Best Gardening Tips and Projects - 2011

For me, 2011 was one busy and exciting year for gardening. There were so many highlights (and a few lowlights) that peppered most of the year. One was the first bloom ever from our Mysore Clock Vine (T.mysorensis).

We planted two vines from cuttings we took from Tagaytay and the highlands of Batangas two years ago. It was a long wait, so you could imagine the sheer joy we felt after seeing the first flower. Sadly, the joy was short lived. After another flower, the vines have not bloomed since.

The other highlight was the successful growing of our Bengal Clock Vines (T.grandiflora) from a few saplings we were able to pick from Los Banos. This was after several frustrating failed attempts to grow this vine from cuttings from a friend in a nearby neighborhood.

But as far as the list goes, there were noteworthy gardening tips and projects that made it to this year's Top Ten Gardening Tips.

From this list, in chronological order, you will find easy to implement tips and techniques that will make you think "why didn't I think of that?"

Top Ten Gardening Tips for 2011
(click on the titles for the links)

  1. How to Paint Garden Stepping Stones

    Tired of those old concrete steppping stones in your garden that're starting to look moldy and just plain "old"? Try brightening them up a bit by applying a fresh coat of paint that complements the color of your home or garden. You'll also get a bonus tip in an article on how to prepare no-slip or anti-skid paint.

  2. How to Fix Garden Hose Kinks

    Fix those troublesome garden hose kinks that spoil your time when watering the plants. Hose kinks also make your garden hose susceptible to damage that will result to leaks. This is a simple solution using scrap materials around the house to put an end to those garden hose kinks.

  3. Homemade Lawn Aerator Using a Garden Rake

    Give your garden lawn a fresh breath of air! Lawn grasses have been known to benefit from aerating, which loosens compacted soil, and at the same time provides oxygen to the roots. But store bought aerating gadgets and equipment can be expensive.

    If you have the time, you can build this homemade aerator using simple hardware supplies.

  4. Homemade Vine Guard

    Having trouble with aggressive and unwieldy vines? These kind of invasive vines are known to climb and clamber on structures that should be off-limits, like wires and cables.

    But how do you protect these structures from the aggressive stems and branches? Here's where you can build a basic yet effective vine guard to stop those invasive vines.

  5. Drip Irrigation Using Soda Pop Plastic Bottle

    Water that isn't absorb by your garden plants is wasted water. This typically happens where the soil is compacted or there are runoffs.

    By having slow drip irrigation for your plants, you can be sure their thirst during very hot weather is quenched. And no worries, this DIY project is made from simple household materials and done in a few minutes.

  6. Disposing Thorny Plant Stems and Branches

    After pruning and trimming thorny plants and bushes, it's oftentimes difficult and sometimes dangerous to dispose of cut stems and branches.

    Here's a very simple tip on how you can dispose pruned branches and stems that have needle-like thorns. Old newspapers and some twine is all you need.

  7. DIY Bamboo Trellis in a Container

    This lovely plastic garden pot with a built-in bamboo trellis can be moved anywhere where a climbing vine will flourish. And that trellis isn't just staked to the soil. It's actually joined to the garden pot. This is a two-part series where you will also learn how to paint on bamboo.

    Although this garden project is a bit involved, you'll truly appreciate its value once you're ready to showcase your vines' bountiful flowers. Transform that ordinary plastic pot into a garden container with a built-in trellis now!

  8. Cheap Garden Pots Using Coconut Shells

    Running out of small garden pots for your plants? Did you know that coconut shells, considered as agricultural waste in many places, can be an alternative?

    Here's where you'll find how you can be creative with a coconut shell around the garden.

  9. Build a Wire Trellis on Faux Stone Panel

    Faux stone panel is effective in decorating walls, posts, fences or any othe vertical surfaces. But gardeners can add the warm earthly tone of green plants against the cold facade of stone.

    If you think building a wall trellis on faux stone panel is impossible, then think again. With a few hardware materials, you will be able to mount an effective wire wall trellis without ruining the faux stone panel.

  10. A Gardening Secret Tool for Projects

    Here's a nifty little tool that I've been wanting to write about for quite some time. Plumbers and carpenters use it because of its usefulness for so many applications.

    It's one indispensable product that I consider a little-known secret for gardening projects.

There you go! This year had a bountiful harvest of gardening tips and projects. Definitely, a couple of items in the above list are easy to do. Hopefully, in the year to come, we will be busier than ever with new gardening ideas that will make our garden thrive and flourish. And for the next year? Here's my set of gardening goals in 2012.

Go ahead, post your comment below!