Stop blackening of banana peels by opening the plastic bag and by keeping them in the fridge drawer with tomatoes. (Marie Jonker, Mookgopong).

One can also cover the top part of a bunch of bananas with plastic wrap or pull them apart, to increase their shelf life (www.buzzfeed.com). Take a piece of the inside of a banana peel and gently rub around your teeth for about two minutes. Minerals in the peel like potassium, magnesium and manganese absorb into your teeth and whiten them (email, 19 May 2015).

Sweat marks on shirts: Grind one or two aspirins and make a paste with some water, lemon juice or vinegar. Apply the paste to marks and leave for an hour before washing (www.realfarmacy.com).

More innovative ideas:

Freeze grapes to chill white wine without watering it down. Frozen grapes are great, even without the wine.

Use cupcake cases to cover drinks glasses in summer (like an umbrella with the straw through it) and prevent flies from dropping in.

To prevent your eyes from watering while chopping onions, wipe the chopping board with vinegar (which won’t affect the taste of the onions).

Prevent soil from escaping through the holes in the base of flowerpots by lining with large coffee filters.

Create a thrifty watering can by punching holes in the top of a used plastic bottle of if you have a vegetable garden in containers, water the plants with plastic bottles, placed upside down in the container, without their lids. A mixture of dishwashing liquid, garlic and water gets rid of most garden insects, and a mixture of water for fungi.

Interesting articles to read: “Laat jou vullis blom”, under “Tuinmaak” at www.rooirose.co.za or get a copy of Jane Griffith’s Jane’s Delicious Garden for more information on food forests and jungle planting.

Garden tip: Bird boxes, feeding stations, roosting pouches and insect hotels will help bring your garden to life with bird and insect activity. They can thrive even in the smallest gardens, so make space for wildlife in your garden design. Attract more wildlife by planting their favourite flowers, which will please bees and butterflies and give you lots of colour. It will soon be a hive of activity! Want to know what to do in the garden now that it’s autumn? Visit www.joburgwest.getitonline.co.za