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Natural Pest Control That’s Safe For Family And Pets

June 12th, 2014

 

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Has this happened to you? Just when you think all is well in your garden, you notice tiny, pear shaped insects clustering on the leaves, sucking out the juices and leaving damage behind.  Before you grab a bottle of synthetic pesticide, consider that natural pest control is not old-fashioned, and are very effective. Furthermore, natural pesticides mean there are no health concerns for your family, pets, or water supply. Check out these common pests that could disrupt your garden, and the natural pest control options to keep them at bay.

Aphids

About this bug: These pear-shaped insects may appear harmless at first glance, but these little guys defy the laws of science and are born pregnant; which can lead to a quick infestation. 

Organic pest control solutions: Try spraying them off with forceful water or using a plant based soap (recipe below). You can also let nature take its course by attracting beneficial insects like ladybugs, lacewings and hoverflies to your garden. Plants like parsley, fennel, coriander, sunflowers and Queen Anne Lace will attract these beneficial insects, and could help keep aphids and other harmful critters out of your garden.

Beetles 

About this bug: There are many varieties of beetles, and many will hide under the leaves and flowers of your plants, chewing away the foliage and leaving your plants looking tattered.

Organic pest control solutions: If you’re not terribly squeamish, pick them (or dust buster them) off the plants, and destroy their eggs that may be hiding just beneath the surface of your plant. While beetles love feasting on starchy plants like potatoes, they tend to loathe horseradish, yarrow, catnip and garlic plants. Keeping these plants nearby along with beneficial insects may prevent beetles from trespassing in your garden.

Caterpillars

About this bug: Caterpillars may look charming, but as they increase in size, their mouths grow even larger; leaving gaping holes in their feasting paths. 

Organic pest control solutions: Once they become butterflies, they will deter harmful pests in your garden. But if their caterpillar stage is wreaking havoc on your garden, a natural pest control option is plucking them off the plants and make your own organic pesticides (see recipe below) to deter them from inching along your favorite vegetables.

Leafhoppers

About this bug: Feeding on plant sap, leafhoppers are another villainous garden pest.  Leafhoppers belong to the Cicadellidae family, and there are numerous species that could damage your garden.  Just as their name implies, these insects hop from plant to plant when disturbed. Ranging in size from approximately ¼ – ½ inch, wedge-shaped leafhoppers feed on plants using their sucking mouthparts, similar to their sidekick; the aphid.  Some species of leafhoppers can transmit a virus particularly harmful to beets, tomatoes and other crops causing crinkled, dwarfed or distorted roots and veins. 

Organic pest control solutions: If you suspect a small leafhopper problem, forceful water makes for natural pest control. For more severe infestations, consider incorporating beneficial insects ladybugs, lacewings, hoverflies and praying mantids in the garden (see Aphids for plants that attract these insects).

Mealybugs and White Flies

About this bug: Common in indoor plants, these critters can weaken your plants while mealybugs leave a sticky substance behind. Normally infestations occur from a new infested plant exposing the others to the insect. 

Organic pest control solutions: To keep these pests at bay, try creating more air circulation in the area the plants reside in. For severe infestations, spray the leaves with diluted alcohol which acts like organic pesticides (remember to administer a test a patch first). Neem oil, plant based soaps and even natural dish detergent has also been studied to rid your plants of these non beneficial insects. 

Slugs and Snails

About this bug: Similar to caterpillars, these plump pests leave holes in your plants, while leaving behind their trademark sticky trail.  

Natural solutions: Luckily, slugs and snails go wild for a cold brew, and some prefer leaving a container of beer at the base of the plant for the slugs to eventually drown in. If the thought of watching a slug drown in your favorite stout seems hard to swallow (pardon the pun), try attracting lizards and garden snakes to your garden by leaving sunning stones and water nearby.  Your garden will feel like an oasis to these slug-loving reptiles.

*Make your own organic pesticides*

Caffeine Spray: Combine a few tablespoons of used coffee grounds with herbs like: catnip, lavender, yarrow and thyme which acts like organic pesticides. Add 2 cups of water, and allow at least 24 hours for the mixture to steep. Strain, and spray liberally on insects and plant leaves. Combine with organic pesticides soap (below) for a stronger treatment.

