Hot answers tagged

11

You need to keep your grass healthy to help combat ground ivy. Water deeply and infrequently and fertilize properly. Have a soil test done at your local cooperative extension to see if there are any issues you need to correct and how much fertilizer you need to add. Ground ivy thrives in damp and insufficiently fertilized soils. There have been university ...


11

It appears that earthworms will not be harmed by it. "Diatomaceous Earth will not harm warm-blooded animals or earthworms Earthworm farmers use it to treat their worm beds for parasites, fungus gnat larva etc. Earth worms are structurally different from insects in that they can actually digest particles of DE. The particles are then eliminated in their ...


11

Step one - if the holes are not particularly large/numerous, ignore them, you don't eat the leaves anyway unless you have a death-wish. Step two - identify the pest - often a quick trip at night with a flashlight is the most effective method - day or might, look under the leaves if you don't see things on top. You can't control or manage an unknown pest ...


9

They should all be 3 feet from one another, the tomato plants and the potatoes. Its not to prevent blight, but to prevent disturbing the roots of the tomatoes if you dig up some potatoes nearby, and to prevent blossom end rot caused by insufficient water/calcium availability for the tomatoes. The greater distance also makes it less likely that any plant will ...


9

You definitely need to do some pruning. Before you start pruning a tree, you should find all of the graft points. Since you have multi-graft trees, there should be one graft at the point where each main branch comes off of the trunk. As you are pruning, keep in mind that if you cut a grafted branch off or cut it back so close to this graft that it will have ...


8

Hand picking them at night is a great way to get a large population under control. After you have reduced their numbers you could try a few things. If you have mulch around your plants you may want to move it back away from the plant stems. Mulch is a great hiding place for slugs. They do not like to go over any rough material so spreading some ...


8

Seems like pillbugs are good for the compost pile. Pillbugs form an important component of the larger decomposer fauna, along with earthworms, snails, and millipedes. All of these animals return organic matter to the soil where it is further digested by fungi, protozoans, and bacteria, hence making nitrates, phosphates, and other vital nutrients ...


8

Glyphosate is a blanket herbicide. It's not used in gardens. Weeds are controlled in gardens by proper tilling (very little), mulching (carbon for walkways, compost near plants), and pulling. No one with a lick of sense uses glyphosate anywhere near their roses. http://www.denverrosesociety.org/education/murder_by_roundup.pdf And the preparation for ...


7

I've effectively killed it with a 20% horticultural vinegar using a pump sprayer. The grass around it will look like it died but actually goes dormant like it does in a drought. If you water it the day after you spray the vinegar, it will turn green. With the ground ivy, you have to be vigilant because if you leave one runner...the problem comes back. A ...


7

You can kill ivy with storm windows/glass. I got rid of a big patch after all else failed with several 4'x6' storm windows. I laid the glass out on the ivy and it fried it in a couple hours. I moved the windows around for a week and killed a 30 foot x 45 foot area of ivy. Cook it and kill it.


7

Mulch is commonly used to control weeds, as it sounds like you've discovered on your own. Since you have a bad infestation you could use cardboard (or layered newspaper) with wood chips on top to prevent any weeds from seeing the light of day. Use cardboard without glossy paint, and be sure to poke some holes in it to allow water to drain through. Spread it ...


6

I've tried everything in the above answers. I detest killing. BUT, the only way I was able to make a difference in my garden was to get a flashlight and go out at night while slugs were out of their hiding spots and cut them in half. Hundreds every night for 3 or 4 nights and then it drastically began to reduce. I'd go out every other night, every third ...


6

The NPK of any home made compost is usually impossible to tell, but that's not the point of making compost, Alchemist. Composted materials, once well rotted, provide high levels of humus for the soil. This improves the soil environment, which means you have greater levels of soil bio diversity and fertility, thus improving any plant's accessibility to ...


6

There's a type of ladybug that specializes in spider mite control. It's called a spider mite destroyer lady beetle, or Stethorus picipes. They work well, but regular ladybugs just fly off. However, they weren't the most thorough, so I usually use neem oil, or insecticidal soap. Soap and water is very effective, but more damaging to the plant, than neem oil,...


