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Gardening tips 2022 — Expert reveals how to keep squirrels out of garden with simple $4 grocery item


A GARDENER has advised using cayenne pepper to protect your plants and flowers from pests.

Cayenne pepper is widely used in fiery sauces and may be added to dishes to add taste, but they’re also an effective pest exterminator, according to experts.

The spice is disliked by critters such as raccoons and squirrels.

If they try to eat pepper-covered leaves from your garden, they’re likely to get a shock from the spice.

Squirrel repellents are only a temporary remedy; if you have cherished plants, enclosing them in wire screening or mesh will keep garden pests away for a longer period of time.

Bulk cayenne pepper flakes and powdered cayenne pepper spice may be found at discount retailers.

According to Mike’s Backyard Nursery, other scents that deter squirrels include garlic, peppermint, and mothballs.

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  • Keeping squirrels out of your garden: Row covers

    Install row covers, bird netting, or chicken wire to keep squirrels out of your garden, or line the bottom soil with hardware cloth, Master Class says.

    All of these methods will keep squirrels out of the plants while yet allowing for sunshine and simple watering.

  • Keeping squirrels out of your garden: Mothballs

    A fragrance that is contentious among people is also a natural repellant for squirrels.

    To deter squirrels, use mothballs near your plants or on top of the dirt in a potted plant, Master Class recommends.

    Replacing them every few weeks or when the fragrance disappears is a good idea.

  • Keeping squirrels out of your garden: Hot peppers

    Squirrels despise the smell and taste of capsaicin, which is found in chili peppers.

    Sprinkle some cayenne pepper, spicy sauce, or chili pepper flakes on top of the soil to use as a natural squirrel repellant.

    Grow fiery chili peppers instead—the squirrels won’t touch the plant.

  • More plant watering tips

    To prevent your plant’s leaves from burning, try to water just the soil, where the roots of the plants are.

    Experts also advise watering your plants in the morning so that if the leaves do get wet, they can dry out with the help of the sun during the day.

    Wet foliage can lead to disease.

  • Do not forget to water your plants

    Always check the soil before watering your plants.

    Use your hand to push down into the dirt a few inches to see if the soil is dry below the surface.

    If it is still wet, wait another day before watering.

    Making sure your plants have enough water is key to keep them alive and healthy
    Making sure your plants have enough water is key to keep them alive and healthyCredit: Getty Images – Getty, Paul Bradbury
  • Experts on using straw

    “Straw in the garden is best used like a mulch,” horticulture expert Eric De Boer told Homes and Gardens.

    The material acts “as a barrier to protect from weed germination and to also help shield the soil from the sun to increase the soil’s water retention.”

    Other plant experts told the outlet that using straw in the garden has countless benefits that preserve the longevity of your plants.

    “‘Straw is a natural weed suppressor. It will help keep weeds from growing in the garden while also conserving moisture,” said Brody Hall, a certified horticulturist and land manager from The Indoor Nursery.

  • Keep weeds away with straw

    According to horticulturists and plant professionals, all-natural straw is one of the most effective tools to bring into your garden.

    You don’t need to buy a whole bale – you can typically buy smaller bundles at your local farm store for upwards of $2.

    Some hardware stores even sell pre-portioned bags made for gardens, which can cost closer to $15 but can be found on the shelves or online.

  • How to use garden lime to kill weeds

    To combat pesky weeds, the experts at Balcony Garden Web advised to: “Spread lime using a spreader if your soil doesn’t have a calcium to magnesium ratio of 7 to 1.”

    The best way to figure out if your garden could benefit from lime is to have a soil test done by state Cooperative Extension offices, according to Better Homes and Gardens.

    Simply follow their soil-sample collection directions and you’ll receive all kinds of information back about the conditions of your garden, including its calcium and magnesium levels.

  • How to use garden lime to kill weeds

    To combat pesky weeds, the experts at Balcony Garden Web advised to: “Spread lime using a spreader if your soil doesn’t have a calcium to magnesium ratio of 7 to 1.”

    The best way to figure out if your garden could benefit from lime is to have a soil test done by state Cooperative Extension offices, according to Better Homes and Gardens.

    Simply follow their soil-sample collection directions and you’ll receive all kinds of information back about the conditions of your garden, including its calcium and magnesium levels.

  • $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.

  • Gardener shares Astrantia Major bloom

    A gardener on Twitter shared the flower of an Astrantia Major, which bloomed in her garden.

    “The flowers are so intricate and delicate looking but it’s a tough plant that is easy to grow and self seeds readily in my garden,” she wrote.

  • How to use sugar on lawn

    Expert Jordan Page said you don’t have to be precise and use a spreader, but instead, she recommended using an old juice container with a wide mouth to shake out the sugar.

    She advised that you can’t use “too much” sugar, but typically you will want to use a 5-pound bag for every one thousand feet of lawn.

    Page also recommended applying sugar several times during your first year of the process to help make up for years of chemical damage.

    After applying the sugar, she said to simply wet down your lawn.

