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Garden Tips

  • This winter storage method keeps clippers, shears and other tools clean and sharp.  Scoop clean sand into a new pail.  Mix 1/2 cup of oil into the sand. Sharpen and clean each tool with a file; sandpaper it, wipe with a clean rag and plunge into the sand for the winter.  The sand can be re-used for many years.
Bonnie Trowbridge, Little Compton GC (RI), Zone II
  • As you begin to order bulbs for the fall, don’t forget that simply by planting groups of the same bulbs on diffferent sides of your home (north, south, etc.), you will have a succesion of bloom

Diane Dalton, Chestnut Hill GC (MA), Zone 1


  • Bird feeders beware: sunflower seed hulls have an allelopathic effect that retards growth and germination of seeds of all adjacent plant material. (Hulled sunflowers seeds are available but very expensive if you feed birds by the ton.)  So be careful where you place your feeders, thoroughly rake or vacuum up the hulls and dispose of them. DO NOT COMPOST them when speing arrives.

  • In lieu of a compost pile for the kitchen, frappe fruit and vegetable peelings, rinds, trimmings, etc. in a food blender, then stir into a bucket of water to make a slurry. Pour this mixture on the garden for instant organic food. Plants, soil and worms love it!

Jane Robb, Santa Fe GC (NM), Zone XII