Trowel & Error by Sharon Lovejoy (April book)

KODAK Digital Still Camera   KODAK Digital Still Camera

6 people were in attendance

Note:   It was deemed appropriate that the it be mentioned that some of the gardening processes listed in this book is not approved by the University of Illinois Extension.  The book was a fun read (as you can see below many pages of notes were taken).

A comment was made that the author must have an investment in soap!    Was wondering about the side effects

book was published in 2003

The book earned a 3.5 smiley face rating 🙂

One book clubber adds:  Although an attractively illustrated book, I found it repetitive and presenting material, if I am not mistaken, that MGV’s are supposed to disregard because it lacks science.  I also found some of what she presented to be in error, which made me question the validity of everything.

Perhaps, some of my irritation with the book comes from having had so many clippings of Jerry Baker sent to me by my mother when I was much younger.  He made the same types of recommendations and was very popular in his day.


Book had an oustanding appendix listing plants for beneficial insects

  •      critter housing
  •       bumblebee abode
  •       and much more

also gives web resources

different organization (web  access)


Chapter 1  Tricks & Tools that bent the rules

  • Attach a soap dish
  • wooden spoons
  • for clean up scrub with a mixture:
    • of 1/3 white vinegar
    • 1/3 rubbing alcohol
    • 1/3 water
  • use worn out toothbrushes for scrubbers
  • oil jobs:
    • fill hand soap dispenser with mineral oil
    • squirt the oil onto metal tools
    • or when you want to remove sticky sap
    • then wipe tools with steel wool
  • For a string trimmer coat the line with mineral oil and spray with Pam

The purpose of a garden is to give its owner the best and highest kind of earthly pleasure

  • Use pinup for plants
  •  create a journal for history of the garden
  • Chart the sun throughout growing season
  • use socks to protect arms from thorn needles
  • use concrete reinforcing wire as a trellis or arbor
  • use inexpensive bushel baskets for potatoes and tomatoes
  • paint inch and footmarks on your wooden handles.

Plant Labels

  • laminate seed packet and glue them to a tongue depressor
  • for tiny label write plants name on a tongue depressor
  • set up half barrels to catch the rain
    • plants like warm water
    • makes hand watering easier
  • use an old ladder for trellis or raised beds.
  • use trash cans, they can hold:
    • mulch
    • worm castings
    • fertilizer
    • organic compost
  • Rinse out your bleach bottle with a handle and you have a scooper (trimmed)
  • use milk bottle to keep plants worm (trimmed)
  • use an old hose to imitate snakes (snakeskin).  This will keep squirrels, racoons, and birds away from your fruit
  • Gardeners helpers:
    • glue a mirror on a yardstick to check the undersides of your plants
    • steady drip of water attracts song birds (bucket with a hole in it).
    • turn your spade into another set of hand (for watering)
    • tin cans with lids can be used as perches for melons and squash
    • cans without lids serve as protective housing
    • save old coffee cans w/lid and put diseased leaves of plants in, close lid, and dispose the leaves into the trash
    • Don’t compost rusty leaves rust spore travel through the air and enters the stomata in leaves
    • Use your car to dry plant
    • When cleaning your pond, the nutrient rich algae and scummy water…use this as fertilizer  soil around the plants
    • use backing boards to reflect light onto vines

Lovejoy’s best tips….

  • spot-test potions before every spray, so your plants will survive and pests go away.