Organic pesticides: Add 1-2 tablespoons of castile soap to 2 cups of water. Spray insects as needed. Add boiled garlic cloves to boost the effectiveness.

Beneficial nematodes: Beneficial nematodes are effective microscopic fighters of soil borne pests like gnats, fleas, rootworms, grubs and cutworms. Beneficial nematodes can be applied in mulch with a garden sprayer or watering can. Another benefit? Beneficial nematodes will also reproduce and spread for long lasting organic pest control. Have you tried beneficial nematodes in your garden?

Friends, how have you naturally treated bothersome pests in your garden?

About Us:

Humble Seed specializes in premium garden seed kits that are packaged and themed for convenience and ease. We are dedicated to providing the highest quality heirloom, non-GMO, non-hybrid, and organic seed varieties to those who choose to start from seed. We’re also proud to say we have taken the Safe Seed Pledge!!

Does starting your first garden seem too overwhelming or you have limited space? Check out this option: The Tower Garden Aeroponic Growing System.  Grow healthy and nutritious food year round!

 

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Is Your Garden Really Green?

February 21st, 2012


Garden – the term brings to our mind a picture of lush green surroundings, a soothing atmosphere full of oxygen, fresh air & colorful flowers. If you are not a green horn in gardening, you must know very well that the very concept of a ‘green’ garden is really vague. A well maintained garden most of the times is maintained using artificial chemicals like pesticides, chemical fertilizers etc. thus the greenery of such a garden is not really that green as it seems, isn’t it? Let’s see how to make your garden chemicals & environment pollutant free in the true sense.

Keep it original

The world consisted of trees and plants and a lot of greenery before the human race even existed. So hence we can say that Mother Nature never needed the help of harmful chemicals to keep her alive or to beautify her. So who are we to do that? Get rid of those chemical poisons and try to keep your garden as original as possible. Instead of fertilizers use green compost and in place of pesticide, prefer the use of natural insects to kill the weeds.

Make use of kitchen waste for making compost

Ever heard of “Gardener’s Gold”? It’s the compost made out of kitchen waste. The compost is highly beneficial as it increases the soil fertility by providing the soil with a high density of nutrients that are easily absorbed by plants. It also helps to build a very evenly spread and deep root network for the plants, thus letting them absorb better. The aeration of soil, soil texture and the water retention capability of soil increases by leaps and bounds.

Buy the recycled stuffs for your garden

Is your garden only for beautifying your home? Is it only to sip your hot cup of coffee while enjoying the beauty of nature? Is it a place only for the garden furniture? If that is so, the furniture can be made of recycled material. What is the point of having a “green” garden which is a home to pieces of metal made after digging the earth and uprooting hundreds of trees?

Make it a “garden” not a “lawn”

There is a difference between the two for sure. A garden is a patch of soil where vegetables, trees are grown. While lawn is a stretch of soil covered with nothing but grass. It surely beautifies the home but also requires a lot of finance to keep it lush green. It also takes the help of chemical fertilizers. A garden is much better in other aspects. It can be easily maintained by home-grown compost. Other than anything else, there is a different satisfaction in painstakingly growing your own food and having them.

Harvest rainwater

Gallons of water are “wasted” each day in watering garden plants. About 40% of the water used for watering of plants goes out as waste as plants are unable to absorb that water. Hence, rainwater harvesting is the best way to reduce this wastage. After all, you are harvesting and using whatever you are getting.

Try to contribute for the global cause

Always keep this in mind that a ‘green’ garden is never a separated system. It in fact is a part of a big global system. Try to plant about 10 different types of flowers in your garden to bring in the bees and butterflies. It will help you by increasing the production of fruits and flowers and will help to minimize the major bee-loss epidemic.

 

A green ‘garden’ is the way to go. If you haven’t got enough space in your own backyard, then contribute your time to a community garden. It will help you and the world in some way or the other. Come, join the green army.

 

About the author:

Kelly is a blogger by profession. She loves writing on technology and luxury. Beside this she is fond of gardening. Recently an article on LED Bulbs attracted her attention. These days she is busy in writing an article on sports car.

