6 Tips To Revive Wilted Plants

Tips To Revive Wilted Plants

I mentioned recently that I have a little bit of a brown thumb. However, I’ve kept at gardening and learning about plants. I’ve improved over time. Along the way, I’ve picked up lots of tips to revive wilted plants. I wanted to share some of those with you today.

What Causes Plants to Wilt?

I made one of the biggest rookie gardening mistakes for a really long time. I assumed that if a little water is good for plants, then a lot of water is better. Therefore, I would always overwater just about everything. Many of my plants died as a result.

Many different things can cause plants to wilt, including:

  • Water imbalance – both too much water and too little can cause wilting
  • Light imbalance – too much sun or too little sun creates problems
  • Letting the plant get too hot
  • Over-fertilizing your plants
  • Disease – various fungi, bacteria, and viruses can impact plant health
  • The plant needs a bigger container to grow properly

Tips to Revive Wilted Plants

The most important of all tips to revive wilted plants is to identify the cause of the problem. Check the potential causes above. Then correct accordingly. This could mean moving your plant into more or less sunlight, repotting it, or changing the way you water it.

Here are some additional tips to revive wilted plants:

1. Learn about Overwatering

  • Research the specific water needs of each plant in your garden.
  • If the soil is moist and dark, the plant might not need water.
  • Water at the base of the plant, not from overhead.
  • Make sure that the water is able to drain properly.
  • Water during the day, not at night.

2. Consider Underwatering, Too

If you’re not watering the plant enough, then correct accordingly. The above tips will assist with that as well.

3. Give Plants The Right Amount of Sunlight

Again, research what your specific plants need in terms of sunlight. However, even plants that call for full sun might need shade if they’re wilting. Therefore, try adding shade to see if your plants heal and grow as a result. In particular, give shade to plants that appear to be getting too hot, whether or not they’re getting the right amount of light.

4. Try a Fungicide

You might have to rule out fungi, bacteria, etc. Start by trying a natural fungicide on your plants. You can easily DIY one of these to try at home. From there, you can explore options for treating various bacteria, etc., that are unique to different plants and regions.

5. Re-plant Your Plants

There are a few different reasons to try this option. First of all, the plant might have outgrown its post. If so, the wilting could be due to a need for more space. Second, though, the soil might be problematic. Therefore, replanting in new soil could help resolve the problem. This is true for plants in pots as well as those in the ground.

6. Watch, Try, Watch Again

Ultimately, let your plants tell you what they need. Look at the issue. Try something above to treat the problem. If it doesn’t work, watch some more, then try something new. Gardening includes trial and error. The more you listen to your plants, the better you’ll get at it.

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Does My Brown Thumb Make Gardening a Waste of Money?

Does My Brown Thumb Make Gardening a Waste of Money?

I have a confession to make: I have a bit of a brown thumb. In other words, I’m not that great at gardening. I have let more plants die than I’d like to admit. And yet, I keep trying to grow them and learning from my mistakes. Does this mean that gardening is a waste of my money? I don’t think so. Here’s why:

I Keep Gardening Costs Minimal

First of all, I don’t spend a lot of money on gardening costs. I live in a small apartment, so my options are limited anyway. I have indoor plants and windowsill plants. Obviously, I could still spend a lot of money getting really expensive plants and supplies. However, as a general rule of thumb, I stick to frugal gardening. Therefore, I don’t spend a lot of on gardening.

Re-Using Supplies Saves Money

Initially, I probably spent more money on gardening than I needed to. I didn’t fully understand how to reduce costs with DIY planters, etc. However, once I got the pots, the soil, the supplies, I didn’t need to keep buying most of them. I can re-use what I have. Therefore, ongoing costs are particularly minimal.

I Tend to Grow Plants I Can Use

For the most part, I grow edible plants. Sure, I’m imperfect at it. Nevertheless, I do tend to get some use out of the plant even if eventually the plant succumbs to my brown thumb. For example, I’m growing rosemary right now. I’ve successfully grown mushrooms. And I can usually grow herbs and lettuces fairly well. So, I spend money on the plant but then I consume the plant, so I usually at least break even, typically.

Gardening Is Affordable Entertainment

We all spend money on hobbies and entertainment. If I focus time and energy on learning how to garden, then that cost falls into that category. As far as hobbies go, it’s a very affordable one. If I enjoy frugal gardening and sometimes reap the rewards of food from my plants, then the cost is low for the number of hours that I’ve put into the work.

I’m Learning and Improving As I Go

Gardening doesn’t come naturally to me. Don’t believe me? Let me tell you the story of my first plant.