Chapter 2

Potions     start with bucket of soapy water

  • for pest and disease
  • set up barriers
  • welfare of the soil

Examples of potion:

  • aspirin:  black spot
  • baking soda: prevents fungus spores
  • boric acid:  wipes out ants
  • Canola oil:  smother insects
  • Castor oil:  repels moles
  • chili powder: pesticide and repellent
  • cinnamon powder:  antifungal and anti-ant
  • Corn gluten meal:  inhibits germination of weeds
  • Epson salt: quick shot of magnesium, promotes growth of flowers and foliage
  • Essential oils:  antifeedant and pest buster
  • Fermented salmon:  thwarts pest, rich in nutrients, amino acid, and fatty acids
  • Fish emulsion and kelp”  natural organic fertilizer
  • page 21  10% done
  • flour: plant being plagued by grasshoppers
  • isopropyl rubbing alcohol.: jump-start microbial action, attracks harmful insects to traps
  • Honey:  a lure for ants
  • Petroleum jelly:  a sticky barrier to apply to trunks
  • Liquid Soap:  Dr. Bronner’s, Fels Naphtha, or any pure castile soap.  Available in health food stores
  • Tabasco sauce:   pesticide and repellent
  • Vegetable or mineral oil:  destroys insect pests
  • Vinegar:  fights fungus gnats
  • White glue:  seals small pruning cuts (especially good for ross)
  • why soap:
    • basis of many potions
    • it emulsifies
    • blend together
    • a wetting agent
    • abides by uniform coverage of the leaf or insect bodies
    • make a abrasive barrier
    • it’s mined
    • ground
    • and sifted

Diatomaceous Earth:

Spraying Tips

  1. test homemade sprays on a small portion of a plant
  2. always use soap
  3. Prevent sunburned ;eaves by spraying early in the morning and temp is below 85 F
  • when spraying use rubber gloves and wear eye and noise protection in windy conditions
  • inspect plants before you spray


  • When your tomatoes start to grow, pour onto the soil
    • 2 tablespoons Epson Salts
    • 1 Gallon of water
  • why oil?
    • will destroy insect pest
    • smother their eggs
    • coat leaves
    • forms a physical barrier
  • Calcium Booster
    • use cab shells
    • need to crush them
    • put in soil by tomatoes
  • Keep Cocktail
    • talking about kelp
    • has 60 minerals
    • one of the best plant foods
    • spray on a kelp cocktail to prevent frost damage
    • use kelp for healthy apples (improve bud hardness…monthly)
  • Instruction of making a container champagne
  • discussed sprinkling wood ashes in the spring P. 25
  • Basil fights harmful leaf hoppers
    • put in 1/2 gallon of basil leaves, stems
    • use a glass jar
    • fill it with water
    • set in sun for couple of days
    • after straining out the solids
    • you are ready to load your spray bottle
  • Steps for the:L
    • blackstrap molasse spray
    • saucy spray
    • hot shot
      • using red pepper 2 tablespoons
      • 6 drops of liquid soap
      • 1 gallon of water
      • let it sit overnight and stir thoroughly
      • for the cabbage family
  • Orange Aid
    • Citrus contains limonene and linalool which are contact poisins for aphids, fleas, fire ants, houseflies, and mealy bugs
      • try 7th Generation Heavy Duty Citrus Cleaner
      • degreaser spray
      • use straight from bottle
      • if you use Citra-Solv you need to dilute.  1/8 teaspoon to 1 quart of water
  • Beetle Buster
    • handful of larkspur or delphinium leaves in a blender, add a gallon of water, and spray on plants attacked by Japanese beetles.  /the alkaloids in the leaves will zap the beetles (Use Surround At Home).  Use this every 8 weeks
    • these beetles are responsible in damaging sixty one types of crops (corn rootworms)
  • cover your beds of plants so insects can’t destroy them
  • shake baby powder on young seedlings
  • OR sprinkle garlic powder on o=plants
  • Hair around bed will deter woodchucks or vanilla extract

Disease fighters

  • For rust free hollyhocks and roses, use this spray:
    • 11/2 teaspoon of baking soda
    • 1 tablespoon canola oil
    • 1/2 teaspoon soap
    • 1/2cup white vinegar
    • 1 gallon water
  • mix a pour into a spray bottle
  • shake well before using weekly
  • spray upper and lower side of leaves

