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How to turn an empty milk container into a watering can

How to turn an empty milk container into a watering can
The Family Handyman

I only own one watering can, so I need to refill it four or five times to water all of the plants on my patio. Instead of buying more overpriced watering cans, I use old milk jugs. I drill a few holes in the caps, fill up the jugs with water and I’m good to go. —Harrison Berg

Coffee filter dirt stopper

Coffee filter dirt stopper
The Family Handyman

I used to have trouble keeping the dirt from flowing out the bottom of my potted plants when I watered them. I tried using larger stones in the bottoms of the pots, but that didn’t completely solve the problem. The solution was to place a coffee filter at the bottom of the pot before filling with dirt. The coffee filter stops the dirt while still allowing the water to flow through and not waterlog the plant. Now I have solved one of my tiny pet peeves and can move on with my life! —Kevin Daniel

This is how to help your indoor garden thrive. 

Epsom salt fertiliser trick

Epsom salt fertiliser trick
The Family Handyman

Epsom salt (hydrated magnesium sulfate) is known for its home remedy uses, but the garden might be the place that it shines the most. Like store-bought fertilisers, Epsom salt contains magnesium, which aids in seed germination, chlorophyll production and absorption of vital nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus.

Most plants grow better with a ratio of two teaspoons to four litres of water per month. You can also dilute the Epsom salt with water in a bottle and apply as a foliar spray. Misting the plant greatly increases its growth. This works especially well on vegetables and roses. —Taylor Peterson

New use for old backyard game pieces

New use for old backyard game pieces
The Family Handyman

We spend a ton of time planting, fertilising and watering our flowers. Once, while dragging the hose across the yard, I inadvertently raked it across the garden and destroyed a bunch of flowers. My solution was to make a path for the hose using the wickets from my croquet set. As I’m watering, I feed the hose through the wickets, keeping my flowers safe. —Ryne Rover

Here are more household items you had no idea were reusable. 

Control your climbing plants with zip ties

Control your climbing plants with zip ties
The Family Handyman

Getting my vines to run up just how I want can be tricky. To direct the vines, I fasten zip-ties around the stalks, strapping them to anything stable. Don’t strap the vines too tightly. They need to be able to move and grow. —Craig Sullivan

Chimney flue planters

Chimney flue planters
The Family Handyman

To make these terracotta planters, go to a brick supplier and buy one metre lengths of clay chimney flue liner. Cut them to different heights using a circular saw fitted with an abrasive cutting wheel. You can put them on a deck or patio, or accent your yard wherever you like – just pick your spots and bury the ends in the soil a little. Fill the liners with gravel for drainage, leaving 20cm at the top for potting soil. —Nancy Belmont

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Invest in a heavy-duty tarp

Invest in a heavy-duty tarp
The Family Handyman

Nothing is quite so useful in landscaping projects as a durable tarp. It’s excellent for moving leaves, weeds, soil and small rocks (among other materials) quickly and safely when working in the yard. You can also use it to cover plants or landscaping materials on a truck bed when transporting them or to protect projects from a fierce storm. Just don’t leave a tarp laying out on the lawn for too long, or it will kill your grass.

Garden tool hideaway

Garden tool hideaway
The Family Handyman

A mailbox hidden behind shrubs near your garden provides a convenient home for tools. — Lynn Samples

Easier vegetable planting

Easier vegetable planting
The Family Handyman

We have a really big vegetable garden and I’m getting older, so the less time I have to spend hunched over on my hands and knees, the better. When I’m ready to plant new vegetables, I set aside my trowel and grab my posthole digger. Just one or two plunges into the soil for each plant and I’ve got perfectly sized holes for all my crops! —Barbara McGrew

Here are some surprising fertilisers for your garden. 

Truck-bed caddy

Truck-bed caddy
The Family Handyman

Pickup trucks are great for hauling big stuff, but small stuff has a way of sliding all over the place. To solve the problem, I made a simple caddy from 2x4s and fastened with deck screws. The compartments help small items like nursery plants stay put. —Tom Rawson

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Philippines lockdown update:
Please be advised that due to the current lockdown in the Philippines, Reader’s Digest magazine May issue will not be available at its regular on-sale date to our subscribers or through our retail channels in that region. We hope to have the issues available in early June, but this is dependent on when the lockdown restrictions are lifted. We sincerely apologise for this inconvenience. Thank you and stay safe!
– The Reader’s Digest team