Hydroponics, a method of gardening which does not use soil, has been developed during the past 60 years or so.
While it has been proven both reliable and effective, it has not yet become a familiar technique to most gardeners. It is the art of cultivating plant life in a nutrient water solution
whose roots are supported by a substance other than soil.
All plants require light, water, air, nutrients, and root support. It isn’t soil that plants require, it’s the reserve of nutrients contained in the soil, as well as the support the soil gives the plant.
Eliminating this type of medium also eliminates the usual soil related problems such as insects, weeds, poor drainage and disease. The inert mediums used in hydroponics cause none of the previously mentioned problems.
A limestone …
Organic gardeners divide the insect world into two camps: good bugs and bad bugs
The bad bugs bring death, disease, and destruction, they suck the life out of plants, infest the soil and lay eggs by the thousands.
Good bugs eemind me of an army of peacekeepers, who come marching in bringing peace and harmony.
They work quietly, taking care of the bad bugs by munching on them and generally getting rid of your enemies for you.
Now, you would think that bad bugs would look horrible and good ones would be pretty but that is not always the case i.e. A ground beetle, which eats slugs, is distinguished from a darkling beetle, which eats plants, by a ridge on its head from which the ground beetle’s antennae protrude.
Now, I don’t know if you have ever tried to get down and close enough to a beetle to see this difference, I haven’t, and I …
A natural fertilizer is one that consists of some natural earth product which may be processed mechanically, but is not treated with acids or substances to increase its solubility.
Phospate rock, finely pulverized, is a natural fertilizer.
An artificial, chemical fertilzer is a combination of some earth product and a strong acid. Super phosphate, which is made by treating phosphate rock with sulfuric acid, is an example.
A hundred pound bag of superphosphate includes 50 pounds of phosphate rock and 50 pounds of
An organic fertilizeris a mix of plant and animal residues. These may be fresh residues or residues which have been accumulated and have been preserved for long periods of time, such as peat, marl and limestone.
A raw, organic fertilizer is made up of raw ( unfermented) plant and animal residues. Or it may be made of raw, organic matter to which such materials as pulverized phosphate rock, potash rock ,oyster shell flour …
BANANA PEELS placed around roses and other plants bothered by aphids, make a natural repellent and will make the pests disappear. Why this is I do not know, but I have tried it very successfully.
Keep putting the peel around the base of the plants as long as the aphids are present. As an added bonus, the potassium in the banana skin stimulates larger blooms.
CITRUS RINDS as a natural repellent have a chemical in them that deters corn earworms. I make a solution of citrus rinds by chopping them up and placing them in a container with a quart of hot water. I then let it sit overnight. After this I strain out the rinds and spray the affected plants.
PEPPERMINT TEA sprayed onto plants has been shown to repel Colorado potato beetles.
Steep two peppermint tea bags in a quart of hot water for thirty minutes. Let the …
I will list some of the Insect Repellents that may help you to ward them off when they are active..
Anise is a good insect repellant for a variety of pests Many gardeners report less of a problem with aphids, fleas,and cabbage pests when Anise is planted nearby.
Catnip deters many pests , such as Colorado potato beetles darkling beetles,flea beetles, japanese beetles, squash bugs,
weevils and the biggest pest of all ANTS!
You will only have to be on the lookout for the neighborhood cat!
Garlic has been known to repel not only insects, but animals. Plant edible garlic between vegetable rows or next to roses to repel aphids and many other insects.
Garlic powder can be dusted directly on the plant ,or garlic can be made into a spray for a more concentrated dose.
Try one of these garlic sprays for insects;
6 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dishwashing liquid
1 quart water.
Put first …
Green manure is a term used for grasses and legumes grown and then tilled under. It is very cheap and easy to use, and in most cases is faster-acting than home-made compost.
In severe winter areas, a green manure crop can protect the soil and give the added benefit of nutrients and organic material to the soil in spring. The best plant to add nutrients to the soil are grasses and legumes. Legumes are great to use as they are able to take nitrogen out of the air and convert it into a form that other plants can use.
Some gardeners only use legumes as a nitrogen source.
A good mix of legumes to grasses is 60% legumes, 30% grasses, and 10% grains.
Many seed companies will mix a blend of seeds to your specification needs.
Green Manure Technique
You can plant green manure crops in spring, summer or fall. …
Four- footed creatures and birds can cause more damage in many gardens in rural areas, than insects. They can ruin your garden or landscape overnight, eating anything from apples to zinnias. Most animal pests feed at night, so you may have to search for signs such as destroyed plants,tracks, tunnels, or any other signs that would tell you who the culprits might be.
Try and identify the pest. Tracks are often a good clue to their identity. If you read books on wildlife they should give you an insight into the animal’s habits.
Assess the damage. If it is not serious, then maybe your plants can withstand it, but if the damage threatens your harvest or plant health, control will be necessary. If the damage was only to one type of plant, then you may want to consider leaving it out of your garden plans.
Fences and barriers are two of the best …
Many problems that require the use of synthetic pesticides can be reduced or even eliminated by selecting plants carefully.
Choose plants that are best suited for your region and your soil.
Use mulch around your plants to discourage weeds and remove any weeds that you do find immediately, before they set any seed. Look around to see what thrives in your neighbors’ yard.
Consider using disease-resistant plants, and put them in a spot where they will receive the correct amount of light and moisture to flower and flourish. If some plants simply fail to thrive year after year , then you have to be firm and replace them with others.
This, I know, is difficult to do for many gardeners, but there is no sense in keeping plants that are detrimental
to your garden.
Stressed plants are easy prey for disease and pests.
If you want to reduce your dependency on pesticides, …
Most gardeners find that a good offense is better than a good defense.
As soon as you plant your first seeds, you need to take measures to control your pests.
It is sometimes difficult to decide, when you should step in with pest control, as many times it involves using lots of chemicals.
Ask yourself the following questions:
Do you spray before you see any bugs?
If you see a bug, do you rush to spray the entire garden?
Do you check every plant, when you find one?
Do you think that nearly all bugs in your garden are bad?
If you found yourself answering yes, to most of these questions, you really need to rethink your actions. That’s because, 95% of bugs found in your garden are either beneficial or do no damage to your garden!
So, How to Control Pests the Organic Way?
Only spot treat your plants having pests. Water is one of …
Soil sterilization is a great technique for organic gardeners to master. For potting soil, you will need a sterile mix to avoid bringing weeds and pathogens into your indoor plants. You may also wish to sterilize outside soil if you wish to start over on a patch of garden. Here is why you might want to sterilize soil, how you can do it and how you build up a healthy population of beneficial organisms after you sterilize the soil.
Why Sterilize Soil?
Soil is full of living things: bacteria, fungi, worms and insects. Many of the organisms in soil help break down larger pieces of organic matter like grass, twigs and bark into small particles of humus, which is the best substance you can have in the soil. These organisms also break down nutrients into forms that plants can more easily take up through their roots. That’s the good part about the living …