Aluminum Foils

  • in Mississippi spreading aluminum foil on soil around tomatoes can help prevent viruses transmitted by thrips and aphids
    • tape aluminum foil on fall/fences behind tomatoes to increase the light
    • to stop cutworm and stop tomato blight, wrap tomato stems in a sleeve of aluminum foil (buried at least 1 inch into the soil.
  • Protect plants mix:
    • 1/8 teaspoon essential oil
    • 1/8 teaspoon of liquid soap
    • 1 quart of water
    • mix and spray
  • Gardenside first aid
    • if you are bitten or stung. press a crushed garlic clove or slice of onion onto the insect bite
    •  leave on at least 20 minutes
  • When you notice fungus infections (black spot, mildew, or rust attacking your plants, dissolve 2 uncoated aspirin tablets in 1 quart of water, and use as a foliar spray.
  • Milk can cure mildew-infected plants;
    • 1 cup of milk
    • 9 cups of water
    • shake well and pour inside a spray bottle
    • refrigerate between use
  • Cornell formula:
    • 1 tablespoon canola
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 gallon of water
    • shake well
  • Rose Tonic:
    • 2 teaspoons baking soda
    • 2 quarts water
    • 1/2 teaspoon liquid soap
  • Mildew Cures
    • gray areas are a sign of mildew
    • give plant a hot shower (removes spores)
    • for garlic spray:
      • 1 1/4 cups of garlic powder
      • mix with 1 gallon of water
    • For Cinnamon spray
      • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder
      • mix with 1 quart of warm water
      • drench both sides of the leaf
      • do this early in the day
    • Floating straw will rid algae
      • creates hydrogen peroxide
      • stops growth of algae

It’s better to know some of the nswers than all of the answers

Chapter 3:  Pesky Pests

Lovejoys best tips

Saucers of water are the easiest way to lire good bugs to the garden (and hope that they stay)

Prowl around in your garden for few minutes every day to keep it touch with your plants

  • for pest, a quick response works the best
  • burn the bad insects (debris)
  • Agitate aphids:  they love yellow and problems can be cured with water
  • use a yellow pan of soapy water near your infested plants
  • order a container of aphid wolves, larvae of ladybird beetles
  • use adhesive tape to remove aphids from plant leaves
  • Planting a ring of garlic and chives around your rosebushes and potatoes
  • use soapy water for “bud bouncers”
  • work in early morning

Mercenary Methods

  • purchase spined soldier bugs, a beetle;s greatest enemy

Cinch bugs

  1. mix 1 oz. liquid soap in 2 gallon bucket of water….(read page 42)

Chicken are a good source of cheap labor, especially for bugs

  • Fight roaches with boric acid

For Ants’

  1. use apple cider vinegar to spray ant route
  2. fill a shop vacuum with soapy water and suck ant out of their hoden places
  3. mix baking soda and powdered sugar to alter direction to ant hills
  4. circle an active ant mound with dry cornmeal (ants will expand after eating them)
  5. Cinnamon powder is a deterrent for ants
  6. Could use Silica aerogel or diatomaceous earth to injurs the protective cutuck=le coveing the ants bod

Ant Hotel:  mix 10 teaspoons corn or maple syrup with 1 teaspoon of borax…pour this into a container so the ants can crawl into the container 🙂

page 47 or 20%

Slug Fest

Slugs and snails

  • Eliminate by all small snails by allowing a duck to roam (even toads)

To prevent wormy corn apply 20 drops of mineral oil to the tips of each ear, repeat evey other day for three weeks

  • leave leftover grapefruit and melon rinds in yard each evening
  • will have to scrape the slugs or snails into soapy water
  • use an elevated 1-inch by 12 inch board for night use
  • Lay empty flowerpots on their sides in a shady area
  • Sprinkle bran or yeast onto cabbage leaes, set in a shaded moist area
  • sink shallow saucers filled with cheap beer or molasses and a sprinkle of yeast (they dive in and drown)

Fire Ant Briigade

  • in preparation always wear long pants
  • dust boots and legs with baby powder to make them slippery
  • The Queen will be on the sunny side of the mound
  • sprinkle on diatomaceous and hot water in a circle around the mound
  • pour 3 gallons of hot water on the mound
  • repeat process for three days

