Monthly Archives: September 2015

Are You Being Bugged?!

Contributed by Tim Wholey

9-25-15 pesticide-free-zone-ladybugWhen you see something amiss with your plants and vegetables, like uninvited guests dining on them, do you cringe at the thought of reaching for that chemical pesticide you keep in your garage? Do visions of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring come to mind? You certainly don’t want to expose your family and pets to anything that could harm them or make them ill. While you don’t want to harm beneficial insects like honeybees, you don’t want to see all your beautiful results, money and hard work being devoured either.

What to do? Don’t fret, there are safe organic remedies that you can easily make yourself, often with ingredients you already have around the house. And you will save some money too!

Various remedies make use of natural odors, bad taste, stickiness, texture & even heat to ward off pests. They call for such common household ingredients as onions, garlic cloves, jalapeno peppers, cooking oil & baking soda, just to name a few. Growing certain flowers and herbs, such as Chrysanthemums, garlic bulbs & Marigolds, and planting them among your vegetables can also be an effective means to ward off certain insects.

To apply any solution, understand the problem first. For instance, is the problem related to insect infestation, fungi, mildew or some other problem? I have selected just a few websites that can help you select the right remedy and walk you through a few simple steps to get you on your way to safer, non-toxic pest control in your garden.9-24-15 Spray_bottle

Please share your results with us if you try or have tried any of these solutions!

http://eartheasy.com/grow_nat_pest_cntrl.htm#c

http://homeguides.sfgate.com/homemade-organic-pesticide-vegetables-45069.html

http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/homemade-pesticides-zmaz80mazraw.aspx?PageId=2#ArticleContent

http://tipnut.com/natural-pesticides/

http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/organic-pesticides/

http://www.homegrown.org/forum/topics/homemade-organic-pesticide-sprays-101

Here’s Looking at You …

2015-9-10 cornus florida flowersContributed by Allan Robinson

Near my front door, which I use multiple times every day, is an ornamental tree that I admire. I take a sense of pride in this tree, as my partner and I planted it back in ’08. The day was warm and the tree perhaps a tad too big for both of us to comfortably handle as we slid it out of the back of a borrowed dump truck, scrambling out of the way in fear of bodily harm. With just the two of us we had one shot to size the hole correctly and position the tree in it. After much deliberation and a little more digging, followed by back-filling the hole and then a little more digging, we succeeded.

Since that memorable day back in 2008 both of us have admired our ornamental tree, a tree selected and planted purely for aesthetic reasons. We selected a tree for its four seasons of interest. Such a wealth of ornamental features may not be important if your tree won’t be seen throughout the year, but in our case this tree bids us a good-day every morning and welcomes us home each evening.

As the seasons progress, so does the beauty of the tree. In the spring we admire the large white flower petals before the leaves emerge. During the summer months we have lush green leaves changing to a rich purple-maroon in autumn. The berries, which have been hidden all summer, boldly announce their arrival to the birds by brightening to red in the fall. Before winter rolls around the last task of the tree is to set its flower buds for the following spring providing winter interest. We like to hang lights on it during the holiday season. With or without lights, the tree is quite handsome throughout the winter.

2015-9-10 cornus florida fruitAlthough we chose a native dogwood (Cornus florida) for our front walk, other popular deciduous ornamental trees include Birch, Paperbark Maple, Kousa Dogwood, Crab Apple, flowering Cherry, Stewartia and Washington Hawthorne. What special tree would you like to have welcome you home each day?