  • Save hundreds by using sugar

    Expert Jordan Page — the “Fun Cheap or Free Queen” — revealed how she uses sugar to keep her lawn greener than ever.

    Rather than spend somewhere around $300-$500 on weeding and fertilizers, you can use white table sugar to solve many of your lawn’s problems.

    Typically costing around $4, sugar is both super cheap and super easy to apply to your lawn.

    Other than making your grass extra green, she said sugar is also beneficial for the environment.

  • Replace fertilizer with sugar

    Sugar helps feed the beneficial microbes, insects, and worms within the grass, which would usually be killed by fertilizer.

    These microbes and insects help to improve the soil structure, increase photosynthesis, and provide resistance to extreme climates.

  • How pool noodles can help your garden

    A garden pro named Jamie, who goes by @mama.jmarie on TikTok, loves the look of oversized planters.

    These giant pots, however, are sometimes hard to fill so that the flowers stand tall enough.

    Jamie said she has an easy solution— and it only requires one Dollar Tree purchase.

    “For those large flower pots, use pool noodles to take up extra space,” she said, while cutting up chunks of a foam noodle and placing them at the bottom of the pot.

    “This also provides drainage for your plants.”

  • Regrow your green onions

    Green onions are one of the easiest veggies to test your kitchen scrap gardening skills.

    Take the white end of the onion, with its roots intact, and re-plant it in potting soil.

    The place it in a sunny window and keep it watered, the publication says.

    It can take less than two weeks until the plant will be tall enough to snip the top off and add to your next meal.

  • Grow your own food with kitchen scraps

    The kitchen scraps you usually toss in the trash can actually be used to grow your own food, according to a gardening expert. 

    In an online post, the gardening experts at Farmer’s Almanac say you can build a surprisingly robust garden by regrowing vegetable scraps into plants.

    “Kitchen scrap gardening is the ultimate in recycling,” the Farmer’s Almanac writes. 

    “It’s environmentally friendly, can save on grocery bills, and it’s a fun, hands-on science lesson for young children.”

    The periodical lists a dozen veggies that are great for kitchen scrap gardening, with tips for how to blossom them into fully growing vegetables.

  • Hanging a water bottle

    You could create another slow-release watering system by hanging a plastic bottle over your plants.

    Simply take a bottle, pierce tiny holes in the bottom half and then enclose the bottle in a sock – other fabric should work just as fine.

    You can then hang this above your plant by securing it to a stick that rests inside of your plant pot – but make sure it’s done so securely.

    Just like with the ‘magic’ burying method, the plants will have a steady flow of water.

  • Water your plants with ‘magic’ water bottle trick

    Gardening experts have said that a cheap, plastic water bottle can be an eco-friendly watering tool for gardeners.

    “Using a plastic water bottle to create a simple, yet effective, watering system is a great solution to repurpose an item that could otherwise end up in a landfill,” expert Sara Dixon said.

    To make the irrigation system, simply poke holes in the water bottle and cover it with a sock or another piece of fabric before burying it inside of the planter – with the opening visible at the top of the soil.

    The small holes mean the bottle will act as a slow-release watering system.

  • Best plants for a first garden

    A plant expert at Insider reported the six best plants for new gardeners to grow in their garden.

    • Ferns
    • Carrots
    • Pansies
    • Succulents
    • Tomatoes
    • Hydrangeas
  • Leave space between beds

    When creating your garden, remember to leave about two feet between raised beds so that you can tend the plants comfortably.

    “People don’t think about the fact that they have to come through and work on these gardens and then they get annoyed and then they stop working on the beds,” gardening expert Kevin Espiritu explained.

  • Mulching makes a healthy garden

    Mulch is an organic covering for the top of your soil and it helps keep it moist by protecting the surface of the soil.

    Mulching reduces the amount that you should water your plants, so it’s important to get it right.

    When you make a raised bed or any type of bed, you should always add mulch.

    You can use a shredded straw or composted wood chips.

  • Investing in good products matters

    Espiritu also noted that having good soil is key to maintaining a successful garden.

    “If you’re going to invest in something, you should invest in your soil,” the expert noted.

    “You don’t go buy a nice quality raised bed and try to grow plants in that system with crappy soil. It doesn’t make any sense at all.”

  • Mistakes to avoid when starting a raised garden

    Starting a raised garden can be overwhelming, but Youtuber Kevin Espiritu shared a video to hopefully help prevent common mistakes.

    First of all, the position of the garden matters. Gardeners should make sure that their plants face the sun to get the proper amount of sunlight.

    Gardeners should also be sure that their gardens are getting the proper amount of water – and an irrigation system is important.

  • Flattening a bumpy lawn, conclusion

    Fill the uneven patches using a hard-bristled brush to create a level surface, and water them well to encourage new grass to grow.

    Finally, sow some fresh grass seeds on any areas that are bare and need re-covering.

    Make sure to distribute more on scarce patches or on lumps that have born torn up.

    Always lay grass seeds on a mild, spring day and make sure to water them well once the seeds have been sown.





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