Winning Tip: Starting seeds with little ones
We love starting seeds indoors, but with young children helping, we would end up with a muddy, overwatered mess. To prevent that from happening, we drill a quarter-inch hole into the cap of a plastic bottle to create a spill-proof watering can that slowly pours out just the right amount of water.
—Stacey Paulbeck, Pequot Lakes, Minnesota
On those rare winter days when the ground is free of snow and I’m itching to be outside, I hoe out the persistent, creepy weeds from my flower beds. This prevents them from sprawling and developing seeds when temperatures rise, and it dresses up my beds for the spring blooms.
—Mary Crum, Holland, Pennsylvania
Where will your excess snow be piled?
If you live in a northern climate, you may be tempted to think about your landscape only as it appears in the beautiful warm months, but you have to be prepared for snow. This starts with your design plan, and it applies to both residential and commercial properties. Think ahead to where the snow will likely be placed when it is plowed and what might happen if a particular winter is worse than normal. When snow is pushed and piled onto trees and shrubs, it can damage or break limbs. If you use a snow removal service, make sure to discuss your expectations for snow placement before the start of the season.
—Beth Clark, Hudsonville, Michigan
Bungee cords as garden tools
For many years, I have kept an assortment of inexpensive bungee cords in my car and garage, and they have come in handy numerous times. Lately, I’m finding myself using them in the garden more and more for temporary fasteners of all sorts: to guide a rambling rose branch, steady an errant sunflower, help tomato vines stay close to a trellis, tie up a large floppy grass for mulching or moving, and so on. I buy these cords in mixed sets from the sale bins at the hardware store.
—Anne Seeley, Quilcene, Washington