Gardening - miscellaneous hints and tips


Old tree stumps can be re-created as planters. You will most likely have to remove some of the centre of the stump to provide a "bowl" for the plants to settle into. Chip this area out. Choose an appropriate potting/soil mix. The centre of the tree will slowly decay and provide sustenance for plants to grow in. If the stump is particularly high it can look stunning with flowering creepers planted in it. These will create cascades of beautiful flowers.

You will have turned an eye sore into a feature. Think about other eye sores in your garden and then think about how you can create something beautiful out of a mess.

More hints and tips for the garden

85% of a plant's roots are found within 150 mm (6") of the surface. So, when digging in compost and other healthy plant food you don't need to dig it in much deeper than that.

Bare soil should not be seen around plants. Mulch, mulch, mulch - especially in our hot Australian summers but keep the mulch slightly away from the actual stem of the plant.

Water your garden before mulching and then water it again afterwards.

Weeds can be reduced by spraying with vinegar. Use a small household spray bottle.

Less than 2% of insects are harmful.

Wherever possible transplant on a cool or cloudy day. If this is not possible then leave the planting until late in the afternoon.

If you buy a plant that has been in shade or semi shade at the nursery you must let it get used to bright sunlight slowly whilst still in its pot. Bring it home and put it in partial shade for a few days, extending the amount of sunshine it gets on a daily basis.

Soaker hoses or drip irrigation systems are preferable to overhead watering. Watering from above encourages mildew problems.

If you intend to dig compost into your garden then do it 2 - 4 weeks before you are ready to plant. The compost should then be starting to amalgamate with the soil.

The colour of hydrangea flowers is dependent on the pH of the soil. Acid soil will produce blue hydrangea flowers and alkaline soil will produce pink flowers.

Read more of my interesting gardening tips