I was in first or second grade. We were each given a styrofoam cup along with seeds. We were taught how to plant the seeds into soil in the cup. Then we were taught to water the plant and let it grow. I don’t remember if I got anywhere with the plant. What I do remember is that we took our plant home for either winter break or summer break. I promptly stuck mine on a shelf … in a dark closet. I doubt I remembered to water it. Apparently, I hadn’t learned much in the class in gardening.

But when you start at the bottom, the only place to go is up! I have allowed more plants to die than I’d like to admit. However, each time, I get better at this. I’ve learned which plants are sturdier than others, which needs less water than my heavy hand is prone to give them, and how to notice a plant needs something before it’s actually dead so that I can turn things around.

I’m getting better and wasting less. And plants give us a lot in life: they’re calming, they add beauty to our homes, they improve health. So, I might have a brown thumb, but it’s not hopeless. And therefore, I think it’s worth it to keep on gardening.

What’s your worst story of killing a plant? Share in the comments so I feel less alone!

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5 Reasons To Use Fish Amino Acid on Your Plants

reasons to use fish amino acid

There are so many great reasons to use fish amino acid in your garden. Also known as fish fertilizer, this product provides nutrition to plants in ways that are similar to, but arguably potentially better than, other organic garden fertilizers. There are different types of fish fertilizer and different reasons to use fish amino acid in your garden.

What Is Fish Fertilizer?

There are different types of fish fertilizer, which all rely on the healthy ingredients in fish to feed your garden. These types include fish meal, fish emulsion, and hydrolyzed fish fertilizer. They’re each made a little bit differently. Some smell fishier than others, which people may find deters them from using those products. Some you can make yourself. The point of all of them is to maximize your garden’s health and growth in a natural, organic way.

What Is Fish Amino Acid?

Fish Amino Acid is a product that you can purchase or make yourself. Basically, you use a fermenting process to bring out the amino acid in fish scraps. You then use this product to improve the organic, natural growth in your garden.

5 Reasons To Use Fish Amino Acid on Your Plants

There are a lot of different reasons to use fish amino acid in your garden. Here are the top five:

1. It’s An Age-Old Organic Practice

Indigenous Americans often planted fish in their gardens because they knew that this would help grow their plants. Similarly, fish amino acid has historically been used in Korean natural farming practices. This age-old custom takes us back to the roots of gardening and crop-growing, when people relied on affordable, natural, organic materials. Getting away from commercial, chemical fertilizers is one of the most common reasons to use fish amino acid in your garden.

2. Naturally Provides Nutrients to Plants

Fish fertilizer provides many different nutrients, minerals, and vitamins to your plants. These include calcium, iron, nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Help your plants get everything that they need naturally with just a little bit of fish!

3. Plus, It Feeds The Soil

Fish fertilizer feeds your plants. However, it also feeds all of the soil that your plants are growing in. Your entire garden benefits from adding this product to your gardening process. Pennington explains that unlike fast-acting chemical fertilizer, slow-acting fish fertilizer feeds the whole garden in the best possible way. Bacteria, worms, and fungi in the soil all use what they need, processing it before it gets to the roots of the plant so that the plant can get exactly what it uses best. This aerates the soil allowing the roots of the plant also to have the best soil in which to thrive.

4. Put Fish Scraps to Use

Frugal gardening goes hand-in-hand with avoiding waste, right? If you already eat fish in your home, then avoid wasting the parts that you don’t eat by putting them right into your garden. You can also ask your local butcher for fish scraps. Save them from wasting away in a landfill by turning them into fertilizer.

5. Affordable Fertilizer Option

If you use fish that you or the butcher would throw away anyway to DIY your own fish fertilizer then it’s basically going to cost you almost nothing extra at all. Therefore, you save money. You don’t have to buy fertilizer when you can make it on the cheap.

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5 Fun Ways to Use Yarn in the Garden

using yarn in the garden

I am a crafter. Mostly, I crochet, although I also knit and weave and collage and enjoy some other crafty activities. As a result of my craft, I have a lot of yarn in my home. Most of it I will use to crochet, of course. However, over the years, I’ve found that yarn can be used in myriad ways. So, I got to thinking, how could I use yarn in the garden? Here are five ways that the frugal material of yarn can add both beauty and function to your gardening:

1. Self-Watering Plants With Yarn

Don’t spend a lot of money on an automatic drip system to water your plants. Instead, use yarn. Real Simple explains that you can place a jar of water near your potted plants. Insert one end of yarn into the jar and the other deep into the soil of the plant. When the plant needs water, it will actually draw what it needs through the yarn from the jar. Amazing, right?!

