Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Wanted: Gardening Tips!

Garden at our back door

So, it’s spring DownUnder and my thoughts are turning to gardening!  It doesn’t matter that I’m a brown thumb, I like to try.  There’s something very therapeutic about getting down and dirty in the garden.

I’ve been digging a garden bed and, rather than buy seedlings, I’m trying out some zucchini seeds.  The packet is waaaaay out of date (2004!) so if any of them sprout, it will be a bonus – and if they don’t then I can always resort to seedlings from the nursery!  I figure it’s a win-win!

Fingers crossed these lttle guys sprout!

Like a lot of things, I know one of the secrets to gardening is to do a little bit often and keep on top of it.  Needless to say, I’m a binge gardener and tend to do a massive amount infrequently then spend several days afterwards groaning from the aches.

Anyway, I have a terrific excuse for the garden being completely feral at the moment – we’ve been away for three months!

So today, I’m asking for your gardening tips – especially the ones that make it easy, easy, easy!

In exchange, I’m sharing my secret weeding weapon… this is it…

My Secret Weeding Weapon!

It’s a bot-egg knife.  You use it by stroking across the horse’s hair in the direction of growth.  It’s quite sharp and sort of shaves across the surface to pick off the eggs that the pesky bot-fly has laid.

Groves and ridges and hook

Those groves and ridges make a great serrated edge for pushing through soil and roots to sever the crown from the most luxuriant weed.  And the hook at the end is an excellent lever to loosen tap roots or to drag weeds from between pavers.

So, got any gardening tips you’d like to share?  Any other secret weeding weapons out there?


15 thoughts on “Wanted: Gardening Tips!”

  1. Okay, so I know absolutely nothing about gardening. I told my husband I love palm trees because they remind me of vacations spent with my Grandmother in Florida. So he bought me a mini-palm for Mother’s day. Four months later it’s on the verge of death. So I have no wisdom to impart.

    I really just stopped by the say hi because I haven’t talked to you much lately. Are you still traveling?

    1. LOL, Wendy! Is your palm in a pot? Potted things have that extra layer of complication because they rely on you utterly for TLC… and actually that’s sometimes the problem – too much TLC in the form of over-watering!

      We’re home again – it’s so lovely to have everything under the same roof… you know, the toilet and bathroom and laundry and kitchen! All those things you take for granted normally!

      Good luck with your palm!

  2. FF here. I am coming into autumn and winter. Good luck with your zuchinni. I planted (plants) what I thought were green zuchinni, but it turned to be yellow round zuchinni.

    1. Thanks, FF! Oh, we call those round yellow ones, squashes – actually I think the yellow ones are called golden squash. But the plant is very much like a zucchini and the taste is very similar too from memory. We’ve grown those too but not for years and years. We like to pick our zucchinis (and the squashes too) when they’re quite small and give them a quick sizzle to heat through on the BBQ. Yummy!

  3. Sharon,
    What I’ve learned through the years is that you have to grow the correct plants in the correct place. If they need sun on the package then that is where you better put them. Same for the amout of water. Fertilizer does work, use it. I have certain plants I can grow and I grow a lot of them. Forgot good ground it important. I’m going to the horse store and see if I can find one of those tools. Thanks for sharing your secret.

    1. Susan, excellent tips! I hear you about grouping plants according to their needs – I’ve spent a lot of frustrating years NOT doing that and having things curl up their toes… er, roots! Now I do stick to growing things that I know I can grow! I have lots and lots of oregano and thyme in my garden beds because they’re as tough as old boots and have the bonus of being really pretty and fragrant! And an even bigger bonus of being handy for cooking! LOL

      Hey, if you get one of those tools, please tell me how you find using it!

  4. Gardening…blech… I’m not a fan. Could you tell? We call the yellow squash ‘summer squash’ around here. Then there are all kinds of winter squashes, hubbard, acorn, butternut, spaghetti squash are a few of them. In fact, we are cooking an acorn squash right now.

    Notice — I have no gardening tips. 😉

    1. I could tell right away that you’re not an avid gardener, Nan! LOL

      I zipped over to Google those “squashes” you named and was fascinated to realise that over here we call quite a few of those, “pumpkins” – for instance, to me it’s a “butternut pumpkin” rather than a “butternut squash”. Judging by the picture, I think your acorn squash would probably be called a pumpkin over here too – though I haven’t actually seen that variety here.

      So that got me wondering about the criteria used to determine what’s a pumpkin and what’s a squash…. and of course that led to a bit more Googling… Before I pulled myself up and thought ‘what does it matter! They’re absolutely delicious and that’s the most important thing, isn’t it!’

      I hope your acorn squash was yummy!

  5. Put me down in the non-green thumb camp. We have five acres and have grown nothing on it really because we’re hopeless and because water is pretty precious and I’m blowed if I’m putting it on something outside and having a bath in 3 mm of water every night – shudderr. Priorities please!Anything that has survived in our yard is pretty drought proof, let me tell you!
    But at the moment I DO wish we were growing tomatoes – they’re $8-$10/kilo in the shops at the moment!!! (what the??) and I refuse to buy them at that price! But its been about 6 weeks and I am suffering from withdrawals!
    So whilst gardening is not for me I take my hat off to those who do it and for all the farmers that grow our food because I’m definitley a fan of EATING what’s produced 🙂

  6. Yowee, I know those tomatoes are seriously expensive at the moment, Amy!

    You must be on tank water, the same as we are so I sympathise with the water restrictios. We’re lucky because we have a dam so we can water the vegie patch from that.

    Mmmm, WordPress is being a bit of a pill so I have my fingers crossed I can get this comment posted!

    I’m a huge fan of EATING too! LOL

  7. Hi Sharon, welcome back from your travels! I’m in the non-green thumb camp as well, so my most useful tip is not to listen to anything I say about gardening 🙂 Although I did hear the other day that cocoa shells will deter slugs – apparently a side effect is that your garden smells faintly of chocolate. So even if your plants don’t grow, at least you get a nice scent!

    1. Thanks, Annie! Hey, I had a good chuckle at your most useful tip!

      Mmm, I haven’t heard of the cocoa shells to deter slugs but I could handle a garden that smelled of chocolate! 😉 Actually, greedy slugs and snails are a gardeners bane – I’ve tried sand and ashes but they still seem to get in to chomp tiny shoots. I’ve even tried a small cup of beer near the plants I’m trying to protect – while quite a few of the hungry beasties do drown there’s always plenty more to do the damage. So much as I hate using them, I do sprinkle a few slug and snail pellets now. 😦 It gives my seedlings a chance to get past that fragile tender stage.

  8. One of the best things I’ve learnt is about weeding. Our yard got overrun one year when we were doing a lot of work related travelling. I read an article about weeding that said you have to start in one place and work as long as you can. Then the next time you weed start in the same place and you can pick out the weeds quicker and then move onto a new area that you haven’t weeded. Sooner than you think the first areas you have done will be weed free and you can keep increasing the weeded area. I found this to be really effective as I am motivated by the weed free areas to get the rest of the yard done.

    1. Kaelee, excellent tip… I sort do that, but I haven’t done the bit about going back over the same place. But it makes sense, doesn’t it! There’s nothing more satisfying than seeing a weed-free patch growing!

      I’m pleased as punch with myself that I’ve finished digging over the garden bed for the zucchinis… no sign of the seeds sprouting yet. I’m resisting the temptation to scrape away a bit of dirt to see if there’s anything happening yet!

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