings, and it's pretty obvious that green grass is the best sign of a healthy lawn.

    Not only a good sign on traffic lights, green means all systems go in the garden too - as it means you're doing a great job.

    Gardening expert Sean Lade said: "The darker the green, the healthier your lawn is.

    "You shouldn't expect your grass to be a dark green 24/7, but this is a sign that your lawn is very happy and healthy."

  • Carsen Holaday

    Prevent blossom end rot with the right soil

    According to Walliser, it’s necessary to ensure the plant is absorbing sufficient levels of water, which in turn helps allow the plant to get enough calcium. 

    “The calcium is there; your plants just aren’t getting it,” she said.

    “Blossom end rot is especially common in container-grown tomatoes or during years of inconsistent rainfall.”

    If you water your plants consistently and have high quality soil, you’ll help avoid the rotting problems.

  • Carsen Holaday

    Blossom end rot is a disorder

    According to the gardening expert, blossom end rot is not a disease or something that is caused by insects - this type of rotting is actually a disorder with the plant itself.

    “It is a physiological disorder thought to be caused by stress combined with a lack of calcium in the developing fruit,” expert Jessica Walliser in a blog post.

    As she explains, if the plant is low on calcium, which is needed in high amounts as it grows, then the fruit breaks down.

    A few issues that can contribute to the lack of calcium include not having enough calcium in the soil itself, but typically it has to do with soil that isn’t retaining steady moisture levels. 

  • Carsen Holaday

    Blossom end rot explained

    Blossom end rot is a problem that can foil your plans of eating vegetables straight from your garden.

    This type of rot has a “distinctive appearance” and one expert describes it as “blackened, sunken cankers appear on the bottom (blossom end) of the fruits.”

    Often the tops of the vegetables will look as if they are totally fine, only to have the rotting flesh on their underside.

    “They are always on the blossom end of the fruits, never on the top,” the expert warned.

  • Carsen Holaday

    Aerating your lawn can be fun

    If you have $20 to spare, you can purchase a pair of aerator shoes that make it easy to poke holes in your lawn.

    Aeration allows water, air, and nutrients to reach the grass roots in your lawn, making for healthier grass.

    Slip your feet into a pair of aerator shoes and go for a walk around the lawn to get some cardio in and improve your grass's condition.

  • Carsen Holaday

    Give your lawn a quick fix

    Gardening experts say that you can use a rake to dethatch the surface of your lawn.

    Dragging the rake across your grass will loosen a layer of dead grass from under the new growth - that dried-up grass is known as thatch.

    "The goal is to remove a thick layer of built-up, dead plant material, and allow air, water, and nutrients to reach the soil again," said Blythe Yost, co-founder and CEO of landscape design company Tilly.

    "It’s one of the best ways to stimulate lawn growth quickly and naturally."

  • Jennifer Korn

    Flattening a bumpy lawn, conclusion

    Fill the uneven patches using a hard-bristled brush to create a level surface, and water them well to encourage new grass to grow.

    Finally, sow some fresh grass seeds on any areas that are bare and need re-covering.

    Make sure to distribute more on scarce patches or on lumps that have born torn up.

    Always lay grass seeds on a mild, spring day and make sure to water them well once the seeds have been sown.

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