Helpful Hints - Page 1

Items needed:
1 cup of water 
1/4 cup of brown sugar
1 gram of yeast
1 2-liter bottle

1. Cut the plastic bottle in half.
2. Mix brown sugar with hot water. Let cool. When cold, pour in the bottom half of the bottle.
3. Add the yeast. No need to mix. It creates carbon dioxide, which attracts mosquitoes.
4. Place the funnel part, upside down, into the other half of the bottle, taping them together if desired.
5. Wrap the bottle with something black, leaving the top uncovered, and place it outside in an area away from your normal gathering area. (Mosquitoes are also drawn to the color black.)
Change the solution every 2 weeks for continuous control.

When potting a large container, layer newspaper around the inside of the container and then fill with soil. Newspaper should help keep the soil moist longer, protecting your plants from drying out too quickly.


With Colleen's permission we list here the ingredients for her deer repellent that many of us gardeners have found very successful in discouraging deer dining in our gardens.

Colleen's Deer Repellent;
2 Gallons of water
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 Cup Wilt-stop
1/2 Cup very hot tabasco sauce
Mix ingredients and let sit for 24 hours to ripen. Pour into a dish detergent bottle to spritx leaves of plants that are prone to deer food. This liquid is too thick to go in any sprayer. Spritx when no rain is predicted so solution can dry. Will not smell after drying. Respray within a month or as you see deer nibbling. You can divide the recipe in half if you do not have a 2 gallon container to use for mixing.
How to increase productivity of peppers, tomatoes and roses..
1 tsp Epsom salt in 4 c warm water…spray on plant and then again 10 days later. Produces more fruit due to boost of magnesium… especially for tomatoes, peppers and roses.
How to grow nacissus bulbs shorter and stronger
•Horticulturalists from Cornell have discovered that spiking paperwhites with one part gin or vodka to seven parts water stunts their growth enough to prevent their stems from flopping over.
 •Visited a friend and she had a cucumber vine growing around her kitchen window, facing south west, with a 9 inch cucumber fully grown and a 5 inch working on full growth. The blossoms for this vine were HUGE. I asked her secret; she uses water from her gold fish tank 2 to 3 times a day. If that water can grow an indoor cuke like this, think what it can do for our usual house plants, if you are not into growing veggies in the house. Her suggestion was to get a juice server; one of those containers that has a spout on the bottom. Then you would be taking the rich material from the bottom of the tank . She replenishes with non chlorinated water as needed in the tank. She lets water from the tap sit for 24 hours to release the chlorine. If you try this please let me know your success.
•Use an extra calendar--or an old calendar----to remind yourself when to do various garden chores. Each time you come by new planting or care instructions, write the information under the appropriate dates. It doesn't matter what year the calendar is. This just lets you know the time of the year each job should be done. Keeping this calendar over the years should cover most of the gardening chores you perform each year.
•Instead of using an insecticide pull a used nylon stocking over a cabbage or cauliflower to keep the bugs off the vegetable while allowing light and water to reach the vegetables and allow then to expand as they grow.
•For Poison Ivy---"tecnu"--outdoor skin cleanser----removes poison oak and ivy oils that cause rash and itching
•Do you grow from seed? Have you heard of an English soil blocker? You can grow your seeds in a 3/4 inch square of soil. Check it out
 •If you have cannas, calla lilies, dahlias or other tender bulbs or roots in your garden, let the frost kill the tops and then dig them up. Shake the dirt off them and let them dry in the sun or in an airy container, preferably in the garage if it is really cold after you dig them up. Buy a really big bag of vermiculite and empty your big decorative pots of soil (or use any other big container). Layer the bulbs with the vermiculite in one pot and the roots in another pot. Try to keep the bulbs separated so if one is diseased it won't spread. Keep them covered with vermiculite and in a semi cold place. (an attached garage works well) In the spring, pot them, keep them from freezing and plant them after the last frost.
 •If you see one of these egg cases as you are cleaning up your garden for the winter, and it is out and exposed as this one , tuck it in the branches of a shrub for protection against its predators. It is a praying mantis case and very valuable for your garden. Do not take it inside for the winter, it will survive the weather, and you will not appreciate dozens of baby mantisi in your home, garage, shed and they won't like it either..