5 Tips from the Gardening Bench

Welcome to my New Summer Segment of 5 Tips from the Gardening Bench.

Several times over the summer I’ll be sharing 5 new tips about gardening that you’ll be checking your inbox to find out about.

They will be added to my FREE printables early so all of you who have signed up to get my emails, will have them before everyone else. How cool is that?

image of my vintage gardening bench filled with terra cotta pots and plants. I will be sharing my 5 tips from the gardening bench from here :)

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5 Tips From the Gardening Bench

As I mentioned before I’m going to start sharing some of the things I do in my garden that either make my gardening easier, make my plants happier, or are just fun tips!

Tip #1

  • Growing Zucchini Vertically
    • I did this for the first time last summer. What a game-changer! One zucchini plant can take up easily a 6 ft x 6 ft area (maybe more) when it gets to its full growth potential.
    • By growing it vertically, you basically only need about 1-2 ft., of land devoted to your plant. It grows straight up.
    • I used a very heavy-duty tomato cage to house my plant. It is bigger and sturdier than an average tomato cage. I got mine at our local garden center however you can find some great ones HERE.
    • You put the tomato cage over the new plant and train the leaves through the cage loops as it starts to grow.
    • I also cut off the bottom leaves that don’t reach up to the first loop of the cage.
    • As the plant grows, you will want to continue to work the leave through the loops from the inside and also continue to cut off branches from the bottom if they aren’t behaving.
    • The beauty of this is, that not only do you contain the amount of land your plant takes up but you can also see your fruit better, as it grows. I had very few 10lb zucchinis with this method like I would find when I allowed it to just grow on the ground.
    • Even with the heavy-duty cage, I did have to tie the cage to our fence when the plant got to its fullest. You can also use some garden stakes for this. You can find the kind I recommend HERE

Tip #2

  • Tomato Food
    • I always have a bounty of tomatoes by the end of July/the beginning of August. I preserve my tomatoes so that we have that fresh tomato flavor all year long. You can also read more about how I do it HERE.
    • I use the following plant food and my plants love it.

Tomato Food

This is a fertilizer for new tomato plants. It helps produce healthy plants and great fruit
Cuisine Vegetable
Keyword tomato food, tomato nutrients
Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings 4 cups


  • Small Bucket
  • measuring cups
  • measuring spoons


  • 3 cups compost, mulch or dirt
  • 1/2 cup epsom salt
  • 1/2 cup powdered milk
  • 1 tbsp baking soda


  • Mix all the ingredients together
  • Place a handful into the hole you have dug for your tomato plant, mix it around with the dirt at the bottom and then plant your tomato plant.
  • If you have already planted your tomatoes, put some around your tomato plant and gently work it into the soil.
  • Water your plants

Tip #3

  • Cages for My Peonies (or other bush-type flowers that have heavy flower heads)
    • A Master Gardener and fellow blogger shared with me that she uses peony stakes to keep her peonies upright and her flowers lasting longer. You can hear us talk about it on this edition of the Living Large Podcast HERE.
    • I tried it this year and it really is a game-changer. It made such a difference in the appearance of the bush. They are standing proud and strong and the blooms are truly majestic.
    • My friends over @happilyeveretter shared this about peonies “Many people have said they wish the peony blooms would last longer – but we would argue that their short-blooming time is what makes them so very special”. I think this quote is going to be famous!
    • You can find these amazing cages HERE

Tip #4

  • Trimming stray buds on a peony bush.
    • I learned this trick many years ago and it works so I have continued to use it every season.
    • When your bush is just budding, you will typically find several buds coming out of one stem.
    • You will want to snip off all the extra side buds, then just leave the largest center bud.
    • This allows all the energy to go into that flower to further produce something magnificent.
    • Watch me do it in the video below.
Click on the Photo to see a Garden Video

Tip #5

  • Raised Beds
    • A few years ago “Handy” put raised beds in our vegetable garden and as we get older, this is so much easier on my knees and my back.
    • It makes it so much easier to sit on the sides to plant, weed, and harvest my crops instead of crawling around on the ground.
    • It also makes it easier to keep the soil healthy by containing the things we add to it. I promise to share that in an upcoming tips segment.

Tools you’ll need

Learning new tips and tricks for gardening are such a joy for me. I try most of them and some work, some not so much.

I planted a raspberry plant last year and it appears that it has had buds with fruit but it seems to have been eaten. I recently purchased some berry bush netting. I’ll let you know if it works.

I’m also trying out a trick that supposedly prolongs the life of a peony flower. Here is a little video of me wrapping the buds up to store in the refrigerator.

We’ll see if that tips work as I want to use the prolonged blooms at Annie & Tommy’s Wedding #2 – The Party.

I hope you find these 5 Tips from The Potting Bench helpful. If you have a great tip that you use, please share them in the comments below.

picture of peony flowers in a vase on my sideboard along with a vintage phone, vintage books, and a few other vintage items.

Happy Gardening!

Peace and Love,

Don’t forget Father’s Day is right around the corner. HERE are some last-minute ideas. You can also visit My Amazon Store for even more Ideas

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  1. I love these, Lynn. They are all so helpful. I love to garden so this is super helpful. I’m going to share a link to your tips with my readers tomorrow as part of my week in rewind post. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Thank you Jen for including me in your post. Gardening is a huge passion of mine.