Whether you are looking for something to cover drainage holes in flowerpots, needing mulch for the garden, or wanting to control weeds in sidewalks and driveways, this article provides a few suggestions.
When filling flowerpots, always make sure the pots have drainage holes at the bottom. This allows the excess water to drain away so your plants won’t rot. There are several things that will work well to cover the drainage holes. This prevents the soil from coming out of the pot, but it allows the water to drain away.
Place small rocks over the drainage holes. Any kind of flat rock will work, and the holes do not have to be totally covered.
When you get a large box through the mail, it is usually filled with packing peanuts. Use these to cover the entire bottom of the pot, or only the drainage holes. They are light, so it won’t make the pot heavier like rocks will.
Coffee filters work well and can stand up to being wet for a time. They don’t hurt the plants and will eventually decompose into the soil.
If you break a clay pot, don’t throw the shard or broken pieces away. Break them into smaller sections and use them to cover the holes.
Use a piece of window screen. It is easy to cut with a pair of scissors. Today’s window screens don’t rust. They are flexible enough to cover the holes on the sides of the pot.
Mulch is wonderful for the garden. It keeps the soil moist underneath and prevents the weeds from growing. There are many different types of mulch. Here are a few of my favorites.
Every fall or early in the spring, people rake their lawns for leaves and dead grass. Some people burn the leaves, or put them in bags for the garbage man to haul away. Don’t do that! Instead, use the leaves and grass as mulch. In the fall, place your raked leaves over perennials to help protect them from the cold. When you remove them in the spring, till or dig them into your garden soil. Place the leaves around the perennial plants.
Grass is natural mulch. When you rake the lawn in the spring or fall, put the grass in a pile. After your garden is planted, place the grass over the soil. If you have a grass catcher attached to the lawnmower, scatter the grass clippings to cover the soil.
Newspapers, five pages thick, work well to use as mulch. You can shred the newspapers or lay them in sections. Remember to scatter some compost over the top or wet them down so the wind doesn’t blow them away. Newspaper decomposes fast, so replace it often. You can even use shredded papers that come in the mail. By using them in your own garden, you’ll know that no one is piecing the papers together for identity theft. The only paper that does not decompose well is the glossy paper from magazines and such.
Sidewalk and Driveway Weed Control
Almost every kitchen has vinegar. Not only is this product good for pickles and other recipes, it also kills weeds. If the weeds are growing in sidewalk cracks or pavement, pour vinegar over them. Repeat as necessary. You can also use vinegar to kill weeds in the lawn, but extreme care must be taken. Vinegar is a non-selective plant killer. If you use vinegar to kill weeds around other plants, only coat the leaves of the weed with the vinegar. A foam paintbrush works well for this.
Bring a teakettle or pot of water to a full boil. Pour the hot water over the weeds. Be careful when doing this so it does not splash and burn you. Boiling water will kill any plant it comes in contact. Make sure it does not run and burn your good plants.