Entries from May 11, 2014 - May 17, 2014


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12 Helpful Gardening Tips

While most plants just need to be planted in the right spot and then get the right amount of water and sun to thrive, there are some things you can do that might help your plants grow, or things you might want to do as a gardener that might seem trickier than they actually are. Here are some ideas for dealing with those things.

1. Water With Diet or Club Soda

Because of the nutrients in diet and/or club soda, both can help you have greener and healthier plants. While you don't want to substitute for water entirely, adding these to your watering regimen can be good for your plants. Just don't water with sugared soda, as this is not helpful for plant health and growth.

2. Learn How to Grow From Cuttings

Save money by propagating plants like rosemary and lavender from cuttings. This is cheaper than buying the plants from the store and can be easy if you follow all of the directions. Be sure to use rooting hormone, as it makes the process faster and more likely to produce the plant you want.

3. Add Tea and Coffee Grounds to Your Soil

Some plants, like blueberries, azaleas, and rhododendrons, love acidic soil (this is information you can get from your experienced gardener!). If you're planting some of these, add a sprinkling of ¼ inch of tea or coffee grounds to the soil each month, and its pH should stay on the acidic side.

4. Start Seedlings in Lemon Halves

If you live in a cooler climate, you may want to start some of your plants inside before it's warm enough to plant them outside. Halve a lemon, carve out the fruit, and poke a small hole in the bottom for drainage. Then, plant your seed in the half lemon. This adds to the nutrients your plant will get, and you can put the whole thing in the ground when you finally plant.

5. Use Some Plants to Shade Others

Growing vegetables can get tricky, because most vegetable gardens get more sun than some plants need. If you grow climbing plants on a trellis at an angle over some of these other plants, then you can achieve the part-shade necessary for optimal plant growth. You can put vegetables, like cucumbers, on the trellis, or you can grow something like morning glory to provide your shade.

6. Pluck the First Flowers

Plants need to devote themselves to growing solid roots before they focus on fruit. Thus, if you pluck the first flowers on your vegetable plants, they will have a better chance at getting the root system they need to support better fruit later on. This is particularly true for tomatoes, though it can be applied to any fruit-bearing plant.

7. Water in the Morning

Or at dusk. Just avoid watering in the heat of the day. This saves water, but it also protects your plants from burning and helps them avoid excessive water loss from evaporation.

8. Use Packing Peanuts to Improve Drainage

When you're planting in a pot, it's important to have good drainage in place. Alternate layers of packing peanuts with layers of soil to help achieve this goal. You can also use small rocks to achieve this, but packing peanuts have the added bonus of being light, making the pot easier to move.

9. Use Coffee Filters to Save Soil

You may have noticed that most pots for plants have small holes in the bottom. That's so any excess water can drain out. However, you can also lose soil this way. Line the bottom of your pots with coffee filters to avoid this problem.

10. Fertilize With Milk

Because of the amount of calcium it contains, as well as some other nutrients, milk is a great fertilizer for most plants. This is especially true if you're wanting to avoid commercial fertilizers. If you're concerned about antibiotics on your plants, be sure to buy organic milk!

11. Add Egg Shells

Adding egg shell halves around your plants can deter certain types of pests, and putting them in the bottom of a hole where you plant can help your plants get more calcium, which many plants need to grow and some need to help avoid certain types of rot. Experimenting with this can help you figure out which plants need extra help growing.

12. Make a Mini Greenhouse

Use half a soda bottle over a seedling to create the warmer environment your seed might need to sprout. This can help ensure that your summer garden is successful by giving your seeds a jump start at growth.


Free Ritz Crackerfuls Coupon

Go here and click on the “Get a Free Sample” button to request a coupon by mail for a FREE Nabisco Ritz Crackerfuls (value up to $2.78). Allow 4-6 weeks for delivery. Limit 1 per household.

30% Off Graduation Announcements

Graduation season is here. Your little one isn't so little anymore and it's time to announce to the world that he or she is finally leaving the asylum...I mean, whatever school they are in.


Now it's time to announce it in style with classy invitations from Tiny Prints, who is having their best sale of the entire year on graduation announcements and graduation party invitations. From now until May 13, new customers can get 30% off PLUS free shipping!

Here's how to take advantage of this great offer:

  1. Visit Tiny Prints Graduation Page and browse their selection of more than a thousand designs.
  2. Choose the design you like.
  3. Add pictures, customize the text, and make them awesome in your own style (you might want to involve that "little one" too).
  4. When you checkout, use the code GRAD30FS to save 30% and get free shipping (reminder: it's good for new customers only, but if you are a previous customer, you can still save up to 25% using the code GRAD25MAY)
  5. Once you get the cards, announce it to the world. (Make sure to order a few extra as keepsakes, though)

Toys R Us: 50% Off Partyware

Go here where you can print a 50% off Partyware, Greeting Cards, Wrapping Paper, Party Favors, Pinatas, Party Accessories, Balloons and Candles coupon. Expires May 17th.

Win a LEGOLand Vacation 

You could win a LEGOland vacation, go here to enter, good luck! 
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