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Monday, January 25, 2010

Tips for the Garden

Fire Place Ashes -- Use wood ashes from your fire place to control any soft bodied bug such as pear slugs and regular slugs. Sprinkle the powder where ever these creatures travel. The powder dehydrates the slugs and they die.


Low-fat milk For Aphids -- To control aphids apply nonfat dried milk, mixed according to the box, onto the leaves of your plants. The aphids get stuck in the milky residue and perish.

Slug Terminator -- Spray slugs with a mix of 1 part vinegar and 1 part water to terminate your slugs. Mix vinegar and water into a trigger sprayer and spray directly onto the slug. They will die almost immediately. Also spray the ground around your plants and any hidden slugs will come out of the sprayed soil and die.

Drunken Slug -- Set a shallow pan of beer (the darker the better) out into the garden where the slugs hang out. They cannot resist the taste of beer and crawl in and drown.

Slug trap -- Use a plastic pop bottle to catch slugs. Remove the lid, cut the pop bottle just below the curve of the neck all the way around. Invert the neck piece and staple it inside of the main piece. Throw in some slug bait or some beer and set in the garden where the slugs are doing the damage. The slugs can crawl in but don't crawl out.

Slug Stopper -- Sprinkle a ring of moth crystals around the base of your plants to keep the slugs from eating your plants. The slugs as well as cats, dogs and raccoons will stay away from these plants.

Weather Forecasting Crickets-- You can tell the outside temperature in Fahrenheit by counting the number of chirps made by a cricket in 14 seconds then add 40 to it.

Earwig Catcher -- Earwigs like dark, tight places to hide in during the day. Lay some corrugated cardboard out in the garden where you have had earwig damage. The earwigs will climb into the cardboard to hide during the day. Collect the cardboard and burn it.

Codling Moth Broth -- To catch codling moths, use a mixture of 2 parts vinegar and one part molasses. Place this mixture in a tin can and hang it in the apple tree. Clean out the moths and place more mix in the can when needed.

Fly Catcher -- To catch flies, place a piece of meat in a jar. Using a quart jar, place a small piece of meat and ½ inch of water into the jar. Punch a few holes big enough for the flies to crawl in, into the lid of the jar. Screw on the lid and set in a good fly location. When the fly crawls in, it can't get out. Clean out the jar when the smell gets to strong or it gets full of flies.

Yellow Sticky Traps -- To catch white flies, gnats and aphids use STP motor oil treatment or honey. Smear motor oil treatment or honey onto bright yellow plastic and place it amongst your plants with bugs. When the plastic gets full of bugs, wipe them off and reapply STP motor oil treatment or honey and set the trap out again.

How to Get the Skunk Smell off of Your Dog -- 1 quart 3% Hydrogen Peroxide, 1/4 cup baking soda, 2 teaspoons baby shampoo, Mix up solution. Thoroughly wet dog and shampoo in. Let sit for 5 minutes then rinse. Be sure not to get the solution in the dog’s eyes. The percentage of Hydrogen Peroxide is not strong enough to bleach the dog’s hair.

Protect Your Grapes from the Birds --, just before your grapes ripen when the birds start to get into them protect your crop with plastic grocery bags. Punch each bag full of air holes. Slip a bag around each bundle of grapes and staple to hold bag in place.

Spank Your Fruit Trees -- For more fruit production, take a rolled up newspaper and spank the day lights out of the trunk of your fruit trees. This action loosens the cambium layer and more sap will flow up to the tree producing more fruit. This is for more fruit the following year.

Mini Greenhouses -- When you first place your seedlings out you will want to protect them from too much wind, sun or frost. A gallon milk jug with the bottom cut out and the lid off is the perfect mini green house for setting out your plants. If it is going to frost, just put the lid on for the night. If the jug keeps blowing off, cut off the top of the handle. Next run a stick through the handle, this will secure the jug to the stick. Push the stick down into the ground to anchor it. The wind will not pick it up now.

