Weirdly wonderful gardening tips

If you’re precious about your pansies, proud of your vegetable patch or waging a war on weeds, here are a few lesser-known tips that can help keep your garden looking glorious:

Rusty nail fertiliser

Plants like rhododendrons and camellias demand lots of iron. So to keep them happy, create your own iron-rich fertiliser by soaking rusty nails in water and showering your soil in your homemade brew.

Pain-free planting

For aches and pains - or a fuzzy head after one too many tipples -aspirin can work wonders. Its effects aren’t limited to humans though. Dissolve aspirin in water and spray it on your plants and you’ll really notice the difference. By boosting their immune system, aspirin improves germination and leaves you with lovely looking shrubs.

Recycle your cooking water

The next time you have something boiling away on your hob, be it pasta or vegetables, save your water for your plants. The water is packed with nutrients and vitamins so make for a great feed.

Grease your roots

Just like your hair or skin, your roses need a little TLC. To help them grow strong and beautiful, place a block of cooking lard beneath the roots of your roses to condition the soil. And if you plant your roses next to parsley, you’ll enhance their fragrance.

Planting in the moonlight

Some say, as the tides change with the phases of the moon, so do the water levels inside plants and the surface of the soil. For that reason, many green-fingered enthusiasts do their digging when water levels are at their highest so their plants will grow faster and stronger. And yes, that's during the night.

While we can’t promise you a garden to rival Keukenhof, if that geranium you’ve been nursing for the last few weeks still isn’t showing any signs of improvement, it might be worth giving one of these nifty tricks a try.

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