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Sweetgum

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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Chickens in the Organic Garden

Preparing new beds for spring planting is a lot of work on your own. Chickens are great helpers in the garden if you let them. Their little feet are built in rakes for clotted soil. The beds I didn't let the chickens work last year were plagued by cutworms and cabbage moths, but the chicken-tended ones were pest-free. Chickens close the loop in our artificial gardening cycle. They make organic gardening much easier since they eliminate the bugs that are vectors for plant diseases.
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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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Comfreyflower

Homemade Plant Fertilizer Recipe

Potted plants need extra nutrition since they are separated from the vital life forces that remake the soil from which garden plants benefit. This recipe may also be used to give garden plants a special boost when they are developing…

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