Guest Post – How To Control Garden Pests

 

Diy garden pest control infographic

 

Gardening is one of the best remedies for the mind. There are many benefits attached to it like enjoying outdoors, getting some physical activity, and in the process growing some nutritious fruits and vegetables.

One of the important aspects of maintaining a garden is to nourish and protect your plants. It is also natural for gardeners to use pesticides to protect their plants from pest attack. Most of the pesticides have harmful chemicals, and it affects your health and the environment as well. The good news is that you can find various preventive pest control methods can be practiced to keep your plants healthy. You have to put in some extra efforts to follow them, but in the end, it will all be worth it.

Unless you have no other option, usage of natural pesticides like soaps, vinegar, neem oil, and row covers is recommended. Chemical pesticides can protect plants, but the majority of the garden has vegetables that are edible. Plants inherit these chemicals, and when it is consumed, it becomes dangerous. Dust and pyrethrum solution extracted from daisy flowers are good natural pesticides. By spraying the solution from time to time, plants are protected from insects, such as flies, fleas, roaches, ants, and aphids.

If you see any bacterial and pest infestation, you must act on it immediately to prevent it from spreading. Cut off infected part of the plants and throw away the damaged fruits or vegetables. Do not add them to the compost heap. Regularly check your garden for pests and don’t forget to look under the leaves as well.

Heat will dry plants and kill them quickly. So build a greenhouse to protect your plants from the harmful radiations. Likewise, cold weather also hinders the growth of plants, so they need to be protected from this as well.

Apart from shade and shelter, mulch can protect your plants to a great extent. It also reduces general garden maintenance activity, retains water, decreases evaporation and encourages vigorous growth of plants. Do some research and find out about mulch variations that can be used in all temperature conditions.

Drinking water in the morning has many health benefits for humans. Same applies to plants. Watering early in the morning ensures that the roots are hydrated enough to bear the heat of the day. This is the only way to protect plants from sunburn. Sometimes a second watering is also a good idea if once wasn’t sufficient.

If you’re late at planting seeds, or you live in a place where it is warm throughout the year, plant the seeds deeper. Warm temperature and direct sunlight can dehydrate the top soil quickly. So by planting seed an extra inch or two deeper will prevent the root systems from drying.

You cannot entirely protect your garden from changing weather conditions, pests, and plant diseases. But, as a gardener, you have to experiment with gardening protecting tactics so that you can find out the one that is suitable for your garden.

This post was submitted by Angela Thomas who works for the New York City Pest Control.

 

Golden Rules of Organic Gardening

gardening, vegetable gardens

 

Organic gardening has been becoming more and more popular and for a good reason. Whether we are aware of it or not, many gardeners are already working on some form of organic gardening. Organic gardening is the actual practice of growing lawns, vegetables, fruits, shrubs and more without manmade chemicals. It’s also about feeding the soil by tilling compost or manure into the soil.  Check out these gardening tips too.

It is getting harder and harder to do organic gardening since there are many toxins out there that get in the way. However, if you follow these golden rules below you will be able to start a really good organic garden for you and your family:

  • Invest some time and energy to build up your soil with a nice, high amount of organic matter that would be able to support a better quantity of beneficial soil microbes and fungi. Healthy soil will help grow healthy plants.
  • Ensure you have properly placed plants in a location where they will be thriving instead of dying. This is one very important part of expert gardening and landscaping that will help make your plants vigorous and healthy.  Healthy plants will be harder to succumb to disease and pests and they will be less stressed by bad weather.
  • When a disease and pest problem is fist noticed, you will need to take action right away. This will be a lot easier to work with during the early stages of an infestation, so avoid delays when you work on garden maintenance and landscaping.
  • There are many benefits of organic gardening you can enjoy, such as the lack of harmful chemicals in your homegrown food, less overall harm to the land around you, preservation of wetland areas and groundwater in general and more.
  • You can feel a lot better knowing you are actually doing something to change things. We can use compost or composted manure for fertilizer and mulch, not to mention we can use it in a really safe way. Leaves and straw as well as tree bark would make for excellent mulching choices when you need it. Natural-based and organic fertilizers instead of chemically derived ones will also be a major part of your gardening efforts.
  • You can learn to apply the right techniques to make growing healthy plants an easier job, avoiding diseases and pests in the process. A healthy plant will be much more resistant to stress and more, so make sure you keep it that way.
  • You can use beneficial enemies for the pest insect species in your garden.  Such as how ladybugs are enemies of nematodes and aphids.  Additionally, as other species combinations that would be a good solution.

Use natural deterrents and insecticides.  For example, insecticidal soap sprays, copper, sulfur, neem oil and more to solve your disease issues. Use the chance to remove any weeds that are too big for weed killer or work by hand. It will be harder, but it will be worth the efforts.

Ella Andrews is a content writer. She has a passion for home maintenance, healthy living and gardening  projects. She is presently focused on writing and enjoying every opportunity to share tips and advice with her readers.

 

 

 

How to Create Garden Compost From Leaves

gardening, garden compost, vegetable gardens



Having rich soil is essential in vegetable and flower gardens.  I started composting several years ago.  I have 2 compost bins that I use for kitchen scraps, yard cuttings, grass etc.  The compost bins weren’t breaking down fast enough for me, so I started composting my neighbor’s leaves.  I’m not sure that I will return to the compost bins after seeing the results of the composted leaves. I love how the leaves break down.  They’re easier to compost and they don’t require any work unlike the compost bins.  Check out my other backyard vegetable gardening tips too.

Just leave the leaves in lawn bags and let them do their thing.  My neighbor brings me 15 – 20 bags each fall.  I use them to mulch the garden in the fall to keep the weeds down in the spring until I’m ready to till.  The top picture is a bag that I use around my garden plants as mulch.  This year I created paths in the garden to keep the weeds down with them. Normally I use straw, but I didn’t purchase any this year so I had to use my leaves.

 
Here’s a picture of a bag that has broken down into black gold.  Every gardener wishes for black gold. This bag is beautiful and full of worms. It took a year for the leaves to break down to this state, but it is so worth it. The compost in the bins isn’t close to being this rich after 3 years.  I must say that I have not given the bins the attention that they require.  Compost bins must be heated up by using a certain amount of greens and browns, such as cuttings from the lawn, leaves, kitchen scrapes, newspaper, etc. It also requires water and turning.  My bags of leaves just require storage space, and nature does its thing. The longer you leave them, the more they break down.
Because I have 5 – 10 bags of black gold for the next year’s garden, the other bags can sit and decompose this year.  You can have black gold too. Stop burning those leaves and find a spot for them to decompose.  It’s easy:
1.  Remove large sticks, pine cones etc. from the leaves.
2.  Use inexpensive lawn bags to house them.  I purchase cheap ones from the Dollar Store.
3.  Crumble the leaves as much as you can while placing them in the bag.  Because my neighbor gives me her leaves, I have to open the bags and crumble them myself.  If you have kids let them crumble them.  It gets them involved in gardening.
4.  Wet the crumbled leaves thoroughly, seal the bag and place it in a spot where they won’t be disturbed. I use a stick and punch a few holes in the bag so it will get water from the rain and snow during the winter months.
 
Finally, I hope that you found the post on garden compost beneficial.  So, just remember that composted leaves will enrich your soil and help produce nice flowers and vegetables. You can either till it into the garden or place a scoop into the hole before adding your plant. I’m going to add more of this compost around my established plants this week.  I use a small hand trowel to dig the compost into the soil around the plant. Finally, if you use this method make sure you don’t dig too deep.  Digging too deep may damage the roots or the plant.  Most importantly, the compost is organic and it’s free.