Gardening is one thing I can always ask my grandma about – and get hacks and tricks I’d never guess.
In this article you will find 8 of grandma’s best garden tips. This includes everything from when you should plant your seeds to get the best plant growth, to how you can avoid dirt and green stains on your fingernails.
Grandma lives in a small village in Norway with a big yard that keeps her busy all through the summer season up north. “Finding something that keeps you going and calms you even when you get old” – that’s what gardening is to her, and I believe to many other grandparents out there.
Here are 8 of grandma’s best garden tips:
1. Plant by the moon phases
– better crops and better plant growth
One of grandma’s best garden tips is to plant in accordance with the moon. Many gardeners swear to this to get better crops and better plant growth. The tide and its strengths are controlled by lunar phases, so for instance the tidal differences are much stronger at full moon and new moon than at crescent moon.
Think of the rise of the moon as the earth exhaling. In this phase, the plant juice is attracted to the moon and reaches the upper parts of the plant. This stage is well suited for harvesting fruit, among other things.
When the moon is diminishing its like the soil breaths in, and water and nutrients flow back to the lower parts of the plants. When the moon is at its lowest point, you should mow the lawn and remove weeds as everything grows slower in this lunar phase.
Check the lunar calendar to get advice on what to do in the garden at the different lunar phases.
2. Protect your garden tools
– how to take good care of them
My grandma, and I’m sure your grandparents too, knew how to value and take great care of their stuff, including their garden tools. A beautiful garden starts with great tools, and this is one of the best garden tips to help keep your tools clean and free of rust. Store your garden tools in a bucket of sand and mix in a little mineral oil. Happy tools, happy garden!
3. Don’t throw old pantyhose
– use them in the garden
You probably give away old clothes when you acknowledge that you don’t use them any more, but I bet old pantyhose hits the garbage instead of a vintage shop. With this garden tips you can upcycle your old pantyhose by using them in the garden.
The soft and stretchy material may get too saggy to wear, but if you cut strips from pantyhose they are still soft og stretchy and work great to tie up bigger plants, like tomatoes. They are also useful for storing fruits and vegetables after they are harvested and cured.
4. Vitamin C against lethargy
– rosehips is the best Vitamin C boost
According to Grandma; growing plants that contains a high level of Vitamin C can help against lethargy, and this knowledge stems from Hippocrates. He was a Greek physician on the island of Kos in the eastern Aegean Sea in 400 BCE, and is often referred to as the “Father of Medicine”.
Today most people know how important Vitamin C is for your general health, but maybe you don’t know that you should plant rosehips if you lack Vitamin C? No plant contains more vitamin C than rosehips!
The fruit from rosehips contains a boost of nutrients like provitamin A and vitamin B, and has a higher content of vitamin C than both lemon, black currant and kiwi. The plant (flowers, leaves and root) also contains lots of nutrients like tannins and fruit acids, and can be used for tea, juice and jam.
5. Protect delicate fruit with straw
– avoid damage by soil and flooding
Its a very practical reason behind why grandma lays straw beneath berries in the garden. Delicate fruits can easily be damaged by soil and flooding, but by adding straw to the top layer of soil, you can avoid berries dangling on the ground.
Barley straw is ideal for this since it’s soft and easy to work with. This garden tips will also protect certain plants from frostbite in cold weather and can prevent bugs that attempt to climb onto the fruit.
6. Add crushed eggshells to your soil
– get happy and healthy crops
This is one of those cool hacks I never forget. Eggshells bear a surprising quantity of nutrients, including calcium, and this can really benefit your garden.
Grandma’s garden tips is to crush eggshells into small pieces and sprinkle them onto the soil. A layer of shell is also said to help deter many pests and moderate the soil’s acidity. Result: happy and healthy crops!
7. Recycle your old flower bouquets
– and grow new flowers
Personally I like old flowers, so I’m the last person to throw out an old flower bouquet. Which makes this garden tips pretty easy if you’re like me.
Grandma always said; just as you can grow a brand new plant from a cutting, you can also grow new flowers from old floral bouquets. This works with everything from roses to lilies, so instead of throwing the wilting flowers you cut the stem just below the leaf node. Cover with a bag at first to keep hydrated while the stem roots down, and then you plant the stem in your garden.
Note: they look best when planted in groups.
8. Keep your fingernails clean
– less dirt and stains after gardening
A day in the garden means a whole lot of hard scrubbing to remove the dirt and green stains from your fingernails. Even though you for the most part use gloves, you don’t manage to fully escape the dirty fingernails.
I hate this, so this garden tips was a life saver for me. In the old days, you just had bars of soap, the liquid soap was a luxury. So for this hack you need to go back to the old days in the sense of soap. Scrape your fingernails on a soap bar, back and forth a couple of times before gardening. This will keep your fingernails more clean and free of stains!