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Saliha 06-11-2015 05:27 AM

Random Gardening Tips
And some funny facts too.


The scientific name for the tomato is Lycopersicon lycopersicum, which means, “wolf peach.”


Cool as a cucumber? It's true ... the inside of a cucumber on the vine measures as much as 20 degrees cooler than the outside air on a warm day.


The Daisy got its name because the yellow center resembled the sun. It was commonly known as the "day's eye" and over time, was eventually called daisy.


When your hands are badly stained from gardening, add a teaspoon of sugar to the soapy water the wash them.


Foxglove is a kind of pink tubular flower which derived its name from old English belief that foxes slipped into these flowers to sneak up on their prey!


Dandelions look like weeds, but the flowers and leaves are a good source of vitamins A and C, iron, calcium and potassium. One cup of dandelion greens provides 7,000-13,000 I.U. of vitamin .


Angelica was used in Europe for hundreds of years as a cure for everything from the bubonic plague to indigestion. It was thought to ward off evil spirits.

Saliha 06-11-2015 05:30 AM

Re: Random Gardening Tips
German garden gnomes were introduced to England in 1847 by Sir Charles Isham (1819-1903), a vegetarian spiritualist who hoped that his 21 porcelain Gnomen-figuren would attract real gnomes to his garden in Northamptonshire. Only one of Isham’s gnomes, “Lampy”, survives: it is insured for £1 million. “Seeing and hearing gnomes is not mental delusion,” he wrote, “but extension of faculty.”

Terracotta gnomes were first made in Germany in the 1870s. They always wear red caps because that was the style of German miners. Gnomes are banned from the Chelsea Flower Show (as are balloons, bunting and flags – nude nymphs and cherubs are judged on a case-by-case basis). Gnome liberationists have been active since the Seventies in various countries: in Britain is GOLF, the Garden Ornament Liberation Front. Liberated gnomes are taken abroad, photographed in exotic places, and returned, sometimes accompanied by a new girlfriend.

Saliha 06-11-2015 05:35 AM

Re: Random Gardening Tips
To prevent accumulating dirt under your fingernails while you work in the garden, draw your fingernails across a bar of soap and you'll effectively seal the undersides of your nails so dirt can't collect beneath them. Then, after you've finished in the garden, use a nailbrush to remove the soap and your nails will be sparkling clean.


Use leftover tea and coffee grounds to acidify the soil of acid-loving plants such as azaleas, rhododendrons, camellias, gardenias and even blueberries. A light sprinkling of about one-quarter of an inch applied once a month will keep the pH of the soil on the acidic side.


To create perfectly natural markers, write the names of plants (using a permanent marker) on the flat faces of stones of various sizes and place them at or near the base of your plants.


Little clay pots make great cloches for protecting young plants from sudden, overnight frosts and freezes.


Use chamomile tea to control damping-off fungus, which often attacks young seedlings quite suddenly. Just add a spot of tea to the soil around the base of seedlings once a week or use it as a foliar spray.


Rue (Ruta graveolens) may terminate the pregnancy. During the Middle Ages rue was used to cause an abortion.


The rose family isn’t what you thought

Peaches, pears, apricots, quinces, strawberries and apples are members of the rose family. Other members include ornamental species such as spirea, mountain ash, goatsbeard and ninebark.


:wub: You see, I love gardening. I have hundreds of kind of tips in my pockets.

Saliha 06-11-2015 06:29 AM

Re: Random Gardening Tips
There are some secrets buried under the ground, so to speak. See if you know the real dirt on dirt:

It can take a minimum of 500 years to make one inch of topsoil.A tablespoon of soil has more living organisms than there are people on Earth right now.

Some of our dirt is stardust, the remains of stars that fall to Earth after they’re caught by gravity, a magnetic force, or some other kind of force field.

You can’t see them with the naked eye, but billions of bacteria live in each square yard of dirt. Many help keep the soil healthy and balanced by regulating pH or degrading organic matter.

Most of the earthworms that live in our dirt are non-native. If native earthworms existed before the last Ice Age, some ten thousand years ago, we haven’t found signs of them.

