Natural Pest Control For Your Garden

dreamstimefree_8202

Gardening is a fun way to spend your free time and add some aesthetic value to your home. However, without the right gardening tricks, you can’t really succeed at it. Pests are some of the problems that keep most people from enjoying gardening. Before you start some pest control initiative to protect your garden, you must understand that there are beneficial pests and harmful ones. By differentiating between the two, you can keep your garden safe and free from pests. However, using artificial pest control methods may ruin the soil thereby halting any gardening plans. Below are some of the natural pest controls you can use on your gardens.

1. Avoid artificial fertilizers
Pests are attracted to artificial fertilizers, so avoid using them. These fertilizers destroy the soil nutrients resulting to poor growth in your garden. Use organic manure or compost and prevent pest infestation in your garden.

2. Crop rotation
Differentiate all the items you plan on planting into different groups. For instance, you could divide into groups of vegetables and flowers. Divide your garden accordingly and choose where to plant each item. The next planting season, rotate where to plant the flowers and vegetables but make sure you don’t plant in the original place. This will increase soil fertility and at the same time prevent pests.

3. Use barriers to cover your garden
By using fine mesh, you can cover all the plants in your garden and prevent pest infestation. This works best for flying pests. There are other types barriers that can be used to cover your plants. These include collars to cover cabbages and also bottle cloches which prevent pests such as slugs.

4. Trap the pests
You can easily trap all the pests using different methods. For instance, you can use beer traps and glue traps. Crawling pests such as slugs are attracted to these traps and can be easily averted from your garden.

5. Use beneficial insects
Beneficial insects such as ladybirds eat up harmful pests such as aphids. Plant vegetables that attract beneficial insects and you can easily control pest infestation in your garden.

Gabrielle

Top 10 Mistakes New Gardeners Make

Thinking of starting a garden this year?   I’ve already begun mine and can’t wait to start harvesting!  I’ve got a bunch of tomato plants, some zucchini, some peppers, and a bunch of herbs.

Purple Basil

forming tomatoes

Below are some mistakes that you should avoid when growing your own garden:

1. Growing From Seed
Don’t start planting from seeds since there are many complications that could come from that. For instance, pests would most likely eat out the seeds before they have grown. Look for seedlings in grocery and gardening stores and plant them. At least this way, you can track how fast or slow the seedling is growing.

2. Growing The Wrong Varieties
Different soils are adaptable to different plants. Therefore, don’t reach out for plants that can’t grow in your garden. If possible, seek advice from a gardening expert and plant the right varieties in your garden.

3. Not Watering Regularly
Most new gardeners mistake garden plants to be plants. Unlike house plants, gardens require constant watering (at least once per day) in order to flourish. House plants trap water in the pots and may not require constant watering.

4. Not Knowing When To Prune
For most new gardeners, pruning escapes the mind especially with beautiful new plants. Take advice from professional gardeners and prune your garden plants at the right time.

5. Starting Too Big
Novice/amateur gardeners should definitely start with small gardens and advance with each season. Start with a small manageable garden that will allow you to garden with ease and no hassles.

6. Not Knowing What Plants Work In What Soil
Your garden will definitely fail if you don’t plant the right plants in the right soil. Learn to differentiate soils and choose the right plants for the right soil.

7. Planting At The Wrong Time of Year
Different plants survive in different seasons. Without any idea on what plants to plant in what season, your garden will fail.

8. Using The Wrong Pest Control
Avoid using artificial pest control methods which may harm the plants. Rely on organic pest control methods to the advantage of a better garden.

9. Not Using Beneficial Bugs
Don’t eradicate all insects during your pest control initiative. By using organic and natural pest control methods, you can protect beneficial insects such as ladybirds that will eat up other pests like aphids.

10. Using The Wrong Fertilizer 
If you love gardening, you should definitely avoid artificial fertilizers. By using these fertilizers, you will definitely harm your soil and inhibit any future gardening. Try manure or compost on your gardens and your plants will definitely flourish.

 So what will you be growing this year?

Gabrielle

Pin It

FREE Set of Cute Earth Day Cards w/Seeds In Them

FREE Earth Day Cards

 

I absolutely LOVE freebies like this!

While supplies last, you can snag a FREE set of 4 Earth Day cards with seeds in them so you can plant the cards in your garden and grow wild flowers :)

These are so neat and are an excellent activity to do with your little ones!  Little Man always thinks it’s strange when cards like this {the last one we got being The Lorax’s mustache that we planted and grew basil with} can grow something beautiful just by sticking in them in the ground.  I have already planted wild flowers in my garden and am always welcoming more.  I can’t wait to get this freebie!

