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I’m a gardening expert – An everyday item worth 29 cents can keep your plants from drying out when the weather warms up

MAINTAINING your plants during the hot summer months takes extra care, but that doesn’t necessarily mean extra expense.

A simple gardening trick using layers can keep your soil moist and your plants healthy.

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Plants need special attention when the weather warms up

Disposable diapers contain hydrogel to ensure they absorb and retain liquids.

It’s the same thing that’s sold in garden stores but usually advertised as water retention crystals, reports Gardening Know How.

Get the cheapest box of diapers you can find at your local big box store.

Tear off the diaper and pour the contents into a mixing bowl. Do not choose small pieces of cotton, as they also help absorb water.

Add water to the mix until you have a gel-like consistency, then add equal parts potting soil.

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You can now use this mixture in pots for your new plants.

If you prefer not to get your hands dirty, you can simply peel off the part of the diaper that goes against the baby’s bottom and place it on the bottom of the potty.

If it’s a larger planter, you may need more than one layer, but be sure to poke holes in the bottom so the soil can drain away and not drown the roots.

Obviously, it is not a natural substance. It should be used sparingly and certainly not in pots you use to plant fruits, herbs or vegetables.

More bugs also come out during warmer months. Your garden can be attacked by pests that eat away roots and leaves.

A simple homemade pesticide is inexpensive to make and will protect all plants from unwanted invaders.

Bonvilla’s gardening experts suggest the use of insecticidal soap as a “non-toxic solution” to spray plants bothered by insects.

They advise mixing 1-2 drops of lemon essential oil, 1 tablespoon of pure liquid soap, such as Castile soap, for 1 liter of water, and putting it in a spray bottle.

However, avoid using dish soap, as the additives can harm plants and be ineffective on insects.

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