Bait ‘N Switch

  • sweet bait made of 1 teaspoon boric acid and 10 teaspoons granulated sugar, mixed stirin 2 Cups of water.
  • place the bait about 5 feet away from the mound
  • if water gets into the baits, they won’t work

Gardenside First Aid

  • for fire ant stings: (solution)
    • one part bleach
    • to one part water
    • any problems, see physcian

Lovejoy’s best tips

Outwit your foes before they appear-Be they beetles, bunnies, woodchuck, or deet

Chapter 4:  Repellents and Preventives

The “rules”

  • keep untroubled spirit
  • look things in the face and know what they are
  • Know thine enemies (understand pests)
    • where they hide
    • what plant attracts them
  • sometimes baby powder, mulch, fresh grass clipping is enough to deter
  • could use can collars to protect seeds from cutworms
  • plant inside a 5-gallon pot, knocking out the bottom
  • Spray tomatoes with Coast of Main Fermented
  • When you plant uses coffee grounds onto the soil around the seed/plant
  • up a big fan to get rid of Mosquitos
  • frighten the birds with lightweight Mylar (think it’s fire)
  • use a scarecrow
  • paint big scary eyes onto a helium balloon, and mount in garden
  • discourage birds from feasting on fruits by entwing the bushes in thick, black thread.
  • Tie up your gooseberries with twine
  • Reduce fruit-crop loss from birds by 50% by spraying the crop with 11 pounds of sugar in 1 gallon warm water, then spray on bushes
  • to deter birds from eating or pecking fruit, drape dark polyester netting (6-foot width) over fruit trees
  • Dissuade crow from raiding newly planted beds by laying chicken wire loosely on the ground.
  • To repel moles mix:
    • 8 tablespoons castor oil
    • 1 gallon water
    • 1 tablespoon liquid soap

Wind Tunnels

  • sink a line of glass bottles about 1 inch of neck exposed.  The weird whistling sound of wind across the bottle tops disrupts moles sensitive hearing
  • Disrupt moles peace by mounting noisy toy windmills across your yard

Gopher it

  • Stuff ammonia-soaked rags in their tunnels
  • sprinkle garlic powder around plants
  • spray exterior foundation of your potting shed with white vinegar or mnonia
  • stuff entry holes with stainless steal or copper scouring pads, and caulk or utty over the pad

The Buck Stops Here

  • Most gardeners agree that a strong fence works the best
  • If a fence is out of your budget….then:
    • small cloches made in plastic to protect small plants
    • let light penetrate but protected from bugs, birds, animals
    • Dangle strips of Mylar from branches
    • Drape rosebushes under sheets of dark polyester netting
    • deer will avoid chicken wire
    • use fishing line to create a web like structure
    • dirty undies might help with keeping deer away
    • spread dog and human hair clippings
    • spread urine too  human, dog, coyote,and fox

Three Stinking Sauces

  • use rotten eggs and beef bouillon for deer repents
    • break a dozen eggs
    • 4 cubes of beef bouillon
    • fill with water
    • cover, let it sit until it stinks
    • add 2 tablespoons of liquid soap
    • put in spray bottle … HOLD NOSE
  • spray with garlic soup

Plants deer don’t like

  • (listed on page 63
  • hang soap bars
  • running off racoons
    • sprinkle garlic powder, cayenne or black pepper, or tabasco on soil
    • run a single strand of low-voltage electric wire around what you want to protect

Outsmart the potato beetle

  • never plant potatoes in the same plot two years in a row
  • beetles overwinter in the soil and will attack potatoes when they emerge
  • cover plants with mulch
  • Use long strips of metal screen, about 5 inches wide, and bury them 3 inches down into the soil
  • Use long handle cooking tongs to pick up slugs/snails and put into soapy water

