Garden Solutions - Organic Way

by the Happy Gardener 

Home and Garden(continued)

Moles

To get rid of moles use spent kitty litter and spread it around.  Moles do not like this application.  Use 50 percent water, 50 percent castor oil (you can buy it at the drugstore); add a few drops of liquid soap.  Pour an ounce or two in every hole.   Plant Castor Bean Plants, these are annuals.  Plant around the yard and moles will stay away. 

Earwigs and Slugs

Diatomaceous earth or very sharp sand is good to spread around plants and plant beds.  Earwigs and Slugs go across and are cut up and they dehydrate. Eggshells are another source of sharp material to put around the plants. 

Aphids, Earwigs, Mites, Thrips, etc.

Mix 40 parts water with 1 part liquid soap (20 oz. spray bottle plus one tablespoon soap).  Spray plant thoroughly and leave on for 10 minutes.  Rinse with spray of clear, room temperature water.  Repeat 3 times over a 10 day period. 

Slugs

Mix one part household ammonia to ten parts water and spray onto hostas before they come out at the early stage before the leaves unfurl. It will be effective for controlling slug eggs in the soil. 

Earwigs

They are nocturnal.  They are easy to get rid of.  Soap and water, 40 parts water to 1 part soap in spray form will kill them but you need to make contact with their bodies.  They love dark confined spaces.  Use old garden hoses or bamboo stakes and lay them out in your beds where they will hide.  Pick up the hose or bamboo each morning and shake the earwigs into a pail of soapy water so that they drown.  Continue for a few days.

Mealy bug, scale and woolly aphids

Mix 40 parts water with 1 part liquid soap and 8 parts rubbing alcohol (20 oz. spray bottle + l tablespoon soap + ½ cup rubbing alcohol). Spray plant thoroughly and leave on for 10 minutes.  Rinse with spray of clear, room temperature water and repeat 3 times over a 10 day period.

Grubs

Encourage starlings.  They love them and the baby starlings love them the best.  They do a great job.  Skunks, racoons and crows will chew the day lights out of them and tear up the lawn.  If the lawn is damaged, rake it flat, put the divots back.  You can top dress the lawn by over seeding.  Mix soil, manure, grass seed and peat moss and spread over lawn.  Water well where you have over seeded. 

Beneficial Nematodes

Hatch time for Japanese Beetles, European Chafers, June Beetles, Web Worms, Cut Worms, Root Weevil, and Onion and Carrot Maggots is in the middle to the end of June.  This is the time to introduce Nematodes into the soil.  Nematodes are tiny wormlike creatures that feed parasitically on grubs and are at most garden centers.  They are refrigerated and keep refrigerated at home until use.  Check the date on the boxes as you will want this years date.  The nematode mixture has to be dissolved in water as per manufacturer’s directions.  Water the lawn and soil well or after a good rain, then apply the nematodes.  If they dry out or if the soil is too cold that is the end of the nematodes.  If you make sure the conditions are right before you apply the nematodes they will be well established.  If the conditions are not right they will die off and clearing out grubs will be compromised.  Another ideal application is in the middle of August through mid October for White Grubs.  This only has to be done every 3 years. 

(next column)

11/06/2009 08:48 PM


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Ant Killer

Ants aid in aeration.  They are providing aeration in the soil and their ability to work organic matter down into it. They can be well worth having around.  If they are a problem you can get some containers with some home made ant killer inside.  Punch holes around the bottom edge so the ants can get in and out easily.  Add 50 percent baking soda and 50 percent white sugar mixed thoroughly.  Mix and put it into the container, put the lid on for a few days.  They will eat it and the ants cannot get rid of the gas and are slightly acidic, so when they take in the baking soda with sugar, which is what they are attracted too, they start to fizz and cannot vent the gas and that is the end of them.

Another ant killer solution is:  Mix 2 cups warm water with 1 teaspoon of boric acid and 6 tablespoons of sugar.  Cut six 1 cm. holes around side at the base of a plastic margarine-type container.  Soak 2 cotton balls and place in the container, replace lid.  Place in the path of ants and leave for several weeks. Label and store surplus mixture in the refrigerator and replenish as necessary.

Rabbits

Rabbits are vegetarian. They do not like the smell of blood. So use blood meal around the plants. It is not a guarantee if they are hungry they will come.  For something stronger you can get a perfumery type smell from scented liquid detergents. Put enough soap in to make things smell and taste bad. You could also try cayenne pepper on top of that. 

Poison Ivy

Mow down and cover with newspapers and make it thick.  Put mulch down on top of that.  Keep moist at first.  When there is no light there is no growth.

Moss

Spray full strength white vinegar directly onto the moss.  

Crabgrass

Crabgrass is an annual and can only grow from seed so to contain or eliminate you have to stop germination of the seeds.  When it goes to seed, the seeds remain close to the surface and are not easily cut down or destroyed.  Cut the grass with mower that has a bag and run over the crabgrass a few times.  This should pick up a good quantity of the seed.  You could use an industrial vacuum or your vacuum too.

Dig up crabgrass in the fall and plant perennial grasses.  Crabgrass needs light to germinate.  So in established grass areas where crabgrass was growing, apply Cornmeal gluten before the end of April.  Some say you should apply the Cornmeal gluten before the Forsythia blooms. Since the grass is already established it will not affect the grass but kill the crabgrass seed.  Once established top dress and maintain as usual. 

Rose Aphids

Put 1 orange peel, coarsely chopped, 1 tbsp. of baby shampoo and 2 cups of water in a blender and blend on high for 10 to 15 seconds. Strain out the pulp using a coffee filter, pour the liquid into a handheld mist sprayer. Get out your hose and blast your roses with a high-pressure spray nozzle to dislodge the aphids. Then mist spray the plants and your aphids are gone.  

Black Spot on Roses

Take 15 tomato leaves, 2 small onions and ¼ cup of rubbing alcohol, chop the tomato leaves and onions into finely minced pieces and steep them in alcohol overnight. Paint the resultant mixture on both the tops and bottoms of any infected leaves. 

Unwanted Grass/Weeds

NOTE: This is a general purpose vegetation killer and will kill or damage any green growth that it contacts. Do not use it for spot spraying on your lawn or near flower beds. It is excellent for killing grass and weed in driveways or sidewalks.

Into 4 litres of White Vinegar add 1 cup of Salt add 4 tablespoons of Dish Detergent (Sunlight seems to work the best). Swirl or mix gently.  Do not shake the mixture.  Spray where necessary. 

Mildew on annuals

Mix 2 tablespoons of baby shampoo and 1 tablespoon of baking soda

In one gallon of warm water and mist spray your plants lightly once a week 

 

 

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