Mini Shade House -- When first setting out seedling the can be wind burned or sunburned. To help them acclimate your plants to the great outdoors you can protect them with a mini shade house. Cut out a 18 inch by 24 inch piece of woven fence material, being sure to leave the extra wire that sticks out when you cut it. Bend it into the shape of an arch. Cut a piece of burlap 20 inches by 26 inches. Hook the burlap over the ends of the fence material. Set the whole unit over your transplanted seedlings. Leave this over them for a week to harden off your plants. This is great for working people because you never build up heat under this covering so you don't have to take it off during the day if the sun shines to hot.

Dress up Your Garden --Use old panty hose for tying up your plants. The panty hose are strong and will not cut into the tender stems. Another use for old panty hose is to place them over the heads of your cabbage. As your cabbage grows the panty hose will stretch.

Canned Corn -- To keep birds and squirrels from eating your corn, place aluminum pop or beer cans on your corn ear. Prepare the cans by cutting off the tab end. Next punch air holes all the way around the can. When you see birds or squirrels getting into your corn, slip a can over each ear until it is ripe.

Eggshell Planters --Eggshells make great plant starters. When you crack your egg, just take off the tip of one end. Rinse out the shell and poke a small drain hole into the bottom of the shell while it is still wet. Fill shell 3/4 full of potting soil and plant seeds. When it is time to plant out just crush the egg shell and plant into the ground. The egg shell adds lime to help feed the soil and plant.

Mildew on Your Peonies -- Sprinkle your peonies with cinnamon to stop molds and fungi. Tokyo researchers have found that fungi will not grow in the presence of cinnamon.

Clothespin for Roses -- To avoid being stuck when working with roses, use a spring type clothes pin to hold the stem instead of your fingers.

Baking Soda Spray -- Use baking soda to control fungal diseases, especially black spot on roses. Dissolve 1 t baking soda in 1 quart of water, add 1t liquid soap. Spray entire leaf surfaces of plants every 3 days for 21 days. Reapply after every rain.

No Room for a Garden? -- If you want to grow a tomato plant or a cucumber plant and you have no room. Get a bale of straw, poke some holes in it and pour compost into the holes. Plant your vegetables right into the bale. Water when needed. The decomposing bale will feed your vegetables all season.

Soak Your Feet or Feed Your Tomatoes -- Epsom salt is great for getting your tomato plants to produce large crops of tomatoes. It also helps to prevent blossom end rot. Use 1/4 cup around the base of each tomato plant every year. Sowing of Small Seeds

Season salt or spice shakers are great to use to sow small seeds. -- Place your tiny seeds in the shakers with some fine sand and shake away. The sand helps to evenly distribute your seeds so they don't end up in one pile.

Quick Sprout Carrots -- Soak your carrot seeds in a glass of warm water for 24 hours. Drain off water and place carrot seeds evenly on several wet paper towels. About ½ inches apart. Layer the paper towels in a glass baking dish. Place a sheet of plastic wrap between the layers. Cover the whole dish with plastic wrap. Place in a warm location for about a week. When you start to see little white sprout coming out of the end of the carrot seed it is time to plant them. Place the paper towel in the garden row. Cover lightly with soil and water lightly. Your carrots should be up in a few days.

Rid Your Sidewalks of Weeds and Grass -- To kill weeds and grass in unwanted places such as the cracks in your sidewalks, pour boiling salt water directly onto the weeds or grass for an instant kill.

Hammer Those Tough Weeds -- For those hard to pull weeds, hook them with the claw end of a hammer and pull.

Pickle Those Weeds -- To kill weeds in areas that you don't plan to plant anything you can use a solution of vinegar and salt. 1/4 cup vinegar, 2 t salt, 1 quart water, Spray weed until soaked. Heat of the day is best.


For more fun and exciting posts, come visit me at Prepare to Survive in California.