P. 65


Miracle Mood

  • use the kaolin spray to makes the plants surface unrecognizable to insects
    • moths
    • cucumber beetles
    • leaf-hoppers
    • name is Surround at home
  • acts as a barrier for laying eggs and feeding
  • repeat application for 8 weeks


Trichogramma was[s will attack moth eggs on your apply tree

Cover-up your Beds to prevent onsect damage

Remember to shake baby powder on young seedlings

Use vanilla extract the thwart woodchucks

Aluminum Foil around tomatoes

Protect plants that are often attacked by pest with a antifeedant spray

  • mix 1/8 teaspoons essential oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon liquid soap
  • in quart of water

Greenside First Aid

  • use a crushed garlic clove or onion
    • batsinsert into the bite
    • leave it in at least 20 minutes
    • these are anti-inflammatory favs

Lovejpy’s Best Tips

“saucers of water are the best way to lure good bugs to the garden (and hope they will stay)

Chapter :  Using Lures to attract allies

P. 71  28%

There are good bugs in the garden too

need more allies

need to keep garden poison free


  • black eyed susan
  • cone flowers
  • set up “T” post for the birds to “nest”
    • add nesting material
    • feeding station in garden
      • bird bath
      • set up grapes
  • bats are great pollinators, and pest fighters
  • on a warm night they  cann eat their body weight of insects
  • Illuminate your yard in incandescent lights
  • purchase a bat house

Slow but sure wins the day

  • box turtles
  • insect-eating toads
  • toads in English gardens have earned respect

Provide a trough for frogs to feast on slugs, grubs, insects, and larvae.  Refrain from using pesticides

Debris Deposit

small plies of needles or leaves attract predatory beetles that feed on insects

Insect Patrol

Attract firefly larvae by not mowing a patch in you yard and plant:

  • native grasses
  • wildflowers

Dragonflies can consume 300 insects a day.  Lure them in with a tub or trough.  Set up bamboo stakes.  This is where they like to perch

From Native American legend:  dragonflies only land on the pure of hear

  • salt, minerals, nectar and moisture are a necessity for butterflies and bees
  • lure butterflies with a flat rock with a dab of jelly or a moist cube of sugar
  • butterflies need small accessible supplies of sipping water (grow cup plants)
  • bumblebees:  good for pollination
  • The sphinx moth is one of the best pollinators in the world
  • snakes help control little pests
  • 99% of snakes are harmless
  • Native-Americans use snakes to get rid of rodents

P. 80 32%

To fight bad mite: mix

  • 1 tablespooon pure oil of wintergreen (health food stores)
  • 1 tablespoon liquid soap
  • 1 gallon of water

Eight-legged pest busters solders are responsible for about 80% of biological  control of the garden.  Rich productivity!

build a place for the spiders to live

  • grass clippings
  • compost
  • they do a bug patrol
  • don’t us pesticides

need to study little things

Worm poop

  • nutritious castrings
  • improve soil structure
  • lovejoys Best Tips
  • increase aeration
  • good for root penetration
  • allow water to godeepinto ground
  • stay away from harsh fertilizer and pesticides

Keep an eye out for flower-flies

Lovejoy’s best tips

Although the act of thinning is a nasty little chore, for every seedling weeded, you’ll end up with much more.


Great Expectations (starting with seeds)

seeds are a miricle

nothing gives you more value for your money than a packet of seeds

Tips for planting

  • smaller seeds plant shallow
  • bigger seeds plant deep

If you forget this rule, your seeds will all be sleepers

Rule of Green Thumb

  • seed cover (soil ontop of seeds).  Bury seedax of 3 times their diameter

In the begining

  • germinate large seeds between two sheets of damp paper towels.  Wet towel thoroughly, sprinkle seeds, top with another, and tuck them into clear plastic bags.  If you have a green sprout, plant them in a soilless potting mix.  Like creating a greenhouse
  • use a pencil as a tool for depth of plant (tiny seeds)
  • touch lead to the seed
  • make your own “seed tape” with toliet paper  (mix water and flower)
  • Use Ground cover
  • beware of damp spot
    • a fungal disease
    • attacks and destroys seedlings
    • is  seedlings are wilted
    • keeled over
    • has a rotten spot on stem