2. Make Wool Compost

There are many different fiber types when it comes to craft yarn. If you craft with wool, then you have a lot more options in the garden. It’s a natural material that will break down in the environment. It’s safe for your land and your plants. For example, you can actually make a wool compost that works as well as peat does for mulching.

3. Make a Yarn Trellis

There are many different yarn trellis patterns and tutorials. Whether you make a simple yarn grid or a complex crochet trellis, you can use this in your garden to grow your plants vertically. It’s one of the most affordable ways to build up and it’s pretty as well.

4. Decorating the Garden with Yarn

Speaking of pretty, decor is one of the most popular ways to use your yarn in the garden. You can yarnbomb your plants and trees, knit or crochet ornaments to hang in the garden or create an entire little yarn fairy garden. Yarn adds even more color to your garden.

Note that you can also use yarn to label your plants. Assign each plant a specific color of yarn. Tie that color to a plant stake to place in the ground near the seeds for that plant. This is a great way to both decorate your garden with yarn and also remember what you planted where before it starts to grow each season!

5. Plant Holders

You can decorate any of your plant holders, indoor or out, using yarn. You can crochet or macrame hanging baskets to hold pots that you want to keep up off of the floor. Even if you don’t have any specific craft skills, you can wrap yarn around containers or pots of any size to decorate them.

BONUS: Crafting in the Garden

Although I didn’t include it in the main list, I can’t neglect to mention the most obvious way that you can enjoy yarn in your garden. You can take your yarn out into the garden and craft there! Knitting and crochet offer so many health benefits. So does nature. When you combine the two by crafting in the garden, you reap more benefits of each/

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DIY Squash Trellis Under $10


DIY squash trellis under $10

Growing squash is a great idea. There are many great squash varieties to feed your family. However, you want to plan ahead when growing squash. If you don’t, then this plant can take over your entire garden. In particular, you’ll want to train your squash to grow on a trellis. Here are some great ideas for how to make a DIY squash trellis under $10.

Why You Need a Squash Trellis

Rural Sprout explains that squash will absolutely overrun a garden if you plant this vegetable without a trellis. Like an octopus, they’ll reach their tentacles all over the place. This can wreak havoc on your other plants. Therefore, you want to use a squash trellis. You can train the squash to grow up a vertical trellis. According to Rural Sprout, the benefits of vertical gardening for squash plants include:

  • Saves space, allowing for more squash growth while retaining space to grow other plants
  • Keeps squash fruit off of the ground, improving the fruit and the plants as a whole (yes, squash is a fruit)
  • It’s easier to harvest squash grown vertically on a trellis
  • The vertical design gives you opportunities for enhancing your garden’s aesthetic design

Squash To Grow on a Trellis

There are many different types of squash that you can grow in your backyard garden. Gardening Know How says that some of the best squash for vertical gardening include acorn squash, delicata, yellow summer squash and zucchini. You can grow other squash vertically but the heavier varieties will require stronger trellis reinforcement.

How to DIY Squash Trellis Under $10

You can purchase a squash trellis. However, frugal gardeners can easily make a DIY squash trellis under $10. Here are some great examples of how to do so:

Put some basic woodworking skills to the test to create this DIY Squash Trellis under $10. As you can see, you’ll make some simple cuts in your wood. You’ll actually use 10 1x2x96 furring strips, which cost less than $1 each at most home improvement stores. Assemble the smaller and larger pieces as shown in the video, propping them up together to create the squash trellis. As long as you already have the saw and drill, this is a very affordable project.HJ

Here’s another great example of how to DIY a squash trellis. In this example, you buy 5′ stakes designed for growing tomatoes and other plants. You attach them to the planter at an angle so that the squash (or in this example, the cucumbers) can grow upwards at that angle. Then you build out the frame to create a fuller trellis. You add wires horizontally within the frame. The vine tendrils from your squash will climb those wires. This is another super simple project under $10.

Tips For Growing Squash

Here are some additional tips for vertical squash gardening:

  • You can adapt these DIY ideas to any wood or fencing that you already have at home. It’s great to repurpose those items.
  • Secure your vertical trellis posts deep in the ground. You want the bottom of the trellis to be able to bear a lot of vertical weight as the squash plants grow.
  • Make sure that your plants get plenty of sunlight.
  • Train the plants to grow where you want them to by guiding the vines onto the trellis wires as they grow.
  • For heavier squash plants, either grow them on the ground or add slings to support the squash as they grow. Otherwise they can break off at the stems. Watch as they grow in size to get a sense of whether or not you’ll need this additional support.

