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    5 Best Gardening Tips From Readers

    To celebrate the beginning of gardening season, we recently posted a series on starting your own container garden. We decided to ask our other gardening experts – you, dear readers – for your secrets.

    Here are some of the best gardening tips submitted by you!

    5 Best Gardening Tips (from Readers)

    1. Get creative with recycled materials for a sustainable garden

    A tip we love from Amanda Feifer of @phicklefoods is to use recyclable (bonus points for biodegradable) items from around the house in your garden.

    “Grow from seeds using toilet paper rolls as a seed cup (bend the bottoms up).

    Use 2-liter soda bottles. Poke small holes in the cap make for a great slow-watering device. Then cut the bottoms off the bottles and bury them in the soil neck down.”

    Feifer also had creative advice for soil fertilizer from household scraps.

    “To help prevent root rot, powder dried eggshells in a spice grinder and put a tablespoon into every tomato seedling pit.”

    Feifer also expressed her love for herbs (but hey, don’t we all?)

    “Grow herbs! They require almost no effort, grow in poor soil and much less expensive to grow than to buy.”

    2. Save money by starting with seeds

    @gardening_kristi had some advice for gardening with seeds.

    “Direct sow as many seeds as possible rather than buying expensive seedlings. Beans, squash, lettuce, radish, beets, chard, kale, and cucumber all come as inexpensive seed packets. It’s very easy to start from seed and the growing season is short enough in Philadelphia that all of these crops can be sown directly into the garden for a great harvest.”

    3. Utilize free local resources

    As Claudia Archer from @bellavistan reminds us, sometimes all you have to do is keep an ear out for free local gardening resources.

    “Get free compost from the city at the Fairmount Park Recycling Center.” (Read the full post about how that works.)

    4. DIY and repurpose supplies

    Surur Fatema Yonce of @sururfatema figured out how to repurpose everyday household items instead of buying new, plastic supplies.

    “I start my seeds in cups with holes in the bottom. Each cup goes into a Ziploc baggie to retain the moisture while the plant sprouts. After the plant has sprouted, I open the bag but leave it on to catch water draining. This is way cheaper than buying those seed starting trays and kits.”

    5. Don’t treat your soil like dirt

    The Penn Herb Company found at @pennherb reminds us how important healthy soil is. Their advice is:

    “Add Magnesium Sulfate (aka Epsom Salt) to soil for a beautiful, bountiful harvest.”

    Readers, any additional tips we need to know?

    Marie Bouffard

    About Marie Bouffard

    Marie is a senior at Villanova University studying communication and sustainability. She lives for hiking, camping, skiing, and any outdoor activity. Marie is a coffee addict, loves reading, and has never met a cat or dog she didn't like.

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