AN EVERYDAY item you might already have in your pantry can help you get healthier, more beautiful plants in your garden.
On TikTok, gardening enthusiast Megan London explained there’s a super cheap item that may already have — or that you can find at any grocery store — that will work wonders for your garden if you’re on a budget.
“You’re probably like, what could that be? Powdered milk,” she revealed in a recent video.
Holding up a bag of Walmart’s Great Value brand instant nonfat dry milk, Megan told viewers, “Let me show you what it’s packed full of,” before showing that the common pantry item has plenty of calcium and potassium, both essential for healthy plants.
“Just mix a little in with the soil a few inches in, cover it, and leave,” she said.
For another similar tip, experts at The Spruce say you can also use regular milk in your garden by diluting it with water and putting it in a spray bottle to spritz on plant leaves.
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$4 weed killer
According to the experts, the secret to a weed-free garden and lawn is lime, and no, it’s not the kind you eat.
Lime used in gardens is made from crushed-up limestone, rock, or dolomite, and when applied to soil, it raises the pH level, making the soil less acidic.
Lime also contains magnesium and calcium, which are vital for a healthy garden.
It’s actually the lack of calcium in soil that provides the condition for weeds to thrive in.
Do not use salt to remove weeds
You may have seen hacks on TikTok or Instagram that suggest using common household products like vinegar, baking soda, or salt to kill weeds.
Cass Heaphy, Digital Director at Paving Direct, spoke to Express.co.uk and said to avoid the temptation.
He warned that salt can damage paving, harm soil, and prevent future growth when used on other grassy areas.
Make your garden look bigger
You can make small outdoor spaces look bigger than they are by using three simple tricks:
Paint your fence a lighter color – it’ll add more natural light and help your flowers stand out.
Use storage containers and small planters to help you save space.
Finally, tall and slender plants around the sides of your garden will make your space feel bigger.
Garden mirrors can also be useful to bounce light and create an illusion of more space.
Use pots for mint plants
If planted in your garden, mint will quickly take over and disrupt the surrounding plants.
“Keep it contained to pots,” the gardening expert known as @greenthumbdiaries advised.
By planting your mint in pots, you can keep it all together and prevent it from infesting your other plants.
Plus, you can keep your pot closer to your back door, making it easily accessible to grab some mint as you cook.
Why you should keep mint out of the garden
One gardening expert known as @greenthumbdiaries on social media posted a video revealing the common plant you should never keep in your garden.
Though it makes a great ingredient in homemade dishes, you should not plant mint in your backyard garden.
“Mint is highly invasive,” said the expert.
“It can quickly spread.”
Once planted, due to its horizontal root structure, the expert said the plant creates many new stems as it grows.
A Twitter gardener shared an image of her first harvest of the season.
How to banish grass from flowerbeds, conclusion
Johnson also recommended selective herbicides like Ornamec, which can be applied broadly over some plants to kill off grass.
The label should indicate if a selective herbicide is safe for your garden.
If you’re extremely careful, you can also use a non-selective herbicide to patch-treat.
“To treat the grass growing close to the garden plants, put on rubber gloves first and then a cheap cotton glove second,” Johnson instructed.
“Using two fingers on the cotton glove, dip into the herbicide and carefully wipe the blades of grass, avoiding any drips on adjacent garden plants.”
If you wait until the dead of summer, it will be hard to kill off grass with herbicides: the products work best when grass is actively growing and might lose efficacy in the heat.
How to banish grass from flowerbeds, continued
If your perennials are crowded with grass, you can try another solution.
Gently lift the perennials out of the bed, and remove the grass infestation from their root balls.
Before you re-plant them, dig out the remaining grass.
You’ll need to keep an eye out for new grass growth in the days and weeks after you do this.
Try and do this before the weather gets too warm, Johnson warned.
“You can also wait until the weather is cooler in early September or next spring before using this technique to reduce stress on the plants,” he wrote.
“If you decide to wait, then pull the grass as best you can and do not allow it to go to seed.”
How to banish grass from flowerbeds
One method, which is time-intensive but effective, is to start pulling up grass as soon as you see it.
Beginning this process earlier in the season is better, Johnson wrote, because it keeps grass from putting down deep roots and spreading all over your garden.
But if you start later in the season, you’ll have better luck if you work while the soil is moist.
Pulling up grass after a rain shower will make it easier to dislodge the roots, Johnson said.
“In time, the grass should weaken and eventually disappear,” he added.
Grass is bad for flowerbeds
When grass finds its way into your flowerbeds, it can do more harm than good, choking your perennials and spreading through the space.
It may seem impossible to banish grass from your flower beds once it is infiltrated.
Tim Johnson, the senior director of horticulture at the Chicago Botanic Garden, shared advice in the Chicago Tribune.
“Grass is difficult to eradicate once it gets established in the crowns of perennials and in beds of groundcovers,” Johnson explained.
A purple Clematis was captured by a Twitter gardener.
The flower has a pollen dusting, as described by the poster.
Level garden tips: How to fix sloping gardens
Building terraces to create level zones is the greatest technique to remedy a sloping garden.
Retaining walls will be needed to keep the soil in place on steep slopes, and the soil should then be piled up behind them.
Retainer walls can be made of wire, bricks, or stone.
For this, Real Homes suggests hiring a professional gardener.
Retainer walls that are badly constructed might collapse, resulting in costly and severe effects.
Level garden tips: How to fix larger depressions
Dig 4-5 cm deep for deeper depressions, and remove any stones or lumps from the soil.
Compact the soil first, then apply top dressing as directed above to bring the grass up to par with the rest of the lawn.
The turf should then be reinstalled and compacted.
Level garden tips: How to fix small depressions
Top dressing is the solution for depressions that are 2-3 cm deep.
You may purchase a top dressing mix or make your own by combining two parts sand, two parts topsoil, and one part compost.
Fill up the depression evenly with dirt and crush it with your feet or a rake. Then saturate the area with water.
After two days, add grass seeds and a light coating of dirt, followed by a splash of water.