Thursday, July 14, 2011

Slug Control . . . Home Remedies

You can have gorgeous flowering plants one day and wake up the next morning to nothing but sticks.  Slugs will do that!

After lots of experimenting, I found many different methods of getting rid of them . . .

Best method . . . purchased organic slug bait and put in jars with holes in the lid . . . placed sideways in areas plagued by the slugs.  The method is similar to a roach motel . . . they check in, but don't check out.  Be careful using baits if you have pets . . . even if they are organic, they can be toxic to pets.  Placing them in jars keeps the pets out of the bait.

Slugs hate scratchy barriers like crushed eggshells, wood ash and coffee grounds . . . they can be used as barriers around infested areas.  It is a tedious process and requires reapplication after rain or watering.

It is said that copper strips shock slugs and snails trying to cross them, although I never tried it.  Thin copper can be found in craft stores.

There are effective baiting techniques!  Lure them and then kill them in soapy water.  Another tedious process, but they will gather away from your plants to a confined area where you can easily dispose of them.

They love beer . . . set out in jar tops at night, collect them and dispose in the morning . . . they also love dissolved yeast.

Set out fresh melon rinds and grapefruit at night . . . lures them in just like the beer does.

The baiting techniques can be a problem in you have pets!

We haven't had a problem with slugs . . . it is the grasshoppers that are eating everything in sight.  The only way I've found to effectively get rid of them without using pesticides is catch them and stomp them dead.  I hate them!

Share your home remedies for controlling pests in your garden!

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Monday, July 11, 2011

Growing Tomatoes . . . soil additives

As an organic gardener, I'm always looking for tips from other gardeners who have successfully used what some would consider off-the-wall methods for maintaining healthy tomato plants.

The following mix has been used by several gardeners
 on the Organic Gardening website forum . . .

Mumsey's Magic Mix 

1 handful bone meal
1 handful cornmeal
1/2 handful powdered milk
1/4 handful epsom salts

Mix well in hole, plant tomato.  

Side dress every few weeks or so
with the cornmeal and powdered milk,
 watered down or not . . . the rain will soak it in.

I've posted these links before, but here they are again ~

If you need information on how to grow your own tomato plants, Fine Gardening has an awesome video series covering various topics.  Click here to go to their tomato page.

And if you haven't checked it out yet, click here to go to my tomato links page.

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Saturday, July 9, 2011

Cilantro ~ Grow it in your garden

Coriandrum Sativum . . . also known as Chinese parsley.

The leafy part is called Cilantro, the seed is known as Coriander.

Cilantro loses its flavor when dried or cooked, so it is best used fresh.

Since Cilantro plants grow and go to seed quickly, it is best to plant them continuously (every three weeks is suggested) throughout the growing season (spring and fall) to keep the crop going.  Summer heat will speed up the growing process, quickly seeding the plants when soil temperatures reach 75 degrees.  

The plants love growing in a moist, well-drained soil mulched with compost for nutrients and root protection to keep the soil cooler to prolong growing.  The shade from closely growing plants also keeps the roots cooler.

The plants do not grow well indoors . . . they require mostly full sun, although it is possible to grow in morning sun and afternoon shade.  In general, they are a cool season plant and best grown in the ground since they don't tolerate transplanting well.

To prolong leaf growing, trim off flower heads as soon as they start to flower.  You can allow the flowers to mature and seed . . . they will resow and another crop will be ready in a few weeks.  The seeds can also be collected when they turn brown to use as coriander or to dry out and save for replanting.  Keep your seeds in an airtight container in a cool, dark place for use as a culinary spice in cooking or as seeds for next year's crop.  

The cilantro leaves are ready to harvest about 8 weeks from seed and can be cut any time during the growth period.  Cutting the outer leaves first is recommended so the smaller leaves can continue to grow.  It is best to harvest before it begins to seed, which produces bitter tasting leaves. 

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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Mosaic Trash to Treasure

This gorgeous mosaic planter started off as a concrete slab piece with square inserts that someone had ready for the trash.  It goes to show you that one person's trash is another's treasure.  I love the use of mosaic tiles!

Click here for the tutorial on how it went from a ready for the trash concrete slab to gorgeous mosaic planter.

Creative projects for the garden are so cool!

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Monday, July 4, 2011

Container Gardening in the Shade

Awesome containers!

Utilizing containers in different shapes, sizes and colors can add lots of interest to the garden landscape.

I love container gardening in shady areas of the garden, but not all plants can tolerate shade.  Find the plants that love the shade and the results are awesome!

Click here for an excellent article from Fine Gardening that lists shade loving plants and tips for growing container plants in shady areas.  Lots of great tips!

The photo source is Fine Gardening.

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