Information abounds regarding ways to get rid of fire ants, how to grow the largest vegetables and other lore on what to use to get the biggest bang for your buck in the garden.
The real experts are gardeners themselves, who have tried and tested handed-down garden tips and tricks.
Judy Kirkland suggests putting a fence or clothesline between two rows of climbing beans and tying strips of old sheets from the top.
"The beans will run up the strips and will be very easy to pick," she said. "My mom always did this.
"What hasn't worked for me is any deer deterrent. The best so far is fence, but even then they keep getting in. The pie plates on strings, human hair, Coke cans on strings and repellents don't work for me."
Harlem gardener Tom Blalock has long battled deer trampling in his gardens and eating his vegetables. He said planting zinnias in the garden keep deer from eating his crop.
"They didn't eat the zinnias, but liked everything else," he said.
Ruth Pearl has a friend with a tested trick for keeping deer from her plants.
"A friend says that putting short wooden barbecue sticks in the ground with the points facing upwards around plants stops deer, as they have bad eyesight," she said. "I have not tried this, but she gave me the hint because of my rabbit problem. She doesn't know if it will work with them as they have good eyesight."
Getting rid of unwanted insects and critters in the garden is always a major headache. For some, nothing has worked. Others are still trying to find a solution.
"I have read and been told that using hot pepper in and around the bird feeder keeps the squirrels away," said gardner Sandra Ball. "Also, don't waste your money on Critter Ridder. Squirrels are tenacious! To date, nothing has worked."
Ginny Allen has a trick to decrease worm and insect problems in tomatoes: plant basil near tomato plants.
To make weeding easier, Kirkland suggests using Preen after weeding so that she doesn't have to weed again the following week. Allen suggests putting down three layers of newspaper and topping it with mulch to hold in moisture and block weeds in flower beds.
Kirkland offers a few more tips for keeping the garden area easier to maintain. She says to stake plants before they get too big and fall over.
"This includes tomatoes as well as iris," she said. "I also grow cucumbers enclosed in a circular wire fence with a few extra holes cut in the fence so I can get my hands in to pick the cucumbers. It keeps them off the ground. You have to pick often or they get too big."
When fertilizing, Kirkland suggests using half of what is recommended and then fertilize again in a few months.
Pearl has a suggestion for keeping the birdbath cleaner longer.
"To keep your birdbath water cleaner for much longer, add a sprig of lavender," she said. "It really works!"
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