Gardening tips with stuff you probably already have at home

(Succulents thrive in my backyard/ Delani Taft, Lariat)

These tips are inexpensive and good way you can pass the time while in quarantine.

Cinnamon: You can use cinnamon powder as a rooting hormone for new plants and trimmings. Cinnamon is just as effective as the expensive rooting chemical they sell at gardening stores like Home Depot and Lowes, while cinnamon is chemical free! All you have to do is dip the new stem into the powder before you plant and wait for it to take root.

Cinnamon is also a great pest deterrent. The powder keeps away moles, rabbits, squirrels, ants, mosquitos and rats. When sprinkled in the garden or plants, the powder will disrupt the pest’s nose and be an annoyance to the critter, making sure it does not return in the future.

Eggshells: Eggshell makes great fertilizer. The calcium from the shells adds nutrients to the soil. You do not have to worry about grinding up or sterilizing the shells since they decompose very fast and require little effort. Just toss the shells into the dirt and call it a day.

Another reason to not grinding up the shells is that the sharp edges and coarseness will keep slugs and snails at bay.

Epsom salts: For transplanting a new seedling or uprooting an older plant, Epsom salts will help with the shock process of the plant. The salts will enhance the plants ability to absorb nutrients and have a stronger start once replanted.

Epsom salts also reduce the chance of a seedling wilting after being transplanted making the plant more upright and sturdier to have a better chance of surviving.

Vinegar: White distilled vinegar will keep rabbits from munching on your harvest. Since vinegar dries easily, place a soaked cotton ball in a small container like an old film canister with holes poked in the top and set out in the garden. The smell will deter rabbits and keep your plants safe without the use of harmful chemical deterrents.

Apple cider vinegar poured on unwanted weeds or grass will naturally kill the plants. The vinegar will get rid of the problem plants but keep the soil healthy.

Vinegar also gets rid of bugs like mealworms, ants, caterpillars and slugs.

Vinegar will also keep bigger pests away, like cats. If you find a cat is using your garden or sandbox as a litter box, vinegar poured in the soil will keep them from coming back.

To restore items in the garden like rusted tools, shears, and metal rakes, vinegar will remove rust after soaking and rinsing.

Many homes have terra cotta roofs, pots, tiles. As these items age, the clay absorbs calcium, minerals and salts from being exposed to the elements. A quick scrub and rinse with vinegar will have your pots and patio looking good as new.

Hydrogen peroxide: When hydrogen peroxide decomposes, it creates oxygen which in turn helps root development at any stage of plant growth. A mixture of three percent peroxide in one gallon of water used to water plants weekly will stimulate root growth and keep plants strong and growing.

Coffee grounds: Coffee grounds offer an acidic mixture to the soil. While acidic loving plants like blueberries, camellias, gardenia, roses and hydrangea love coffee, it is not ideal for all plants. Succulents and cactus do not do great with coffee grounds as it makes the soil too acidic for the plants to flourish.

Adding coffee to compost helps with decomposition and adds nitrogen to the mix. Wood ashes and lime help balance out the PH of the compost and add phosphorous.

A ring of grounds around vulnerable plants will keep slugs, snails and worms away from those areas. Sweet potatoes, lettuce, tomatoes, and eggplants grow very well in coffee ground, just be careful as to not add too much, or the grounds will mold and cause too much nitrogen to be made in the soil, damaging the plants.