In this section various gardening tips will be added periodically

COPPER WIRE - Copper wire is a great solution for repelling slugs and snails from climbing up your plants.

Twist a section of copper wire around the base of the stalk ensuring the wire doesn't actually touch the plant so as to give ample room for growth.

As this is a very eco friendly method it is highly recommended and a permanent solution as it obviously requires no maintenance and avoids the use of toxic methods.

The copper wire works by creating a sensation of a small electric shock to slugs if they attempt to climb the wire therefore repelling them.

(Added by H.O.S. on 7th October 2015)

PREDATOR URINE -  The concept of 'Predator Urine' may sound unusual however it is simply based on the idea of repelling deer, rats, squirrels, rabbits etc from eating your crops by placing urine in the surrounding outdoor area where your crops are.

The ideal urine would of course be wolf urine though obviously this is not easy to obtain! However there is a solution...human urine will serve the same purpose as a repellent to various animals that could potentially ruin your plants or crops. Bonus of course is it's free. The only downside is after heavy rainfall more urine would have to be placed around the area to  continue to be effective.

Ensure when pouring urine in the area that it is done at least 2 to 3 ft away from the base of your plants. The reason for this is that the N.P.K of human urine is not balanced and suitable for plant growth. It's very high in nitrogen, if absorbed undiluted by a plants roots it could cause 'leaf burn' and impede flowering/fruiting  due to this high nitrogen content. Obviously if growing plants in pots/containers the urine can be placed nearer to the plant/s.

(Added by H.O.S. on 7th October 2015)

ELIMINATION OF WEEDS - This method can only be used in the case of weeds growing out of pavements/paving as using it amongst plants you want to keep would obviously kill them also.

Simply pour boiling water onto the weeds that appear for example between cracks in paving.

Make sure the water goes as deep as the roots of the weeds, it is necessary to kill the roots to prevent a return. Again this is an Eco-friendly non-chemical means of eliminating weeds.

(Added by H.O.S. on 7th October 2015)

OUTDOOR STAYS OUTDOOR - Suprisingly a lot of people think it's ok to bring plants indoors that have been living outdoors.

This is not a good idea for various reasons. Once indoors the increase in temperature could bring to life insects/insect eggs/larvae that have been lying dormant in the pot of soil.

They could become active and due to the imbalance of the ecosystem caused by bringing the plant indoors the natural predators of these insects may not be in sufficient supply leading to detrimental effects on the plants growth and metabolism, also this change in temperature could lead to infestation of the home with various insects and parasites. So the rule to stick by is 'once it's outdoor it stays outdoor'.

(Note: It is easier to control what comes indoors by taking a cutting/s of your chosen outdoor plant/s. The cuttings will be easier to clean and rinse ensuring they are insect and mold free ready to be transplanted into fresh soil/compost.)

(Added by H.O.S. on 7th October 2015)

BOILED SOIL - This is a controversial one, understandable when explained most people reject the idea of 'boiled soil' in otherwords pouring boiling water through soil before use.

The reasons to reject the idea vary though mainly it is concerns of how this could effect the nutrient content and flora present in the soil. However any losses or alterations to the soil's composition can be ammended afterwards.

Boiling soil is not always neccessary particularly if cultivating plants in an outdoor environment rather than in the case of a greenhouse or houseplant situation. Pouring boiling water through the soil to be used will kill all insects/larvae etc that could be living within the soil some of which may be in a dormant state later to emerge and become an issue for plantlife.

After cooling the soil can be renourished with 'Cultivate' before use. (Details of application coming soon in 'Feeding Suggestions' section)

(Added by H.O.S. on 27th October 2015)

DISINFECT WITH CLOVES - Whole cloves can be used to disinfect the inside of a greenhouse after use.

Simmer 50 grams of whole cloves in 1 litre of water for an hour. Keep a lid on the pan to avoid evaporation. Keep on a low heat setting do not allow it boil. Cool and strain. Add the liquid to a spray bottle and spray the surfaces of the area.

The eugenol present in the cloves will combat bacteria and work as an antifungal helping to disinfect without the use of harsh chemicals.

(Added by H.O.S. on the 3rd October 2015)

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