Here are some garden-related tips.
Did You Know
- At most gardening stores, if a bag is ripped, they will give you a discount. For example, at Canadian Tire, 2 of the 5 bags of mulch I was buying had rips in the bags, so after asking, I received a 50% discount on the 2 ripped bags.
- For strawberries, 10-10-10 seems to be recommended.
- For general household plants, 10-15-10 seems to work fine (Schultz's liquid)
- For ferns, palms, papyrus, you can buy fern sticks at the Dollar store.
- For roses, Miracle Gro's rose food will give them a nice boost.
- How to attract pollinators naturally (DIYNatural.com)
- Ants: How to get rid of Ants Naturally by DIY Natural
- Hot Pepper Garden Bug Spray
- Spider Mites: Spray with 50-50 mixture of rubbing alcohol and water.
- Tip of the Month: Keeping Bugs at Bay Without the Toxic Spray, From Environmental Defence (Celiac Brain)
- A 50-50 vinegar & distilled water mix in a spray bottle is a nice natural alternative for killing weeds. I use this in the cracks of my driveway and deck.
- Cedar Mulch is amazing at keeping annoying smaller weeds from growing/spreading. The bigger perennials will push through the mulch. The mulch also retains moisture, meaning your plants won't need to be watered as much.
- The best time of year for digging up runners (of aggressive plants) seems to be the late fall when the runners stop spreading. Otherwise, the freshly dug up soil allows runners to move more freely and consume more space.
- If you're growing your own fruits and vegetables, that's excellent!
- I know it seems ridiculous, but you should be careful as to what seeds you use.
- Seed producers can change the genetics of species of food by using toxic chemicals and radiology. Just look at the havoc that modifying the DNA of wheat has caused on society. The prevalence of gluten allergies has been growing increasingly since farmers started modifying wheat. (MacLeans has a nice article Dr. William Davis' "Wheat Belly" book). Here's a story on how genetic changes to tomatoes to make them red and easy to transport, resulted in the loss of the sugar gene: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/touch/technology/story.html?id=7245790
- Apparently, seeds by Monsanto and Seminis should be avoided. However, you won't see their names on the seed packages. Instead they've come up with their own varieties of fruits & vegetables (scary, eh?) that should be avoided. The full list is here: http://horticulturetalk.wordpress.com/2011/09/24/who-owns-who-where-and-how-monsanto-has-their-sticky-little-fingers-in-the-home-garden-seed-industry-3
A rain barrel is a great way to reduce your tap water consumption. It will also be free of water treatment plant chemicals, and will not be freezing cold. In Canada, http://www.rainbarrel.ca is a great place to find a reasonably priced rain barrel, and to help a local charity. I paid $55 for my 220 liter barrel. Some things to keep in mind before buying a barrel include:
- Make sure your eaves troughs drainage can be connected to the rain barrel.
- Rain barrel water isn't pressurized, so it works best when the water can run downhill. It is also handy for filling up your watering can, which can be used to water house plants and outdoor plants.
- If your property is flat, you can still use it with something like a soaker hose that weaves between plants in the garden. If you want to be able to use a regular hose, then the options are to put the rain barrel up higher in the air somehow or get a pump that goes inside.
- Also keep in mind that a 220 litre barrel, when full, weights close to 500 pounds. Make sure the location for your barrel can support that weight.