Let me know if you snag a set!

Gabrielle

Thanks, Acadiana’s Thrifty Mom!

How To Freeze Fresh Cilantro For Later Use

Whether it’s store bought or home grown, cilantro is, by far, my favorite herb.  I have a whole window box dedicated to cilantro because I love the smell and incorporate it with as many meals as possible.

Even with all that cooking and infusing, I tend to find myself with excess cilantro from time-to-time.  While cilantro doesn’t dry well to make dried herbs like with parsley, FREEZING cilantro will help it last for months without browning.

To freeze cilantro, finely chop the cilantro and place it into either an ice mold, a mini muffin tin, or a similarly small cup that is able to go in the freezer. Press down the chopped cilantro so that it is firmly packed. Add water to the mold just enough to cover the cilantro.  Freeze for a few hours or over night, pop out of the container, and store in a freezer-safe container.

When you’re ready to use the cilantro, either thaw it out and mix it into your recipe, or plop the frozen cubes directly into your soup or other hot mixture!  This method is also good for most other herbs, also.

Gabrielle

* I’ve been doing this method for years, but I have to send out a special thanks to Budget Savvy Diva for posting this awesome kitchen tip on her blog yesterday.  It reminded me I needed to get out there and trim my over-grown cilantro :P

Hey, Little Caesars, Thanks For The Basil!

Have you been in a Little Caesar’s recently?  Little Man and I stopped thru one last week to grab dinner on the way home and the manager walked up, reached behind the counter, and handed Little Man the card pictured above.

At first I didn’t realize what it was and just made sure he politely thanked her for whatever it was she handed him.  When we got to the car, though, I realized she had given him something to grow his own basil seeds. How awesome!  I love basil and can’t wait for our newest garden addition to sprout and produce those fragrant green leaves :)

Have you been to Little Caesars recently? Did you snag this awesome freebie?

Gabrielle

Vegetable Planting Guide

Have you ever wondered when’s the best time of the year to plant a certain vegetable?  I do it every year!

If you’re planning your garden and need to know when you should be planting each vegetable, check the lists below:

SPRING {March-April-May}

  • beans
  • beets
  • cantaloupe
  • carrots
  • collards
  • cucumber
  • eggplant
  • herbs
  • kale
  • kohlrabi
  • leek
  • sweet corn
  • lettuce {leaf}
  • mustard greens
  • okra
  • onions
  • parsley
  • pasnips
  • pumpkins {April-May}
  • rutabaga
  • spinach
  • swiss chard
  • peppers
  • radish
  • turnip
  • squash {Summer}
  • squash {Winter}
  • tomatoes
  • watermelon

SUMMER {June-July-August}

  • beans
  • black-eyed peas
  • swiss chard
  • herbs
  • sweet corn
  • mustard greens
  • onions
  • okra
  • spinach
  • radish
  • squash {Summer}

Autumn {September-October-November}

  • beets
  • broccoli
  • cabbage
  • carrots
  • collards
  • cauliflower
  • celery
  • endive
  • kale
  • kohlrabi
  • lettuce
  • mustard greens
  • onions
  • pak choy
  • parsley
  • peas
  • radishes
  • rutabaga
  • spinach
  • sugar peas
  • swiss chard
  • turnips

WINTER {December-January-February}

  • beets
  • broccoli
  • cabbage
  • carrots
  • celery
  • endive
  • kale
  • kohlrabi
  • lettuce
  • onions
  • parsley
  • parsnips
  • peas
  • radishes
  • spinach
  • swiss chard
  • turnips

What’s in YOUR garden?

Gabrielle

Awesome Garden Discovery: Pomegranates!

We’ve been in our new home for 2 months now and it’s amazing how much I’m still learning about the house and yard we now have.  When we first moved here, I was introduced to fresh lemons by my neighbor;  last week I found out my other neighbor has cherry plums; and this weekend, I discovered that the large bush growing along our back fence is actually a pomegranate bush!

Now maybe it’s because I grew up on the East Coast, but I didn’t know that pomegranates grew on bushes!  I thought they grew on trees like cherries or lemons, but apparently, they grow on large bushes, as well.

Technically the pomegranate bush isn’t in our yard – it’s in the neighbor’s – but about 1/4 of the bush has grown through our fence and is popping up on our side.  Luckily, we’re friends with the neighbor and he said we’re welcome to any pomegranates that pop up and we can reach :)

What I’m excited about is that there are SO many flowers popping up and each flower produces a pomegranate.  I’M GOING TO DROWNING IN POMEGRANATES HERE IN A FEW MONTHS!

