Summer gardening tips

Zero waste means no toxic waste in the environment. Summertime, gardening, veggies and flowers mean pest control. Before you reach for a commercial product, read these tips:

1. Rabbits in the garden? Plant some food outside the garden for the bunnies.
Wormwood in a border will repel animals and, after it’s established, tolerate drought.

2. A dusting of powdered aloe helps keep away insects.

3. Snails and slugs: Tried and true, set out a container of beer. They love it, to their sorrow. Diatomaceous earth slices through soft bodies. Put sawdust around plants; they can’t travel a sawdust road.

4. Cornworms, tomato horn worms: When I see these big guys, I just relocate them (preferably not into a neighbor’s garden). Sprinkle cayenne powder on plants. It gives the crawlies the “hot foot” and they move on. Rye flour on wet cabbage is not a sandwich. Sprinkled on wet cabbage plants, it dehydrates cabbage worms. Plant thyme and geraniums near cabbage and corn.

5. Squash bugs: my nemesis. You must patrol the garden, keeping an eye on the squash. At first sight, spray with a mixture of earth-friendly soap, cayenne and water and SPRAY, SPRAY.

6. Roses: What every rose gardener fears: black spot, red spider mites, and aphids. Juice garlic leaves and add 4 pints of water, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, strain and spray on the roses. An old custom, plant garlic with the roses. A garlic oil spray for aphids: chop 3-4 oz. garlic bulbs, soak in non-gmo corn or canola oil, place in a warm space for a day, then you are ready to spray.

7. Remove sick or diseased leaves and plants; leave them out of the compost.Take good care of the worms in your compost bin. Add only organic scraps and nothing that has been recently sprayed. Water them, but not enough to drown them.

Happy gardening!

Feature photo by OakleyOriginials
License under Creative Commons

Summer gardening tips