Add a little salt, saltpeter or soda to the water containing cut flowers, or place them in cold soap suds, to aid in their preservation.
Another way is to fill a vase nearly full of fresh bits of charcoal, adding water till the vase is nearly full of water, place flowers in it, and change water daily. Cut flowers with a sharp knife instead of scissors, if you wish them to keep for a longer time.
After picking, put them in rather hot water and the stems soon become stiff, so the blooms will stay up. By tying a soft thread around buds, they may be kept from opening for several days.
Cover any size embroidery hoop with mosquito netting, placing over a low bowl, and stick short stemmed flowers through it.
Plant a five cent package of old fashioned portulaca seed in your fern dish for beautiful greenery.
A flower pot may be covered with a straw sleeve protector or made attractive by decorating in green oil paints in leaf designs.
Mix mustard and turnip seed and sow thickly in odd spots in garden or yard. They grow rapidly, can be cut off and will grow again. Horse radish is also good to have growing.
Grow fresh mint for cooking, in less than a week in a glass jar of water. Do not change, but add to the water each day or two, and keep the sprays short by pinching off the tops.
Vines should be trained on a strong black thread in a window garden.
A sweet potato, not kiln dried, placed in a bowl containing a few inches of water, will grow beautiful greens.
Thoroughly dissolve one tablespoonful epsom salts in one half gallon cool water, and pour over plant roots.
Save the most perfect buds of the desired flowers, cut with a three inch stem and cover the end immediately with sealing wax. When they have shrunken some, wrap each one in a piece of paper and keep in a dry box. When ready for them in winter, take them at night, cut off the ends, and place in water containing a little niter of salt. The following day the flowers will bloom as though just picked.
Gather red berries like pods of roses, and bright red berries and dip in melted paraffin for decorating in winter.
Plant four or five bulbs in October in a six inch pot, and place in the cellar till six weeks before Christmas, then bring gradually to the light. If about to bloom too soon, put in a darker cooler place; if too slow, put in a warmer lighter place.
Do not cast it aside after repeated blooming, but in the spring, dig a hole in the ground, set the pot in and water as usual. In the fall, place it in a sunny window, keep moist with warm water and it will bloom like new.
Cut off a strong slip, cut a slot in the end and fill full of cotton, wrapping paper around it so it will not touch the bottle, and put it in a bottle of water in a dark place for a week. It should have plenty of roots by that time, and is ready to plant carefully in rich soil.
Other woody plants may be rooted in this way.
Insert an oat or a grain of rye in the bottom of the slip, put in a pot, keep moist, and the result is wonderful.
Do not place ferns on windows or in a draft.
Moisten the soil around them each week with not too strong cold tea.
When the fronds droop, the fern is usually root-bound.
Two tablespoonfuls of olive or castor oil poured on the roots of large ferns and palms once a month, does wonders. Use less quantities for smaller plants.
Keep palms washed clean with luke warm water and milk and give them from one to two tablespoonfuls olive or castor oil, according to their size, once a month.
A fresh green pineapple top may be planted and grown into a fine palm.
Give them oil as advised for ferns and palms. If the leaves become spotted, turn yellow and drop, give the roots some sweet skim milk once or twice each week.
Turn boxes or other covers immediately over them, covering them with blankets, papers, or anything to entirely keep out light; or set them in a perfectly dark closet to thaw naturally, without light. Bulbs frozen in water should be set away from a ray of light and brought out on a milder day.
Cut off close to the ground and drop a few drops of gasoline from an old kerosene can on the roots.
One teaspoonful ammonia to one quart warm water on roots of plants destroys worms and bugs.
To rid plants of lice, spray with two tablespoonfuls oil of sassafras well stirred in one quart of lukewarm water.
Spread a mixture of emery dust and black oil as thick as molasses, on the concave cutter bar beneath the knives. Remove the cast head covering on the outside of one wheel and place a crank on the end of the axle, and turn backward. This turns the knife cylinder rapidly and draws the knife edges through the emery and oil. The kitchen range shaker or clothes wringer crank may be utilized for the crank.