Organic Gardening In The Backyard – Fun, Healthy, and Easier Than You May Think

Written by C.J. Gustafson

Continued from page 1

Organic Fertilizers

Of course you want your plants to grow quickly and produce large yields. However, chemical fertilizers are potentially harmful to those who eatrepparttar plants and torepparttar 113390 environment, especially if applied too heavily and allowed to run off into water supplies and habitat areas. Using organic fertilizers can decreaserepparttar 113391 problems associated with chemicals.

Manure is a natural, effective fertilizer if used properly. Not only does it improve soil structure, it providesrepparttar 113392 nutrients plants need to develop. Manure that is allowed to age and decompose before use is most effective. Pasteurized manure is less likely to include active weed seed or harmful bacteria. Do not apply too heavily.

Create and maintain a compost pile to use as fertilizer. Not only does it incorporaterepparttar 113393 use of natural organic material such as leaves, lawn clippings and household waste such as potato peels and carrot stems, it also provides a free source of fertilizer and reducesrepparttar 113394 amount of waste that is hauled to landfills.

If you choose to use chemical fertilizers, use sparingly and choose a slow release variety that is less likely to leech into vulnerable areas.

Companion planting, which isrepparttar 113395 practice of putting together two plants that seem to benefit each other, has been offered as a means of enhancing organic gardening practices. It is thought that plants such as nicotina and marigolds are natural pest deterrents. However, there is no firm research to support this as yet. Still, many gardeners have reported success with this method.

Additionally, planting vegetables with prickly vines, such as watermelon or squashes aroundrepparttar 113396 perimeter of vulnerable plants may help keep out rabbits and other animals that don’t likerepparttar 113397 scratchy vines.

These days, many gardeners are looking for ways to reducerepparttar 113398 use of chemicals and rely on more natural and inexpensive means of providing food for their tale and backyard growing enjoyment. Organic gardening techniques provide fun and healthy options.

C.J. Gustafson is an amateur gardener and a professional photographer, providing valuable tips and advice about garden accessories and other vegetable gardening topics. She would rather lose a few ears of corn than go without wildlife in her garden.

Pest Control for the Vegetable Garden

Written by Karen Gross

Continued from page 1

Live traps can be used for smaller rodents and rabbits. Baitrepparttar traps with a small amount of peanut butter, check them regularly, and transport any captured animals to another location immediately. Wear plastic gloves when handling live traps to prevent exposure to diseases carried by rodents and their parasites. Sticky insect traps and lures are another good pest control. Paint a thick piece of cardboard a bright color to attractrepparttar 113389 pest, and coat with a sticky substance such as Stick-em or Tanglefoot.

Electronic Pest Control

There are several electronic pest control devices available onrepparttar 113390 market as well, including electric fences, motion detecting water sprayers, and ultrasonic noisemakers that humans can’t hear, but that garden pests find annoying. There are some units onrepparttar 113391 market that allow you to adjustrepparttar 113392 unit torepparttar 113393 pest you are trying to drive away, without botheringrepparttar 113394 other critters you would like to have around.

Electric fencing can be installed aroundrepparttar 113395 perimeter ofrepparttar 113396 yard. Some of these products claim to be strong enough to deter deer from enteringrepparttar 113397 garden, but weak enough that they do not hurt family pets.

Moles feed on earthworms and grubs, not plants, which can make them a benefit to gardens, but as part of their natural activity, moles tunnel throughrepparttar 113398 soil, causing damage to delicate plant roots. Battery or solar operated devices can be placed inrepparttar 113399 ground to help deter moles from burrowing in your garden. Place a few aroundrepparttar 113400 garden to prevent these pests from making paths in a new area.

Beneficial Bugs

Insects that prey upon garden pests are called beneficial insects. In nature these insects keeprepparttar 113401 garden pests under control. Encourage beneficial bugs by avoidingrepparttar 113402 use of commercial pesticides as these are usually non-discriminatory and will kill good and bad bugs alike. A small number of pests inrepparttar 113403 garden will encourage those beneficial bugs to stick around and multiply, making your work easier.

Ladybugs are natural enemies of aphids. Green lacewing in larvae stage feeds on thrips, mites, aphids, and various other insect eggs. Trichogramma wasps are effective against corn earworm, tomato hornworm, and loopers. The tiny wasps are also a parasite to many kinds of caterpillars.

Sprays and Soaps

There are many organic pest control sprays you can make at home, as well as purchasing less harmful insecticidal soaps. Many ofrepparttar 113404 homemade sprays include ingredients such as garlic, onion, or cayenne pepper. A word of caution when using sprays intended to go directly onrepparttar 113405 plants. Never apply sprays inrepparttar 113406 heat ofrepparttar 113407 afternoon sun. The water can heat up very quickly and cause brown spots to appear onrepparttar 113408 leaves.

Most gardeners have a connection withrepparttar 113409 earth and enjoyrepparttar 113410 wildlife and insects nature has provided…just not inrepparttar 113411 garden! For those who prefer to practice organic pest control, there are many options. They may not work as well as pesticides in some cases, but they are a lot less harmful and can even add fun and beauty to your garden.

Karen Gross is a professional gardener and design consultant. She provides valuable tips and advice about seed companies, container gardening and other vegetable gardening topics.

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