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I always love hearing good gardening tips, and I'm guessing folks here have lots to share.

Here's one to get the thread started--for those who dislike gardening in gloves and really dislike dirt under their fingernails, dig your fingers into a bar of soap before you go to the garden. The soap gets under your fingernails, which not only helps keep the dirt out, but makes your clean-up a bit easier as well.
 
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I have a large number of tips but this may be the most broad and helpful, especially to those who grow from seed:

"A soil scientist with the USDA Agricultural Research Service has stunned plant scientists with a finding that seeds do not need to be in direct contact with soil to obtain liquid water needed for germination.


Stewart B. Wuest of the Columbia Plateau Conservation Research Center in Pendleton, OR, showed from his research, that wheat seeds use water vapor in the soil for germination.


With a relative humidity of close to 99 percent in soil, seeds don’t need to be tightly compacted in the soil to grow. In fact, seeds that were separated from the soil by crop residue still germinated, because the vapor was able to reach them.


Wuest found that, thanks to water vapor, seeds separated from soil by a layer of fiberglass cloth germinated just as well as those touching the soil. He was even able to germinate seeds suspended in air above water, using just the vapor rising from it.


An ARS report says water vapor is all around us, measured as humidity. That’s what makes a dry cracker left out in a room with high humidity turn soggy from adsorption of water from the air. Similarly, seeds are able to adsorb their needed water from vapor in the soil. In fact, liquid water is not nearly as important as previously thought and may only account for 15 percent of water taken up by germinating seeds.


In light of this discovery, approaches to water adsorption models and measurements techniques may need to be changed. The design of some seeding equipment may also change, since actual seed-soil contact is not as important as earlier believed. Emphasis is likely to shift to tactics for retaining water vapor near the seed, according to the ARS study".
 

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In Remembrance
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Here's my trick for planting long rows with a bad back.

You will need a dowel rod long enough not to have to bend down. They usually come in 3 ft lengths, but that is a little short for me. About 1/2 to 3/4 in diameter.

Go along the entire row and make all your holes with the rod.

Now go back and take a piece of pvc pipe 1/2 to 3/4 in. It needs to be wide enough for the pea or bean to drop all the way down without hanging up. It needs to be long enough that you do not have to bend over. Go down the row and drop in all the beans.

Now go back and use the side of your foot to cover the holes.

The reason for making 3 passes is that you won't miss a spot or replant a spot.

If you have problems with birds harvesting your seed you can cover the row with straw. Make it at least 2 inches deep. This also keeps in moisture to help the beans sprout and keeps them from washing out when you water.

Kim
 
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Great Topic, here are two:

When you cut a cabbage, make two nicks crosswise on the top of the stump, and within a month or six weeks it will sprout again and give you a crop of tender greens.
Ministry of Agriculture Allotment and Garden Guide - June 1945


Making Pumpkins Grow Fast.–A good way of hustling the growth of pumpkins, marrows*, etc., is to feed the fruits with water. It is only needful to secure some pieces of round lamp wick. Holes are made in the stalk of the fruit and, into these, one end of the wick is inserted. The other end of the wick rests in a jar of water which is kept well supplied. The pumpkins grow at twice the rate they do normally and are ready for cutting much sooner. In this way the produce secured from the plant is largely increased. The plan is well worth following out.–S. Leonard Bastin from: The Garden Magazine - June 1918
 

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Hey, clever idea of using soap under fingernails for less dirt and fast clean up!! I sometimes use those thin latex gloves (like doctors or food servers wear)...you can buy them by the box and they are disposable...also the gloves are quite flexable so you can put small seeds into the dirt with no problem..happy gardenng!! :cool:
 

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I leave pigweed in the garden instead of weeding it. The leaf eating insects prefer it over my garden plants.
Spray whey or old milk (I have dairy goats) on plants to discourage gophers and deer.
My "deer scarecrow" is a black plastic bag tied to a pole about 6" above the ground, with a few of those big sequins by the tie. It moves slightly and its sequin "eyes" shine at night. I move it around or take it down randomly so the deer won't get used to it. It startles ME when I'm weeding and catch that slight motion with the corner of my eye!
Plant peas in your corn. The peas give the corn the extra nitrogen it likes, and the corn gives the peas something to climb on. I did this experimentally with some corn this year and the difference is huge.
 

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Here is one that has saved me a lot of time. Weed seed sprout when they are with in 1/4” or so of the surface of the garden. Till your garden and plant. After your crop has come up till between the rows. After around 4 or 5 day go over the entire garden with a rake. It will smooth the garden and disrupt any weed seeds that have started to germinate. This will kill most and if you don’t rake too deep you won’t turn up any more weed seeds to germinate. It has worked for me.
 

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one of my favorite tips is in the fight with squash buggs....the mature bugs cling to the undersides of the stems and leaves flat on the ground, they HATE to get wet, soo I water deeply all around the plant in a nice puddle, then go back in about 15 min and hand pick the bugs off the top of the upper leaves where they have gone to dry off! And while I am watering I check the underside of the leaves for their eggs and scrape them off with a fingernail....
 

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In todays paper: Gardening Rule

When weeding, the best way to make sure you're removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out easily, then it's a valuable plant.

:haha: :D :haha:
 

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To extend the bloom time of flowers such as lilies , plant them in various areas that receive differing amounts of sun. The ones with the most sun bloom first , the ones with less bloom later.
 
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If you have aphids but don't want to spray, get a baby's hair brush and brush them off the undersides of the leaves. I've been told they can't climb back on but i don't know why.
 

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This is going to sound like a commercial but Sunlight dishwashing detergent mixed up in a sprayer is a lifesaver.

Kills many bugs and seems to keep birds from eating brambles. Added benefit? Clean crops with a lemony smell.

Stop laughing; it works for me!

katy
 
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