Meeting the lovely Gordale staff
I visited Gordale Garden and Home centre in Burton, Cheshire, to meet their customers and tell them about my genius (and wacky) gardening tips using everyday household objects. You don’t need to buy expensive garden supplies – you can use objects you already have, or even things you’d normally chuck in the recycling bin!
I had a fantastic evening sharing these with all the visitors to Gordale, and I hope they all took something away from the talks to try at home. They certainly had plenty of questions at the end!
Thanks for Gordale for having me, and to Hartman for organising the event! Here are my highlights from the night.
Free insect tape
You can buy tape to kill flies. Or you can make it, using Post-it notes and some Vaseline. Simply cover the surface of the paper with a layer of Vaseline, and stick the traps to your greenhouse windows!
It works because yellow is a good shade for attracting insects as it falls in their colour-vision spectrum. They fly towards the Post-it and get stuck. No more nasty bugs eating your plants!
Free garden cane protectors
Have you ever almost taken an eye out on the end of a garden cane? Cover the sharp points – with an empty probiotic yoghurt drink pot.
Simply clean the pot and pop it on the end of any sharp canes, sticks and posts. No more poking your eye out when you bend to pull out a weed!
Free seed boxes
Whether you buy seeds or collect your own from the garden, storage is always an issue. Use old, cleaned Tic Tac boxes to store them for free!
It works because the boxes are airtight and watertight, keeping the seeds fresh. Plus, the boxes are small and easy to store. Just remember to label them, so you don’t forget which seeds are which!
Free rose feed
You can buy fertilisers and feed, but all the nutrients your roses need are already in your fruit bowl! Bananas are full of potassium and phosphorus, which will help your roses grow and bloom.
I normally just use the skin. Chop the peel into pieces and place it fleshy side down in the soil around the base of the rose plants. It will decompose rapidly, delivering all those nutrients direct to the roots.
Some people like to make a banana mulch by putting the skins in a blender and applying the resulting mush as a mulch. If you’re planting a new rose, or transplanting an existing one, stick a whole banana in the bottom of the hole. Then you can plant the rootball directly onto a bed of nutrients.
Budget peat-free compost scoop
Trowels are really designed for digging, not scooping. It takes ages to move compost from the bag to a container using a trowel – it’s like using a teaspoon. Why not make yourself a scoop using an old milk carton?
Take some strong scissors and cut off the bottom of the carton, then remove a diagonal section (see below). Now you can use the handle to scoop all your compost! Remember to keep the lid on the carton to prevent compost from tipping on the floor.