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5 Simple Garden Hacks

May 2015


Garden Hacks

At Stewart Timber, we’re big fans of gardening tips, tricks and hacks. If it gives us more time to spend enjoying the garden we’ve created, you can generally count us in. That’s why every time a customer tells us a tip we haven’t heard before, it gets noted down in our big book of gardening know-how.

Every so often we’ll break out the book and share some of its wisdom. Today we’ve got 4 handy garden hacks to put a final flourish on your Spring.

Moss Painting

Moss Painting

When you talk to people about moss painting you’ll hear one of two things: it’s an urban myth or it’s the best thing ever invented. It’s so (in)famous that it’s even been on Mythbusters! Well, we’ve seen it working in action and it looked mightily impressive so we’re here to try and convince you of its benefits.

We’re getting a little ahead of ourselves, though. You might not have heard of moss painting. Allow me to enlighten you. Moss painting allows you to create sharp designs of vibrant green moss with a minimum of fuss and absolutely no stencils. Great! But how do you do it?

In a bucket mix about a handful of washed moss to two cups of buttermilk, half a teaspoon of sugar and two cups of water. Blend it together (in an unloved food blender) until you’ve got a paste. If it’s too runny, add a little corn flour to thicken it up.

When you’ve got a substance that feels like a slightly thicker paint, it’s time to get painting. Use a paintbrush and apply the mixture onto your canvas, wall, tree or general surface. When you’re done, leave it to put out roots and cling onto whatever you’ve painted it on. Remember to refrigerate the remaining paste as you’ll probably have to put a second coat on to encourage the moss to take root.

For a more thorough tutorial jump over to Stencil Revolution.

Wine Watering

Slowly, Slowly

Most plants need a little bit of water lot of the time. Now, you could go round and water them every day but that’s not efficient and it probably doesn’t fit into your busy lifestyle. This handy hint creates a steady water supply for the next couple of weeks, allowing you to enjoy the sight of your newly hydrated garden.

First, find an empty wine bottle and cut a cork down so it blocks about half of bottle’s neck. Then fill it with water, jam in the cork and push it neck-first into the soil. The water will gradually drain out over the next few days (maybe weeks) and keep your plants hydrated and healthy. Remember to check your bottle occasionally to make sure it’s still filled with water.

 Coffee Grounds

Great for the Morning and for Gardens

If you’re not a morning person, you already know how essential coffee is to life in general. However, as a miracle substance, coffee doesn’t stop its magic when you’ve drained your cup.

Coffee grounds are a fantastic source of nitrogen, which – if you remember your biology – is essential for healthy development of plants. So after your next coffee save those grounds and keep them for your gardening.

You can work the grounds directly to soil or throw them in your compost bin to get their nutritional value. Alternatively, because they are quite scratchy and acidic, you can use grounds to create a slug and snail barrier.

No one can criticise your coffee drinking now.

 Hanging Basket

Think Up

We hear a lot of gardening gripes from our customers but none pop up more than not having enough space. But there’s good news! You don’t need acres of space to grow greens in your garden. While raised beds and polytunnels are nice, we’re prefer ‘blue sky’ thinking.

While most gardens aren’t huge in terms of area, what we all have is vertical space  – and we almost never use it! If you’ve got a sturdy shed or fence, get hold of a hanging shoe organiser, fix it to your vertical surface and get growing. If you don’t have anything that sturdy, a hanging shower basket will make a perfect miniature alternative.


Have you tried out one (or more) of our tips? Send us your pictures to our Facebook page.

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