As earthworms plow through the dirt, they push the soil around and actually eat some of it. Their castings—the stuff they put out—help improve garden soils.

Rocks weather and eventually become soil. Clay results when the process stops and a different structure starts to form. If you could spread all the Earth’s clay into one even layer, it would measure one mile thick over the entire planet.

Scientists say that hydroponics—gardening in only water and nutrients—can work, but plants don’t reproduce well. They believe that growing in soil is better in the long run.

If the structure of your surface soil is good, water will be drawn up out of the ground by capillary action (think, “sucking power”), and your field will be fertile. If your surface soil is poor, underground water can’t drawn up into plant roots, and you’re likely to have a desert.

Author William Bryant Logan in his book Dirt: Ecstatic Skin of the Earth says the Earth works like a machine when it comes to making soils. Volcanoes spew materials from the core into the air, where they fall back to the ground. Plants and algae change sunlight and carbon dioxide into food and oxygen, while animals turn the oxygen back into carbon dioxide.

The lesson of the Dust Bowl is that we’ve got to replace what’s used up to keep our soils fertile. Just 60 years of cultivation can reduce the organic matter in farmland by one-third.

Saliha 06-11-2015 09:17 AM

Re: Random Gardening Tips
A chemical in the spice, Star anise, is a major component of Tamiflu. Shortages of the spice often leads to shortages of Tamifu and likewise, increased production of the drug can drive Star Anise prices up.

Tamiflu is the influenza med against H1N1/swine flue.

Actually, most of the modern meds comes from the herbs.

Saliha 06-11-2015 03:43 PM

Re: Random Gardening Tips
The deadly dose of saffron is as little as 10 grams (3/4 tablespoon)

5 g might cause an abortion. That´s why pregnant women should avoid saffron.

Saliha 06-11-2015 03:44 PM

Re: Random Gardening Tips
Bamboo plants have amazing flowering habits. There are many different sorts of bamboo, and they have different flowering cycles. A few flower each year, but most wait much longer. What is amazing is that all the bamboos of the same species will flower at exactly the same time, wherever they are growing! Nobody knows how they manage to do this.

Saliha 06-11-2015 03:45 PM

Re: Random Gardening Tips
“Three sisters” in gardening refers to the ancient Native American planting technique of growing corn, beans and squash together. In the modern garden we call this “companion planting”, where each plant helps one another. Corn is planted to support the pole bean, beans help by fixing nitrogen in the soil to feed the corn and squash, and squash is planted underneath to shade both the corn and bean’s roots. Together the three sisters grow in harmony.

Saliha 06-11-2015 03:47 PM

Re: Random Gardening Tips
Companion Planting with Herbs

First and foremost, never plant two heavy feeders next to each other. They will compete for the nutrients in the soil, and neither will flourish. You need to consider what each plant needs and gives back to the soil before placing any two together in the garden. Chives and carrots do well together as does dill with cabbage. Lovage works to improve the flavor and health of just about any garden plant.

Another thing to think about is scent and flavoring. Strong herbs can change the flavors and scents of other herbs or vegetables. Sometimes the change is good, as with the basil and tomatoes, or summer savory and beans. Sometimes the change isn’t so good. You will notice this with all of the mints. If you plant spearmint too close to peppermint, in time, they will both smell and taste the same. Mint does make a good companion for tomatoes though, as do thyme, sage, and bee balm. Tarragon and marjoram will help to enhance the flavor of almost any vegetable that you choose to plant them near.

And as with the feverfew and roses, sometimes herbal companion plants can help keep detrimental bugs away from your other plants and vegetables in your garden. Planting borage with your tomatoes, squash, and strawberries will help to keep tomato worms from attacking. Deadnettle planted with potatoes will keep potato bugs away as will horseradish. Planting tansy near your fruit trees will help to keep most flying insects and ants away. Rosemary is a good companion to cabbage, beans, carrots, and sage and will work to keep the cabbage moths away.

