During dry spells, a good way to get water to the roots of your plants is to place several drip irrigators around your garden. You can make them from clean 1-gallon (3.7-liter) juice or detergent jugs. Cut a large hole in the bottom of a jug, then drill 2-5 tiny (about 1/16-inch or 1.5-millimeter) holes in or around the cap. Bury the capped jugs upside down about three-quarters submerged beneath the soil near the plants you need to water, and fill with water through the hole on top. Refill as often as needed.
Here’s a neat trick for quickly getting your seeds sown in straight rows of evenly spaced holes. Mark out the spacing you need on a board. Drill drywall screws through the holes, using screws that will pro-trude about 3/4 inch (2 centimeters) through the board. Now twist wine corks onto the screws. Just press the board, corks down, into your garden bed, and voilà — instant seed holes.
Use an emery board to remove the hard coating on seeds before you plant them. This will speed sprouting and help them absorb moisture.
If you’re out in the garden faced with a plot of earth that needs seeding, turn to your kitchen drawer for help. An ice-cream scoop will make equal-sized planting holes for the seeds for your future harvest.
Sow your seeds with a little TLC. When planting seeds in rows, use a large paintbrush to gently brush them over with soil. This lets you distribute the exact amount of soil needed and prevents overpacking.
It’s harder than it looks to make straight garden rows freehand. Use string two ways to keep plants in line:
- For planting heavy seeds such as beans, put sticks in the ground at each end of a row and run a piece of string between to guide you as you plant.
- To plant dozens of lightweight seeds in a snap, cut string to the length of a row, wet it thoroughly, then sprinkle the seed directly on it. The moisture will make seeds stick long enough to lay the string in a prepared furrow. Just cover the string with soil and you’re done!
Make your own seed strip to create perfectly straight rows in your garden with almost no effort. Sprinkle some seeds on a piece of wax paper and use your fingers to arrange and align them. After removing the excess, take a strip of transparent tape and place it over the seeds. Then just bury the tape in the garden and you will soon have perfect rows.
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