  • use a soup can as a mold (for a biodegradable pot)
  • most plants needs the soil to be at least 50 degrees F (use heating pad)
  • for a back saver, create a dipper (4 ft. pipe)
  • use your van as a greenhouse
  • use hair to deter critters from feasting on your seelings  (bury)
  • if you sowed overexuberantly, when thinning cut the extras at soil level

p. 95  36%

Grandmother’s method of seed storage

  1. clean & dry old glass and plastic lids
  2. take 4 facial tissue and put in the center 2 tablespoons of powdered milk]
  3. fold the tissue over the powered milk, into a flat packet, and tape packet closed
  4. Pour the seeds you want to store into a clean envelope, label/date the variety, they seal the flap
  5. Tuck the pouch of powdered milk and the envelope into a covered jar.  Keep the jar closed.  Replace the milk packet with a fresh one after 6 months
  6. Store in  the fridge to keep seeds cold and dry
  7. The colder the better.  Each 10-degree drop in temperature means you double their longevity

Lovejoy;’s best tips:

Here’s a fact there’s no getting ’round:  a bare patch of earth isn’t good for the ground.


The Genius of the Ground   for the soil:

  • mulch
  • compost
  • worm castings


restore the top soil

p.98  37%

Willow Water

  • Tips of willow trees is great
  • willow water is a great gift for gardeners
    • collect tender twigs and leaves
    • cut to 1-inch pieces
    • fill bucket with water
    • add twigs
    • let it steep for  a week
    • store in refrigeator

Potato Cradle

  • cut a slip of your plant into a small potato
  • prepare ground for planting
  • add compost
  • set potato in in sooil
  • completely cover it
  • leaving the cutting visable
  • water gently

Rose cutting root faster if they’re kept in total darknes for 4 or 5 days

  • stick potted cuttings into a brown paper bag
  • with ripening apple ethylene gas from apple speeds the process

Use  a green glass jar to start rosemary roots

, once roots are shown, transfer to soil

Propagating Roses

  • take your 4 inch cutting just above a node with at least 3 leaves
  • stick sem into willow water
  • It may take a couple of months for the first roots to show
  • once shown, you can then transplant

Banana peels for Roses

  • snip banana peel into pieces and put them in the hole of the Rose

Winter Wrap for Roses

  • bow wire
  • chicken wire
  • cover canes with loose soil
  • cover cylinder with plastic bag
  • ties it tight on the frame
  • remove bag when spring growth appears
  • surround the rose with mulch

p.102  38%

  • Best sunshine is on the roof
  • box frame
  • skip the salt.
    • use NPJ (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium)
    • salt injures roots of plants
    • use garden fertilizer to de-ice anything that’s near a lanscape
    • use 10 pounds of urea for 100 sq. feet of pavement to melt ice
    • sprinkle sand for traction
    • could use a small propane torch to de-ice walk ways

Victorian Rot Prevention spread a 1-inch layer of clean sand on top of the potting mix

Growing A Prize-Winning Pumpkin

  1. curl a piece of box wire into a cylinder
  2. fasten ends together
  3. stand it upright
  4. Fill enclosure to the brim with grass clippings, shredded leaves, vegetable refuse from kitchen, shredded newspaper
  5. Tuck in pumpkin seeds
  6. cover with compost

An Uncommon Green

Use a cut out bucket (coffee can) to protect vulnerable growth

Spread 6 to  8  inches of see weed over you potatoes planting

p.107 40%

Iris procedure talked about

Mulch are always at work, it’s high in ethylene gas which discourage the growth of fungus and also  suppresses disease and root rot.  Mulch enriches the soil and improves its structure.  It also helps retaining moisture and prevents erosion.

