Before you squish that bug, take a closer look. All insects may seem like pests but many insects can actually control the population of pests that would otherwise happily chow down on your garden. Some help to pollinate, others are predators of garden munching pests and some are parasites that use these pests as nurseries for their offspring. Making your garden open and inviting to these beneficial ‘pests’ can save your garden from disaster and remove the need for chemical insecticides.
Herbs come in many tantalizing flavors. They can add a spicy, smoky, tangy, refreshing or exotic touch to an already flavorful dish. The quality of your herbs can also make a huge difference, so why not grow them yourself?
Get Growing: Many varieties of basil are easy to grow in a sunny bed or container, ranging in color from green to purple or bronze, but will not tolerate the cold.
Since the beginning of growing crops, human beings have used moon phases to determine the best time to sow, prune, weed and harvest. The tried and true farming practices of generations past are becoming more prevalent today, so it only makes sense to try out the tried and true methods used by farmers for centuries.
The conventional farming practices of applying pesticides and chemical fertilizer has led a long battle with the practices of gentler, eco-friendly organic farming. So who wins out?
There is something so relaxing about a hot cup of tea. Its warmth is calming and herbal tea can be healing. It can take your mind into an open field or a sunny garden, bringing you into sweet serenity. So why not make your garden that sunny tea spot? Many delicious herbs used in herbal tea can be easily grown in your garden or in containers.
The weather is warm and inviting, drawing you out into your garden for some fresh air and a little rest and relaxation. The bad news? Biting and stinging bugs are enjoying your garden and your home, too. Insecticides are often more dangerous to your health than the damage these bugs can do, and they carry a noxious odor, destroying the serenity of your home and garden. Instead, try adding plants to your garden that deter these pests.
Ants and Cockroaches
Ants and cockroaches are common invaders inside of your home, in your garden and on your picnic blanket. These hungry insects always travel in packs, searching for food, making these uninvited dinner guests a pain to get rid of.
The first step in avoiding this hostile takeover of your kitchen is to keep it clean. Make sure to remove crumbs or spills, take the trash out often and keep food sealed. If they make their selves at home regardless of these efforts, try these natural remedies:
• Most ants and cockroaches cannot stand cucumbers and garlic. Take a few from your vegetable garden and place the garlic cloves or slices of cucumber near their points of entry.
• Catnip and bay leaves are natural repellents for cockroaches. Pick these from your garden or buy them dried or in tea from your local grocery store. Place satchels full near points of entry.
• Mint and lemon are natural repellents for ants. Dry and crush some mint from the garden and sprinkle in areas where they are most active or place a line of fresh lemon juice across their point of entry.
Growing root vegetables in containers may seem odd or even inconceivable, but it is actually very easy and rewarding to plant root vegetables this way. There is no need to till root vegetables in containers and it is easier to balance the nutrients needed to sustain their growth. Harvesting them is also quite a bit easier.
There is a certain mystique about flowers that bloom around a certain time. There are many different flowers that bloom during the morning, noon or night and shy away before dusk or dawn. They make a garden feel more alive and conscious, moving, blooming or growing rapidly in response to light and temperature.
For many American consumers today, the ethics of a company and their environmental impact is more important than the cost of the product. Consumers want to know where their products come from, what’s in them, how their food was grown and what the product’s impact is on the environment.
If your mom is a gardener, you are in luck. There are so many gifts that can be bought that she will love, but why not go the extra step to make her day an extra special one with a personal touch and a little creativity.