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8 Uses of Baking Soda in Gardening

uses of baking soda in gardening

Baking soda is one of the most amazing, affordable products available to us. Hopefully you’re already using baking soda for cleaning throughout your home. If not, then you’re spending more money than you should on household cleaners. And today let’s talk about how baking soda’s benefits don’t stop there. There are so many uses of baking soda in gardening. Here are eight big ones:

1. Baking Soda for Soil Testing

Everything that you grow needs to grow in the right soil. The soil’s pH level is one of the most critical factors. Therefore, you should do soil testing before you plant. Baking soda provides an easy, cheap way to do that. Here’s what to do:

  • Take a tablespoon of soil and place it in a container.
  • Add a little bit of distilled water until the soil is mud.
  • Add a little bit of baking soda.
  • Watch.
  • Does the soil fizz? If so, then your soil has an acidic pH level.

Bonus tip: If the soil doesn’t fizz with baking soda, then you should do a second test. Take a fresh tablespoon of the soil. Add distilled vinegar to it. If it fizzes now, then your soil has an alkaline pH level. However, if neither the bakingd soda nor the vinegar cause fizzing, then you have soil with neutral pH.

2. Boost Your Plant Fertilization

Balcony Garden Web has a number of great suggestions of uses of baking soda in gardening. For example, they suggest   adding baking soda to fertilize slow-growing, dull-appearing plants. They say that you should mix one teaspoon each of baking soda and Epsom set with 1/2 teaspoon ammonia in one gall of water. Then add approximately one quart of that solution to each plant that you want to fertilize. You should seem them grow faster and brighter in no time.

3. Make Your Tomatoes Taste Better

This is one of my favorite tips from Balcony Garden Web. They explain that if you simply sprinkle a little bit of baking soda around the base of your tomato plants, you’ll be able to grow sweeter tomatoes. How is this possible? The soil absorbs the baking soda, lowering the natural acidity levels of the plant itself. Baking soda costs so little and yet it can work so much magic!

4. Get Rid of Garden Pests

It’s always so difficult to decide how to handle garden pests like worms and slugs. Some of them don’t do that much damage and you might decide to leave them alone. Others, however, can wreak havoc in your garden. If you don’t want to lose your plants, then you have to find some way to deal with them.

Baking soda can provide a solution. It’s eco-friendly and generally kind to your plants. However, it works as a pesticide. You can put it directly on slugs and gnats to kill them. Alternatively, you can make a solution that you spray on your plants to keep pests away.

5. Uses of Baking Soda on Plant Leaves

Did you know that if you have indoor household plants, you’re supposed to clean them? That’s right, household dust can settle on them and ruin them. A baking soda solution is a simple way to clean those leaves.

Even outdoors, though, you might find that baking soda helps the leaves of your plants. For example, a baking soda solution can help prevent fungus growth on plant leaves.

6. Add Baking Soda to Cut Flowers

Do you grow flowers in your backyard garden? If so, then perhaps you sometimes cut them and put them in a vase for yourself or to gift to others. Make those flowers last as long as possible by adding just a little bit of baking soda to the water inside that vase.

7. Deodorize Compost

Hopefully you have a compost for your garden. It’s such a waste if you don’t. However, the smell of a compost pile might have deterred you. If that’s the case, then baking soda can come to the rescue. Just sprinkle a little bit on top of the compost regularly. The smell will go away. You can then reap all the benefits of composting in your garden.

8. Cleaning Around the Garden

The plants are the most important part of your garden. However, they’re not the only part. You have gardening tools, statues, chairs, etc. Make sure that you keep all of these things clean for the best garden experience. Baking soda makes a great natural cleaner for all of these.

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7 Financial Benefits of Backyard Gardening

Financial Benefits of Backyard Gardening

You probably started gardening as a hobby. However, you might have always wondered if you could use gardening to save money. You certainly can. In fact, you can actually garden to make money if you’re savvy about it. The financial benefits of backyard gardening go beyond just saving at the grocery store, too! Here are seven ways you can save / make money with your backyard garden:

1. Save Money on Food

Obviously, the first money-saving thing most people think about is eating from their garden. That’s definitely one of the financial benefits of backyard gardening. After all, there are so many vegetables and herbs that you can grow yourself at a cost that’s significantly lower than what you’d pay for the same quantity at the grocery store. Earth Easy shares that some of the most cost-effective vegetables to grow include lettuce, bell peppers, squash, tomatoes, and garlic.

