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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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Greentomatoes

Easy Tips for Ripening Green Tomatoes

Gardeners become desperate to salvage their crops as autumn lowers the thermostat. While the daytime temperatures are warm enough to ripen tomatoes, nighttime temperatures threaten developing fruit. These crops aren't doomed to rot as many backyard horticulturists fear. A few simple steps can be taken to ripen green tomatoes.
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Radishes-1

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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Maggie-in-garden

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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