How do you sweeten a deal like finding a pomegranate bush in your backyard?  Easy!  By realizing you already have pomegranates growing!!

My Mom and brother will be visiting in 2 months and I’m so excited to be able to share the fruits and vegetables with them that are growing in our backyard!  I’m pretty sure my little brother has never eaten a fresh pomegranate {I hadn’t until I moved to California}, so this will be a fun discovery for him also!

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

If you’ve got pomegranates in your back yard, or even in your grocery basket, here’s a quick tip for deseeding them without turning your hands and surroundings red:

#1:  Cut the ends off the pomegranate being careful not to go too far towards the center or you’ll cut through the juicy seeds.

#2:  Scour the sides of the pomegranate cutting just to where you’re cutting thru the skin, not going into the fruit.

#3:  Hold the pomegranate in a large bowl of water – keeping the fruit under the surface of the water – and run your fingers along the seeds to pop them out of their little pockets.  The seeds will sink and the light rinds will float to the top where you can skim them off with ease.

#4: Pour the seeds into a strainer and rinse with cold water to remove any excess peel that might be left.  ENJOY!

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

How is YOUR garden coming along?

Gabrielle

Starting Seeds In An Egg Carton

As I rummaged through my box of seeds this morning, I started to wonder how exactly I was going to start all these seeds to prepare them for transplant out into the big garden.  I looked around nothing I came across seemed suitable for starting plants. I’ve been saving up some yogurt containers, but I didn’t have near enough to start the seeds in, so I kept looking.  That’s when my hubby suggested using one of the egg cartons I have in Little Man’s art station {they make awesome paint palettes}.

What a great idea!

So I pulled out the potting soil, egg carton, and seeds to get my vegetables started.

All you do is fill each “cup” with soil {I just dumped a bunch all around and used my fingers to evenly spread the soil} and then plop 2-3 seeds into each container.  Using your finger, push the seeds down into the soil and brush a little from the sides to cover them.

Last, but certainly not least, add water.  I used our ZeroWater pitcher so it was nice, clean water.  Don’t over saturate the soil, but make sure that all of the spots are moist.

Now, for the next week or so, keep misting the soil so the seeds will sprout. You don’t want the soil to be soaking wet, but you don’t want to let it dry out, either.  This will stunt or possibly kill your seeds!

Have you started your garden?  If so, what’s in it?  So far I have an herb garden {with 12 different types of herbs}, a variety of tomato plants {I goal to have so many tomatoes I have to GIVE them away LOL}, and some zucchini. I also have some strawberries I purchased the other day, but they’re yet to make their way to the garden. It’s on my to-do list ;)

Gabrielle

Pin It

A Walk Thru The Garden

I know some of you are experiencing rain and/or snow, but the weather here recently has been just gorgeous and the garden is really blossoming!  I couldn’t resist the urge to share all the beautiful pictures I’ve been taking…

Holiday Gift Guide: DuneCraft

Have you ever wanted to grow your own lilly pads? Do you look at cactus gardens and wonder how they sprout into such beautiful little arrangements?

For the nature-lover on your shopping list this holiday season, check out DuneCraft! They’ve got some of the most amazing craft kits that are perfect for everyone, from toddlers to adults!  Whether you want to grow your own windowsill garden or make your own snow on the hottest day of summer, Dunecraft has the kit for you!

Because Little Man and I have our own garden growing in the sun room, I decided to check out the Hydro-Dome by Dunecraft. I’ve also been wondering what it would be like to grow vegetables without soil, so I was anxious to try it out. I can’t believe that for only $29.99, you can get everything you need to grow your own lettuce indoors!

Even with my lack of a green thumb, my lettuce is growing rather quickly {the package said about a week until they sprout, but mine began to sprout in just a couple days!  The kit has everything you need and simple instructions. I’m so excited to watch them grow and Little Man has been aerating the water twice a day for me, being such a good hydroponics gardener.  The leaves are looking beautiful and I can tell it’s growing strong. I didn’t realize that growing vegetables with a hydroponics set-up could be so easy and inexpensive!

Any one of the kits from DuneCraft would make a wonderful gift this holiday season. They’re inexpensive and are sure to be a fun and bonding gift for anyone who receives one. DuneCraft has such unique products at great prices. They provide you with everything you’ll need for hours for fun and learning! For up-to-date information on all their newest products, as well as for some great gardening tips, make sure you’re following DuneCraft on Twitter!

 

 

 

Please note that I did not received any type of monetary compensation for this review.  I was provided a free sample to ensure an accurate and honest review, but all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
Blog Design by Sugar Dumplin' Designs