Gardening and Pest Control Tips
Organic Gardening Tips
It's easy to go organic! Here at theGardenPages we have been
organic for years. Not because we're on a crusade to change the
world, just because it is
easier, safer and often much less expensive.
You do not have to swear off all chemicals immediately to be an organic
gardener. We'd like to help you make the transition smoothly.
Here are a few organic tips that have worked for me in the garden.
Aphids; Sometimes the best way to get rid of them is
to just spray them off with a hose. Use a strong spray and blast
them off. Normally that is enough to decimate the
Organic Pest Control; Two Top Pests
Another aphid control option is ladybugs. They can be
found at nurseries
and some home centers. When you first release them, you need to
convince them to stick around in your yard. The trick to keeping
them around is to
lightly sprinkle the plants (so they have water) and release them in
the evening. Ladybugs will be more likely to settle in for the
your plants. The moisture and food supply (aphids) should keep
them from moving too far away the next day.
Snails; Handpicking in the evening is a time
tested technique. Another trick is to put out shallow
saucers of beer. The slugs and snails slither in and don't
Eggshells; snails hate eggshells, something about
slithering over small
bits of shards bothers them. But your shells must be CLEAN.
If you use shells from fresh eggs be sure to wash them off first!
If you're using hard boiled eggs, make sure there is no egg left on
them. Otherwise you will be inviting bigger pests into your
And yes, if you have eggshells from Easter eggs made with edible
dye, they should be safe in the garden -- and add a colorful dash of
Appetizers? Your snails are descendants of
snails brought over from
France for escargot. I had a neighbor who collected them, put
them in sawdust for two weeks to detox them and then he'd fire up the
stove and melt butter!
Own Organic Insecticidal Soap
Here's a really simple recipe for insecticidal soap:
Keep Your Garden Chemical Free
1 tablespoon of soap
2 cups water (1 pint)
Mix thoroughly and add to spray bottle. Spray insects on plants.
Use regular dish soap, not detergent or anything
You can also use pure castile soap like the kind made by Dr. Bronner
(yes, the all-one guy). His soap is certified under the USDA
National Organic Program. He
also makes a peppermint castile soap. I have read that peppermint oil
help repel deer and other large pests but I have not tried it myself.
Let me know if you have!
This recipe works best on soft bodied
vegetable patch pests like aphids, thrips, white flies and spider
mites. Soaps kill insects by entering the pest's respiratory system and
breaking down internal cell membranes. It is only effective when it is
wet, so aim well. After it is dry it will not harm your beneficial
Some recipes call for adding 1 tablespoon of some kind
of oil, either mineral oil or vegetable oil. This will help the mixture
adhere to other hard-bodies pests like fleas. But it will also stick to
your ladybug beetles so be careful where you are aiming.
plants (especially ferns) are sensitive to soaps. You should
test your mixture first on one leaf on your plant. If it is fine the
next day, you solution should be OK to use.
Spray Tips: It is better not to spray
your plants in the middle of the day. Full sun (especially on
plants) can turn the water droplets into little magnifying glasses
which can burn the leaf. It is better to spray in the early
morning or late afternoon.
Pests like to hide underneath the leaves. For best results aim up
get under that foliage.
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