Newspaper makes excellent mulch
Lay several sheets of newsprint over soil and then cover with mulch; they’ll help retain moisture and suffocate weeds.
Water ferns with tea
Water your ferns and acid-loving plants like hydrangeas with brewed tea for luscious-looking leaves. Have you tried these other surprising uses for tea?
Banana peels are a rosebush’s best friend
Keep aphids off your rosebushes by burying dried or cut up banana peels an inch or two deep around the base of the plant. (Whole peels will attract animals, who will dig them up.)
Aluminum foil deters insects
Mix strips of aluminum foil with mulch and you’ll keep bugs away. The foil will also reflect light back on the plants, which encourages growth. These are other creative ways to use aluminum foil.
Salt is a natural pest killer
Kill snails and slugs by dousing them with salt—they won’t survive long.
Ripen end-of-season tomatoes
Ripen end-of-season tomatoes perfectly by wrapping in a couple sheets of newspaper once they’re off the vine. Store in an airtight container in a dark cabinet or closet, checking every few days.
Kill compost odor
Add wet, shredded paper to compost to remove odor.
Tea enriches your soil
Sprinkle new or used tea leaves around ferns and acid-loving plants and cover with mulch—when you water, nutrients from the tea will release into the soil.