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Master Gardener: Recycle in the garden

Coffee grounds: sprinkle on soil around melons, carrots and other crops to repel pests; also adds nutritive value to the soil.

Coffee cans: can be used to (1) start seeds (punch holes in the bottom); (2) store seed packets; (3) gauge water (if you use a sprinkler to water, set out several in the garden to determine how much and how thoroughly you’re watering; (4) water plants at the root (submerged); (5) hold stakes, clips or other small items used in the garden; (6) hold cantelopes and small watermelons off the ground (push halfway in-aids in cleaneer fruit and in ripening faster).

Eggshells: added to the compost pile will add lime, also nitrogen and phosphorus, to the soil over several years.

Egg cartons: for starting seeds (styrofoam only-cardboard type absorbs too much water and plants dry out quicker).

Plastic jugs: cut bottom off diagonally of handled jugs, leave jug cap on for use as a scoop or remove cap and it’s a funnel.

Human hair: provides an excellent nitrogen source for compost heap. Six or seven pounds of human hair contain a pound of nitrogen - as much as up to 200 pounds of manure.

Matchbooks: place matches from several books in the bottom of transplant hole for peppers and eggplants - acid-loving plants that like sulphur.

Wide-mouthed open containers: effective traps for grasshoppers - half-fill several with a 10% molasses/90% water solution and place where infestation is worst.

Discarded pantyhose/knee-hi’s: to tie staked tomatoes or use as “slings” to keep small gourds or melons off the ground.

Yesterday’s newspaper: (1) use as frost protection - spring and fall; (2) shred some for the compost heap; (3) use as mulch (3 to 6 layers) - cover with soil or organic mulches for better appearance and to speed decomposition; (4) use as a cutworm “collar”.

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