14 Urban Gardening TipsWhether it’s using leftover coffee grounds from your morning brew, drying herbs on the backseat of your car or using soap under your fingernails before digging into the soil… Paul James, a Master Gardener shares his top 14 gardening tips that will save you time, energy and money in the garden. This post was originally shared on HGTV.com.

Here, the latest tips and tricks from Paul James, host of Gardening by the Yard:

1. To remove the salt deposits that form on clay pots, combine equal parts white vinegar, rubbing alcohol and water in a spray bottle. Apply the mixture to the pot and scrub with a plastic brush. Let the pot dry before you plant anything in it.

2. To prevent accumulating dirt under your fingernails while you work in the garden, draw your fingernails across a bar of soap and you’ll effectively seal the undersides of your nails so dirt can’t collect beneath them. Then, after you’ve finished in the garden, use a nailbrush to remove the soap and your nails will be sparkling clean.

3. To prevent the line on your string trimmer from jamming or breaking, treat with a spray vegetable oil before installing it in the trimmer.

4. Turn a long-handled tool into a measuring stick! Lay a long-handled garden tool on the ground, and next to it place a tape measure. Using a permanent marker, write inch and foot marks on the handle. When you need to space plants a certain distance apart (from just an inch to several feet) you’ll already have a measuring device in your hand.

5. To have garden twine handy when you need it, just stick a ball of twine in a small clay pot, pull the end of the twine through the drainage hole, and set the pot upside down in the garden. Do that, and you’ll never go looking for twine again.

6. Little clay pots make great cloches for protecting young plants from sudden, overnight frosts and freezes.

7. To turn a clay pot into a hose guide, just stab a roughly one-foot length of steel reinforcing bar into the ground at the corner of a bed and slip two clay pots over it: one facing down, the other facing up. The guides will prevent damage to your plants as you drag the hose along the bed.

8. To create perfectly natural markers, write the names of plants (using a permanent marker) on the flat faces of stones of various sizes and place them at or near the base of your plants.

9. Got aphids? You can control them with a strong blast of water from the hose or with insecticidal soap. But here’s another suggestion, one that’s a lot more fun; get some tape! Wrap a wide strip of tape around your hand, sticky side out, and pat the leaves of plants infested with aphids. Concentrate on the undersides of leaves, because that’s where the little buggers like to hide.

10. The next time you boil or steam vegetables, don’t pour the water down the drain, use it to water potted patio plants, and you’ll be amazed at how the plants respond to the “vegetable soup.”

11. Use leftover tea and coffee grounds to acidify the soil of acid-loving plants such as azaleas, rhododendrons, camellias, gardenias and even blueberries. A light sprinkling of about one-quarter of an inch applied once a month will keep the pH of the soil on the acidic side.

12. Use chamomile tea to control damping-off fungus, which often attacks young seedlings quite suddenly. Just add a spot of tea to the soil around the base of seedlings once a week or use it as a foliar spray.

13. If you need an instant table for tea service, look no farther than your collection of clay pots and saucers. Just flip a good-sized pot over, and top it off with a large saucer. And when you’ve had your share of tea, fill the saucer with water, and your “table” is now a birdbath.

14. The quickest way in the world to dry herbs: just lay a sheet of newspaper on the seat of your car, arrange the herbs in a single layer, then roll up the windows and close the doors. Your herbs will be quickly dried to perfection. What’s more, your car will smell great.
View the original post here: http://www.hgtv.com/design/outdoor-design/landscaping-and-hardscaping/14-simple-gardening-tips-and-tricks

Short on growing space but still yearn for homegrown tomatoes and peppers? Is your garden located on a balcony or terrace and you’re afraid you can’t savor the taste of vine ripened tomatoes or experience the heat of your favorite variety of pepper? Well you can, and all you need is a 5 gallon bucket, nutrient rich soil, a few amendments, water and your favorite variety of heirloom seeds. Start by finding a 5 gallon bucket. Make sure it is clean and food grade, meaning there’s never been any nasty chemicals...

The Hell’s Kitchen Farm operates on a 4,000 square foot roof & is growing in 52 raised beds. What they’re doing is quite amazing… According to their website, “HKFP is an urban rooftop farm in Hell’s Kitchen, managed and run by volunteers. HKFP is the outgrowth of community discussions concerning nutritional security, especially scarcity of affordable fresh produce, in Hell’s Kitchen.”   ...

Become a Urban Organic Gardener! Here at UOG we believe that growing your own organic food can be one of the most rewarding things you can do for your mind, body, and soul. Become a member of the UOG Monthly Seed Club and receive a handpicked collection of seeds and garden goodies specifically catered to your exact growing requirements. Whether you’re growing in containers on your patio or using hydroponics in your backyard we’ve got seeds for you. Just start by answering a few basic questions about your gardening experience...

Julie from homereadyhome.com just published a great article highlighting important Container Gardening Tips (for Beginners).  Click here to view the original post: http://homereadyhome.com/5-container-gardening-tips-for-beginners/ Here’s a quick preview of what she has has to say about container gardening: 1. Don’t “grow” overboard.   “Container gardening requires a time commitment. You’ll need to be more hands-on (ie. watering and fertilizing) with plants in pots than plants in the ground. Your container garden will...

Posted on Feb 22 2015 - 7:40pm by UOG
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Bet you didn’t know you could grow all these different plants in containers!  Give it a try.  You might just be surprised!   ...

Source: NaturallyLoriel.com Naturally Loriel recently published a blog post on a very important topic:  How to Source Non-GMO Seeds. She says, “You begin to learn which food companies deserve your support and try to find a local farmer’s market in your area. You realize it’s so important to meet and shake the hands of the farmer that produces your food. Unfortunately though, you’re not...

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Gotham Greens is a startup in Gowanus focused on creating sustainable rooftop farming solutions by adding working greenhouses to office buildings throughout the 5 boroughs. Anthony talks to the Co-Founders and Chief Agricultural Officer about why they decided to found the company in Brooklyn. ...

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Join the Urban Organic Gardener’s (UOG) SEED CLUB and get exclusive access to new and exotic seed varieties delivered to your door. Click here to fill out the online registration form. // ...

Growing your own food is exciting, not only because you get to see things grow from nothing into ready-to-eat fruits and veggies, but you also don’t have to worry about the pesticides they might contain, and you definitely cut down on the miles they—and you—have to travel. If you’re up to the challenge—and it really isn’t much of one—growing your own food can be so rewarding. And so...

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Source: The More One Sows; The Greater The HarvestThis is the story of how and WHY I quit my full-time job, away from my home, to become a full-time homesteader. Can it be done? Of course it can.  And although I’m not advocating rushing off to put in your “two weeks notice” after reading this article, maybe it will give you something to think about for your future, where you want...

“An obese mother-of-two who lives on benefits says she needs more of taxpayers’ money to overhaul her unhealthy lifestyle.  Christina Briggs, 26, says she hates being 160 kilos but she can’t do anything about it because she can only afford junk food. Meanwhile, exercise is out of the question because she doesn’t have the funds to join a gym.” Unemployed Christina gets...

Posted on Oct 10 2014 - 6:02am by UOG
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From AvantGardens “Compost is a mixture that consists largely of decayed organic matter and is used for fertilizing and conditioning land. Home composting reduces the need for water, fertilizers, and pesticides and encourages a higher yield in crops. Consisting of nutrient-rich brown and green material, compost creation is low-maintenance and can be done on both small and large scales.” Creating...