4 Natural Garden Remedies

Here are 4 natural garden remedies you can try this year.   If you have any home remedies that you have found to be successful, please feel free to share them with us!

  1. Organic Pesticide Soap Spray
    To make this spray, you’ll need 1 tsp liquid natural dishwashing liquid soap, 2 tsp vegetable oil and a spray bottle. Add dishwashing soap and vegetable oil to the spray bottle. Fill with water and shake. Spray the mix on unwanted pests.
  2. Vinegar Weed Spray
    My husband and I used this spray last year around our garden pond and had great results. Vinegar is a cheap and almost everyone has it readily available in their homes. Mix dishwashing soap at a rate of one once per gallon of full strength vinegar. Spray the mix on the plant to destroy the protective coating. If you only use soap and water it will not kill the plant. The vinegar destroys the protective coating which leaves the weed vulnerable, eventually dying up until death. You can also try pouring your mix directly at the root of the plant. You can also try vinegar by itself, but make sure you have full strength vinegar. Remember that this spray will kill any plant you spray so make sure you spray only the ones you don’t want!
  3. Baking Soda Fungicide Spray
    Another common household item that you can use in the garden is baking soda (plus it’s cheap!). You can sprinkle baking soda around the garden and on plants to deter cabbage worms and aphids. To make a spray mix 1 gallon of water, 1 tbsp. vegetable oil. 1 tbsp. of baking soda and 1 tbsp. of natural dishwashing liquid soap. Spray on foliage of plants that are affected with mildew or fungus.
  4. Beer & Slugs
    If you are having problems with slugs or snails, grab an old beer, a yogurt container (or any kind of tray that is deep enough for them to not be able to climb out of) and head to the garden. Sink the container into the ground so that the top of the container is level with the ground. Fill the container with beer. Drawn to the smell of the beer, these pests will get into the beer-filled container and will drown. Check the container daily to refill and eliminate the drowned pests.

The Yards Are Alive…

by Krystal Krogman

…With the smells of spring! Spring has arrived, and the Midwesterners are itching to get out there… myself included! The smell of freshly cut grass, burning the last of the fallen leaves, and aroma of the beautiful flowers as you visit the stores.

My son and I planted some peas a few weeks back, to scratch that ‘itch’… of course in true Midwest fashion, it snowed two days later. We’ve been toying with the mid 70s lately this April and I couldn’t wait any longer. The peas had since begun to sprout, so we knew the time had come to build our raised bed.

yard-articleRaised beds are simple, so easy “Krystal could do it”… although my husband did the building. We went small this year, about a 4’ by 6’ bed. We tilled up the land, raked it to the middle and built the bed around it. We chose to build it out of some leftover 4” x 4” posts, using eight or nine, creating an alternating design (kind of like you do when you build a house out of blocks, if you don’t alternate your corners entire walls could fall!) and raked in some top soil with our notoriously sandy yard. The top soil was so moist there were actually frozen chunks of soil in it!

Once all the building was complete, we got the planting underway. Peas, a couple carrot plants, radishes, tomatoes, and bush beans in the raised bed… sunflowers against our back fence… We had the fever.

A few tricks we used this year, which I’d read about and seen in some videos:

  • yard1 Popsicle sticks – We used these to not only mark our rows, but also put four around each of our pea transplants (and periodically throughout the radish rows). I had heard that you do this for two reasons. First, so you know where your plants should be popping up (helps with weeding the right things) and secondly, if your yard is notorious for feline visitors, you can deter them from lying on your plants.
  • Fencing – Our garden had been in a whopping 12 hours when it was dug into. We suspect our dog, who had been eying the peas from before they were in the ground, although our neighbor tells us it was probably a rabbit. (Looked a lot more like puppy prints than rabbit though…) So despite my not wanting to, we put a small fencing around it… But it will probably help keep the dogs from running through the sunflowers, as they begin their growing.
  • Mulch – Keeping moisture in, plants (and roots) cooler, we also learned that cedar mulch is also a good deterrent for some bugs. Unfortunately we were about a week late picking ours up, the home and garden store had run a big sale on mulch the week before we got ours.
  • Reading Packages – You would think this would be obvious, but we’ve never done this before. We read how deep and far apart we should plant, we read how tall the sunflowers would get, whether we’d need stakes, and how much sun they should get.
  • Little gardeners – When you have little guys or gals (whether they’re nieces, nephews, grandchildren, or children), it is always fun to include them. Sometimes, at least with my son, they like to dig and get dirty. So, a little later on, when our plants are (with any luck) flourishing, and all he wants to do is dig we have figured out a resolution. We are going to build him a small bed, likely 2’x2’, for him to dig and play with trucks in.

One of my favorite quotes is by Robert Brault: “Why explain miracles to your kids, when you can just have them plant a garden.” Plus, when they grow them they’re more likely to eat them – it is eating the fruits (or vegetables) of their labor. I know that one of my son’s favorite things to do when outside is “check the plants” and (even when its not necessary), watering them. And as we built our other flower bed, he was right there, pounding in landscaping stakes into the timbers and into the ground.

yard3Once we started building and working in the yard, the fever quickly became a rash. Personally, I think my husband just liked using the tiller. We just kept working in the yard. Before I knew it, we had made another flower bed, we’d re-mulched the front yard, we’d raked up and stacked sticks, raked up the latest leaves that had fallen from our Pin Oak tree, we’d fertilized our front yard (we cannot grow grass there for the life of us!), and we’d planted flowers.

Of course, now that we’ve gotten all of this taken care of, there is supposed to be plummeting temperatures next week. So we’ll have to bust out blankets and buckets to keep the plants from freezing, but such is the life of a Midwestern gardener.


Save 50% On All Herb Seeds!

This week we have featured two articles on herbs. Herbs are easy to grow and have a plethora of uses. You do not have to have a lot of space for herbs, in fact, you can grow them in pots and put around the house. Why not have create a source of fresh herbs for teas or to spice up your culinary dishes at home? Dried herbs also make great gifts to friends and family too!

Our special offer this week is 50% off any of our herb seed packets. Buy a few for yourself and buy a few for your family and friends! I always love when someone shares seeds with me to try! Just enter coupon code HERBS during checkout.

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