6

IMPE, the main problem with hand-weeding an 8 foot by 50 foot bed (I did a 5x50 myself once) is that there's way too much in one bed - and the middle is hard to reach. I have re-bedded and shrunk my bed size twice since then. I'd start with digging 18-24" wide right down the middle, and put in a path there. Now you have two 3 or 3-1/2 foot by 50 foot beds, ...


6

It boils down to sheep, cattle and manual labour. This website gives a good introduction and some links to "estate keeping" in Great Britain at Jane Austen's time. Let me extract the major points: First, you need to distinguish between the larger fields / meadows further away from the house and the adjacent grounds. Lawn care (or, perhaps "meadow care") ...


6

This is debatable. So there is no clear answer and lots of opinions. You can theoretically derive hydroponic fertilizer from 'organic' sources and not synthetically produce them (from chemical rather than biological processes). But whether this is an organic method is debatable. That is: Is growing plants without a biological soil, an 'organic' method? ...


6

If you have a household, you can generate enough waste to start some Bokashi bins. You can purchase these from Green Zone Egypt. These create compost in buckets but the process needs to be finished off in soil. So when the bucket is full, and left for 10 days, take some of the material out, and put it into the bottom third of your container. Cover with ...


6

The berms of branches and twigs practice is referred to as Hügelkultur The technique dates back a few centuries in Germany and Eastern Europe. In the 1960's it gained new life when Sepp Holzer (an Austrian) put it to use along with numerous other techniques to improve farm yields on his land.


6

Depending on how big your area is, vinegar (acetic acid) could be a option. You can test household vinegar in a small area to see how well it works; however, since wild strawberry is a perennial, you will probably need a concentration that's greater than the household 5%. (5% household vinegar works better for small, annual weeds.) The stronger solutions ...


5

My list is based growing in the ground (not raised beds -- this is my experience). If you're growing in raised beds, you may be able to start a week earlier (they will warm up faster). If you need to build beds, you'll need to have those ready before you can start anything. I can't give exact dates, because individual locations vary widely in what can be ...


5

Newspaper works also: put down some newspaper, spread mulch on top, wait a bit and rototill it all in. Newspaper ink is soy based now so it's fine; prepare the soil and plant.


5

If you're really anxious about it, do as Evol Gate suggests, but to answer your query about timespan of activity for lawn care/treatment products, the longest acting one I can think of is one that might be used in the Autumn. This contains a small amount of nitrogen and sometimes a chemical to retard the growth of moss, and its length of activity is between ...


5

It's true about host plants - but they might not always be ones you actually want. Nettles are a host plant in the UK for two different butterflies, but I can't say I'm all that thrilled at having nettles in the garden, and they tend to prefer large patches of nettles to just one or two plants. It's probably much easier to settle for providing plants which ...


5

You can use black plastic to cover everywhere the plants aren't. Some people use boiling water to kill weeds and weed seeds (this may kill good bacteria in the soil, too, though, which may be important for your plants, especially cucurbits).


5

Here's another link that might be of interest: https://www.planetnatural.com/organic-lawn-care-101/history/ Basically, as already said, sheep were used, but from the 17th century onwards in Britain, wealthy landowners needed huge teams of gardeners to keep the lawns and grounds good looking. Grass was cut by teams using scythes, and hand weeded - ...


5

In my experience, composting in place in a pot does not work well. I would recommend against that option. Given that you don't have space for a compost pile and will be growing in containers, I think that vermicomposting would be your best option. A worm bin does not need to be large - it can fit in a kitchen cabinet or on a veranda. They're easy to put ...


5

Really all plants are organic (and by the way also few fertilisers and pesticides). The definition is about using product produces (by humans) with chemical synthesis. On your garden, you know how you produce things, so you don't need any label (and strict rules). For health, I don't think it matter so much: existing part of seedlings will be a tiny part ...


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