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Get down to earth and try these gardening tips

It’s thyme to try these smart and seasonal gardening ideas to make the most of your green space
Image: Getty

There is no season or space you can’t garden in – it’s just a matter of knowing what to do in what circumstances. Try these tips for efficient uses of your garden space.

Smart herb garden

When buying potted herbs from the supermarket, we rarely use the whole plant. Often, we harvest only half, while the rest wilts by our kitchen window. Instead, prepare a pot (or a bucket with a hole in it) and replant the herbs immediately after using what you need. After a few dinners, you’ll soon have an entire herb garden and no need to go to the shop!

YOU WILL NEED

  • Large pot with a hole in the bottom
  • Garden soil
  • Herbs from the supermarket

METHOD

  1. Fill up the pot with garden soil.
  2. Plant the root ball with what’s left of the herb in the pot.
  3. Add more types of herbs when you have root balls left over from your cooking.

Rooting pot

Cuttings can be taken in winter, spring or autumn and are a good way to propagate plants that you want more of or to give away. It’s often quite easy, but sometimes cuttings can be a bit fussy. They like the soil to be moist deep down in the bottom of the pot and to be close to the edge of the pot for proper root development. An easy way to keep your cuttings happy, warm and moist enough is to use the pot-in-pot method. This provides more edges for the cuttings to press up against. And if you pour water into the small pot in the middle, the moisture reaches further down!

YOU WILL NEED

  • 1 part soil
  • 2 parts gravel
  • Bucket
  • Two pots that differ by at least 5cm in diameter

METHOD

  1. Cut or break off 10-15cm long branches/stems from the plant you wish to propagate.
  2. Remove almost all the leaves, except those at the very top.
  3. Mix the soil and gravel in a bucket.
  4. Fill the larger pot halfway with the gravel-soil mixture.
  5. Place the smaller pot into the middle and fill up around it with the gravel-soil mixture. Don’t pour any soil into the smaller pot.
  6. Stick the cuttings into the soil between the edges of the two pots so that a third of each cutting sticks up above the surface.
  7. Pour water into the small pot, making sure that the soil is kept moist but not too wet.

How to revitalise potting soil

Never throw away soil; instead, return it to the plants. If potting soil is full of roots and lacking in nutrients, it can be revitalized quite easily with a little boost and reboot. Pour it into a raised garden bed or box in the autumn, then add some ingredients that you probably already have in your garden. Come spring, it will be full of life once more!

YOU WILL NEED

  • A raised garden bed
  • Old potting soil
  • Used barbecue charcoal (not briquettes or ashes)
  • Nutrients in the form of leachate or nettle tea
  • Worms(can be excluded if none are found)
  • Mulch

METHOD

  1. Place the garden bed directly on the ground. In other words, don’t put any fabric or similar in the bottom.
  2. Pour your old potting soil into the garden bed. Don’t worry about removing roots – they will become food for the worms.
  3. Add a few pieces of charcoal and some nutrient solution. The proportions of the different ingredients aren’t very important – just wing it!
  4. Dig around in your garden for some worms and drop them into the garden bed.
  5. Finally, add a layer of mulch for protection.

An edited extract from Garden Hacks by Filip Johansson. Pick up your copy today for $43.40 from Paper Plus.

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