Gardening Hacks to Protect and Nourish Your Plants

By HomeAdvisor

Updated March 23, 2020

Woman spraying flowers in the garden.

Updated October 2017

Gardens come in all shapes and sizes. It can be a beautiful lawn, spread across a few thousand square feet or a small one in your backyard or even a vertical garden (backlink to vertical garden article). But they all have a common enemy: pests and weeds. These can reduce your beautiful garden to a dying piece of land. It is crucial to remove pests and weeds at regular intervals to make sure your garden stays healthy. You can either get it done professionally or use a few handy tricks to limit their effect. To make sure that you get all the pests and weeds, it would be better to consider professional weed control.

This article presents efficient gardening hacks to easily control pests and nourish your plants to make them healthy.

Cinnamon Powder for Preventing Fungal Diseases

Seedlings are prone to milky white fungus growth on their stems. Immediately after spotting the fungal growth, you can sprinkle small amounts of cinnamon powder over the base of the stems to prevent the spread of the disease.

In fact, you can even mix a bit of cinnamon powder with the starting mix to prevent the disease all together. Be mindful of using plastic domes to retain moisture as excessive moisture aids fungal growth.

Coffee Grounds for Better Nutrition

Coffee grounds contain a slight dose of several nutrients like magnesium, copper, potassium, and phosphorous. The nitrogen in coffee grounds can also act as a fertilizer.

Coffee grounds also improve the soil structure. They can be directly mixed with the soil in small amounts to improve seed germination capabilities as well. They can protect the plants by fighting fungal and bacterial infections.

Egg Shells for Improving Calcium Content

You can place medium-sized crumbled egg shell pieces around the plants to prevent attacks from pests like slugs and snails which can eat your plant. Egg shells also act as natural fertilizers.
Powdered Egg shells, when sprinkled around the garden, can improve the calcium content in plants. Think twice before throwing those eggshells away since they can be used for composting and mulching as well.

Herbs to Control Mosquitoes

If there is one thing that can ruin a relaxing evening in your garden, it is mosquitoes. But a great way to reduce mosquito activities is to place herbs around your garden. You can even plant multiple herbs in a single pot to save space. The following herbs are natural mosquito deterrents:

  • Citronella geranium
  • Marigold ‘Lemon Gem’
  • Lemon grass
  • Catnip
  • Ageratum ‘Artist Purple’
  • Lemon thyme

Want to know how to grow your favorite vegetable, fruit, herb, or plant? Visit our Home Gardening Guide.

Vinegar for Killing Weeds

Weeds compete with your plants for soil and other nutrients and are quite unattractive. It is best advised to get rid of them as soon as you see visible weed growth. While you might be apprehensive about using chemical weed control, it is proven that they work better than organic weed killers.

But if you are still not convinced, you have an eco-friendly alternative: vinegar. You can use the vinegar in your kitchen and mix a cup of salt, a tablespoon of lemon juice, and two tablespoons of dish soap in it and spray it on the weeds. You should be careful not to spray it on the grass or soil around the weeds as it will reduce the fertility of the soil. If you are using high concentration vinegar, you can skip the lemon juice.

Hydrogen Peroxide to Prevent Infections

Hydrogen peroxide is an excellent disinfectant not only for humans, but for plants too. It is extremely useful in preventing fungal diseases without harming the plants. In addition to that, they also aide in sprouting of new plants. You can use it as often as you water the plants but make sure that it is diluted well. For best results, the ratio of water to hydrogen peroxide should be maintained at 1:35.

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