2. Sell Your Extras

Many people grow more than they can ever possibly eat in one season. If you’re skilled enough to create such bounty, then you can definitely profit off of it. You might set up a stand at the local farmer’s market. Perhaps you just want to set up a table in your own front yard on the weekends. Or maybe you just want to advertise on social media what you’re selling during your harvest period. Whatever method you choose, this is a great way to supply others in your area with fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs, and even flowers while also making some money.

Remember that you can also harvest your seeds and cuttings for sale to other backyard gardeners. Also, consider bartering with those gardeners. Trading what you have for what you need means that you don’t need to spend that extra money at the grocery store.

3. Plants as Gifts

You don’t have to spend money on extra gifts when you have plenty growing right in your own backyard. Head back there and pick a bouquet of fresh flowers. Make a basket of fruits and vegetables. Or collect herbs in a little envelope. These are special, personal, useful gifts that don’t cost you anything extra since you’re gardening anyway.

4. The Money You Save on Entertainment and Exercise

Debt Helper points out that working in the garden is exercise. Therefore, you save on gym memberships and exercise equipment. Similarly, many people enjoy garden time as a form of entertainment. Cancel your streaming television services and get outside to watch the plants grow instead. These financial benefits of backyard gardening might not be obvious. However, done intentionally, you can save a lot of money by thinking of all your garden provides.

5. Health Benefits of Gardening

Gardening offers so many benefits. The exercise you get from it is just one of those benefits. You also get Vitamin D, reduce stress, and derive many other benefits from your garden. Improving your physical and mental health is good for how you feel. It’s also good for your bank account. You’ll save money by avoiding doctors, medication, and the downtime of ill health.

6. Rent Out Your Garden

US News notes that you can make extra money by renting out your garden. If you have a beautiful space, then you might rent it out for events. Photographers might like to photograph your garden and the items in it. Even with a small garden, you might rent it out for picnics, wine nights, or craft sessions. Try using AirBnb Experiences to advertise unique opportunities like this for extra income.

7. Offer Gardening Classes

You’ve already learned a lot in your own backyard garden. Therefore, you possess knowledge that you can share with others. Many people would be willing to pay for your knowledge. Host classes in your garden.

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What Is the Best Growing Medium for Basil?

Basil is a wonderful herb. It goes well in a variety of different foods. Moreover, you can use it to spice up beverages. However, it’s costly to buy basil leaves at the store. Therefore, you can save a lot of money by planting basil in your own container garden instead. You can use soil, of course. However, is that the best growing medium for basil? Let’s explore.

Growing Basil in Soil

If you assumed that you should plant basil in soil, then you’re not alone. We plant most herbs in soil, after all. This is certainly an option as a growing medium for basil. The Kitchn explains that basil thrives in soil with a neutral pH. While you might add compost at the start of the growing season (which is typically in May), you don’t want to make the soil too rich. If you do, it surprisingly dulls the flavor of the herb itself. Instead, just make sure that you keep the soil moist, but drained well, and let the basil grow.

Alternatives to Soil As Growing Medium for Basil

Soil is a perfectly suitable choice for growing basil. However, if you want your herbs to thrive, then it’s worth exploring other options. Plantsvsnewbies.com explores what happens when you try to grow basil in a teabag, for example, or on a sponge. Here’s what it found:

Grow Basil In a Tea Bag

In this experiment, you would do the following:

  1. Make a vertical slit at the center of a teabag.
  2. Add the basil seeds to the tea inside of the bag.
  3. Close the slit on the teabag.
  4. Place the entire bag in a water container cover.
  5. Sprinkle it with cinnamon powder. This helps to prevent fungi.

Grow Basil in a Sponge

Alternatively, you might choose a sponge as a growing medium for basil. Cut a small piece off of a sponge such as a Magic Eraser. Make small slices and set the basil seeds inside. Place the sponge inside of the water container cover.

Conclusion: Best Growing Medium for Basil

After growing the basil in these different options for two weeks, we discover that fungi tend to take over the teabag. Therefore, it’s not the best growing medium for basil. The sponge works better. However, the soil does end up as the best option.

Of course, if this type of experiment intrigues you, then you might want to play around with different water and sun options using the tea bag and sponge to see if you can get better results with them. This type of direct experimentation can help you better understand the plants in your garden.

On the other hand, if you trust the experiment, then you can go ahead and plant your basil in the soil. The Kitchn recommends keeping the plant in the sun for about six hours per day. Plant seeds about one foot apart, water the base (not the leaves) when dry, and plant it alongside chamomile, oregano, peppers, or lettuce for best results. Then enjoy the tasty rewards!

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