By using companion planting to keep the bugs away, you won’t need to use as many insecticides that can harm the beneficial garden insects, like the bees and ladybugs.

Some plants should be kept away from others at all costs. Dill should never be planted with carrots, Angelica, or caraway. Keep your cucumbers at opposite sides of the garden from your sage. Rue needs to be kept away from sweet basil, and no one favors fennel. It should be planted on its own.

By choosing your companion herbs wisely, you will be helping your garden to help itself with fertilization and natural insecticide repellents. Your herbs and vegetables will taste better, and you’ll have more free time to relax and enjoy your herbs.

Saliha 06-11-2015 04:38 PM

Re: Random Gardening Tips
Even plant families have strange relatives. Lettuce and sunflowers are members of the Compositae family. Broccoli, turnips, cabbage and cauliflower belong to the mustard family. Garlic, onions and shallots -- members of the lily family -- are welcome in the garden despite their stink. The smell makes it harder for hungry pests to sniff out their favorite targets. But separate the onion family from asparagus, beans and peas. They don’t get along.

Saliha 06-11-2015 04:42 PM

Re: Random Gardening Tips
Tomatoes contain solanine, an alkaloid that repels asparagus beetles. After the first harvest, plant tomatoes near the asparagus patch. The hungry pests will look for easier pickings elsewhere, leaving healthy ferns to send nutrients to the crowns. Also: Healthy tomato leaves can be juiced and made into a spray to prevent black spot on roses.

Saliha 06-11-2015 04:44 PM

Re: Random Gardening Tips
Paint the handles of your gardens tools a bright, color other than green to help you find them amongst your plants. You can also keep a mailbox in your garden for easy tool storage.

This is very useful tip - I have losted many my tools to the long grass during years already.


Saliha 06-14-2015 02:52 AM

Re: Random Gardening Tips
There is an easy way to mix compost into your soil without a lot of back breaking work: Spread the compost over your garden in the late fall, after all the harvesting is done. Cover with a winter mulch such as hay or chopped leaves and let nature take its course. By spring, the melting snow and soil organisms will have worked the compost in for you.


This I do every year. Garden is full of earthworms as they have a lot to eat. Well, here is also moles and hedgehogs whose come to eat earthworms. But its like the nature works.


Saliha 10-16-2015 05:13 AM

Re: Random Gardening Tips
Cucumbers Are Sweeter When Planted Near Sunflowers

It may seem like an odd pairing, but sunflowers make great growing companions when it comes to planting sweeter cucumbers. Not only do both plants require similar soil conditions, the tall stalks of the sunflowers give cucumber plants something supportive to climb.

Johnny West 10-16-2015 11:36 AM

Re: Random Gardening Tips

Originally Posted by Saliha (Post 295774)
The deadly dose of saffron is as little as 10 grams (3/4 tablespoon)

5 g might cause an abortion. That´s why pregnant women should avoid saffron.

I'll be careful not to use too much in the paella then.

I didn't know that.

QSis 10-16-2015 12:56 PM

Re: Random Gardening Tips
I wonder how much 3/4 of a tablespoon of saffron costs. :ohmy:

I like the idea of planting cukes and sunflowers together. I've not had luck growing pickling cukes in my pots - they just little yellow balls!


Saliha 10-16-2015 01:26 PM

Re: Random Gardening Tips
In here 1 g of saffron costs 8 euros (about 9$), so 10 g (or 3/4 tablespoon) is 80€/90$.

ChowderMan 10-16-2015 01:51 PM

Re: Random Gardening Tips
in the USA you have to super careful about the truthfulness of your saffron supplier.

altho many geographic areas produce saffron, traditionally "the best" has come from Iran - which was under a trade embargo, don't know if the latest thaw includes saffron.

perusing the marketplace you will find every kind of "claim" - don't believe most of them.

this is a good info/education site

Johnny West 10-16-2015 02:07 PM

Re: Random Gardening Tips
I get saffron from the Spanish Table in Seattle and it's grown in Spain.

When I lived in Germany I'd see thousdands of crocus in the frields and never would think to pick my own. It was before I discovered paella.

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