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Green Tips For Treating Pests In Your Garden

February 15th, 2012

It’s time to water your garden and with your trusty watering can in hand,  you meander back to your prize-winning cabbages.  They appear happy and healthy at first, but as you inch closer; you notice tiny, pear shaped insects clustering on the leaves, sucking out the juices and leaving damage behind.  Before you grab a bottle of pesticide, consider that the chemicals found in traditional pesticides can be harmful to your health, and can eventually leak into the ground and contaminate your family’s tap water.  Check out these common pests that could disrupt your garden, and the natural remedies to keep them at bay.

Aphids: These pear-shaped insects may appear harmless at first glance, but these little guys defy the laws of science and are born pregnant; which can lead to a quick infestation.  Try spraying them off with forceful water, using a plant based soap (recipe below), and attracting ladybugs, lacewings and hoverflies to your garden.  Plants like parsley, fennel, coriander, sunflowers and Queen Anne Lace will attract these ally insects, and could help keep Aphids and other harmful critters out of your garden.

Beetles: There are many varieties of beetles, and many will hide under the leaves and flowers of your plants, chewing away the foliage and leaving your plants looking tattered.  If you’re not terribly squeamish, pick them (or dust buster them) off the plants, and destroy their eggs that may be hiding just beneath the surface of your plant. While beetles love feasting on starchy plants like potatoes, they tend to loathe yarrow, catnip and garlic plants.  Keeping these plants nearby may prevent beetles from trespassing in your garden.

Caterpillars: Caterpillars may look charming, but as they increase in size, their mouths grow even larger; leaving gaping holes in their feasting paths. Once they become butterflies, they will deter harmful pests in your garden.  But if their caterpillar stage is wreaking havoc on your garden, pluck them off the plants and make your own caffeine spray (recipe below) to deter them from inching along your favorite vegetables.

Leafhoppers: Feeding on plant sap, leafhoppers are another villainous garden pest.  Leafhoppers belong to the Cicadellidae family, and there are numerous species that could damage your garden.  Just as their name implies, these insects hop from plant to plant when disturbed. Ranging in size from approximately ¼ – ½ inch, wedge-shaped leafhoppers feed on plants using their sucking mouthparts, similar to their sidekick; the aphid.  Some species of leafhoppers can transmit a virus particularly harmful to beets, tomatoes and other crops causing crinkled, dwarfed or distorted roots and veins. If you suspect a small leafhopper problem, spray off the leaves with forceful water.  For more severe infestations, consider incorporating ladybugs, lacewings, hoverflies and praying mantids in the garden (see Aphids for plants that attract these insects).

Mealybugs and White Flies:  Common in indoor plants, these critters can weaken your plants while mealybugs leave a sticky substance behind. Normally infestations occur from a new infested plant exposing the others to the insect. To keep these pests at bay, try creating more air circulation in the area the plants reside in. For severe infestations, spray the leaves with diluted alcohol (remember to administer a test a patch first). Neem oil, plant based soaps and even natural dish detergent has also been studied to rid your plants of these bothersome pests.

Slugs and Snails: Similar to caterpillars, these plump pests leave holes in your plants, while leaving behind their trademark sticky trail.  Luckily, slugs and snails go wild for a cold brew, and some prefer leaving a container of beer at the base of the plant for the slugs to eventually drown in.  If the thought of watching a slug drown in your favorite stout seems hard to swallow (pardon the pun), try attracting lizards and garden snakes to your garden by leaving sunning stones and water nearby.  Your garden will feel like an oasis to these slug-loving reptiles.

 

Make your own natural insecticides!

Caffeine Spray: Combine a few tablespoons of used coffee grounds with herbs like: catnip, lavender, yarrow and thyme. Add 2 cups of water, and allow at least 24 hours for the mixture to steep. Strain, and spray liberally on insects and plant leaves. Combine with insecticide soap (below) for a stronger treatment.

Plant-Based Insecticide Soap: Add 1-2 tablespoons of castile soap to 2 cups of water. Spray insects as needed. Add boiled garlic cloves to boost the effectiveness.

How have you treated bothersome pests in your garden?

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