Tag: Gardening

Easy Tips for Deer-Proofing Your Garden

Deer are graceful creatures to observe in natural settings. The romance wears off when you see the damage they’ve raked through your flower beds. As human habitation spreads more thickly, the deer’s natural predators are being forced out, leaving our vegetarian garden predators in paradise–no enemies and plenty of well tended delicacies lovingly arranged for optimum dining. Deer particularly appreciate expensive, pampered plants like roses, turning the joys of gardening into an unpleasant war for the gardener.

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Sweet Gum Seed Pods as Slug and Snail Repellant

November and December are the time to gather organic slug and snail deterrent for next summer’s garden. Autumn winds will have rattled the sweetgum trees and loosened their spiky seed pods to the ground. Homeowners are obliged to rake them up from walkways and lawns as they can trip up pedestrians. Why not save them to protect tender seedlings? Sweetgum trees are native to the southeastern states but are planted in Oregon as an ornamental landscape tree. The lovely five-pointed leaves turn red, orange, and burgundy in autumn. The seed pods, given unpleasant names such as “ankle turners” and “porcupine eggs,” are problems for landowners. They cause lumps in the lawn as they don’t decay quickly. These troublesome sticklers are treasures for organic gardens.

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Natural Tips for a Wire Worm-Free Garden

Wire worms love fleshy roots like potatoes, radishes, parsnips, and carrots. They don’t usually kill a plant but will leave a gardener’s labor of love riddled with holes and nicks that are only discovered after those tasty root crops are pulled from the ground. Some damage by these villains can be mistaken for slug or snail damage but remember, slugs and snails are surface feeders. Holes in produce occurring underground are from voracious wire worms, the larvae of the click beetle. Organic gardeners have an advantage over the conventional gardener since the click beetles are notorious for their rapid recovery rate from chemical pesticides. These thin, yellowish grubs leave behind veggies that can be salvaged by cutting out the damage in the kitchen. The best prevention of wire worm damage starts in the seed bed.

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Gardener’s Hand Soak Recipe

Many gardeners love to stick their hands in the soil as they work. The feeling of soft, loamy dirt is so satisfying. The problem is this delightful practice leaves our hands feeling rough and chapped. Working with wood or working in damp, cold weather also draws the moisture out of my skin despite wearing gloves. I got tired of my nails getting brittle and chipped each year around April so I devised this simple hand soak to heal the cracks and soften my neglected fingers.

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Bird Nest Material Basket

When I was a child, we threw bits of leftover yarn onto the lawn for the birds. In a few weeks, the yarn was gone. There are other ways of sharing nesting material with the birds. If you are concerned that cats might attack the birds while they are collecting your offerings or adults see throwing string on the grass as a mess, you can gather your collection of string, yarn, wool or ribbons in a pot (as seen in the photo above). Be sure that the items that you offer the birds are biodegardable. That means all of the items are natural and turn into soil over time. It would be sad to have baby birds choking on plastic that it found in it’s nest.

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