Save all your leaves, chp, and top off beds.

discussed Willows

If you want to plant a tree start with a compost hole to create good soil for the tree (page 114)

Note:   Never let weeds set seed

Chapter8:  Lawn & Weed

Use a rain guage.

one inch of water should soak to a depth of 4 to 12 inches.  Aim for a 6 to 8 inch soaking each week.  Water early in the morning to reduce evaporation.

Feed the soil, not the grass

Mowing tips

  • 3 to 31/3 inches tall
  • wipe or spray mower blades after each mowing witrh a 10% solution of alcohol to prevent spreading pathogens
  • Sharpen mower blades regularly
  • cut lower in fall
  • always rake leaves off grass to prevent matting and disease

Lawn Pests

  • If you see a brown patch,  water deeply
  • could also use grass clippings
  • dance across yard with aerator sandles
  • use shop vaccum

A weed is any plant you didn’t intend to grow.

  • pull any young weedlings
  • beware of seed seeds
  • they like disturbed ground
  • invest in soaker hose
  • take out weeds down to the root
  • torch out weeds
  • use boiling water
  • Rent-a-goose  (weeded geese)

First aid:  get acquainted with Plantain

don’t shower nut use soap and hot water

p. 124 45%

weedier geese perfect chemical free method

for gluten stuff see page 125

Use goat to destroy poison oak and ivy

dress well

Never pour boiling water on a plant…could cause a rash

Use vinegar for broad-leafed weeds

full sun means it needs 6 hoursa a sun a day

Chapter 9:

use color to decorate the garden

use old tools as an assembly in garden

use leaf as a trial in your garden

mark your territory with a ballpoint oen, sheets of copper, and wire

for decoration: use sea shells, or trip to the junk yard


50% P. 140

create a sun-dial

create a Zen Garden

Never water plants if their soil is wet, you might get a fresh crop of fungi

Boston ferns, weeping fig, rubber plant are top of the list or air purifiers.

Chapter 10 houseplants

health specialist is good for therapeutic rehabilitation

2 houseplants for 100 square feet

try a fruit tree

take good care of them

try the southeast place for a houseplant

make sure you use lights/ maybe by lights/or by shady plants

try a cacti, or a rubber plant

Read the leaves on where the plant is located

maybe even a grow light

for kitchen use aloe vera   (use gel for first aid)

Don’t use outdoor dirt for indoor plants

repot to a size one bigger

a to big plant could mean the plant is too wet or sogy

make sure you top off potted plants (lose dirt when watering)

feed plants twice a month

add coffee grounds

for a nitrogen deficiency use unflavored gelatin

use crushed eggshells (at least once per month)   Good for root growth

groom your plants to encourage growth

rotate your plants

don’t overwater

yellow means  caution…could mean over watering indoor plants like the temperature in the 50s and 60s

use a warm plunge if you forgot too water a treasured plant

always shower plant with warm water  early in the morning (to prevent fungal diseases) but  m avoid showering hairy-leafed plants

pestsuse a rain barrel      –     if using tap give a monthly seep of vinegar tea (1 tablespoon in 1 gallon distilled/rain water.   Soak plant thoroughly

save you vegetable cooking oil


use liquid soap 1 tblspn

1 tblspn seawater

1 gallon warm water

Gnat Magnet

Gnats tell you that these critters are attacking you plants roots

these can be lured with 1/2 water and 1.2 vinegar mix

Talk and shake your plants regularly (plants have 5 genes that are affected by touch)

spray alcohol on you tools

suck off pest from plants  with a vacuum (1 inch away)

use cologne to  deter aphids

move sick houseplant to a specified area

many building tecniques in appendix: like

bat house

worm bins

bee bins

cinder block worm bin

talk of worm consumption (garage)

talk of     incandescent bulbs

40X- 16 inches away

60W- 24 inches

100 to 150 –  30 inches about the plants

talk of High-intensity  discharge


gives list of garden and insect supplies

Also gives ideas  for further reading!

Author is Sharon Lovejoy










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