Hot answers tagged

40

Identifying crabgrass: Video: Will the REAL Crabgrass Please Stand Up? from University of Illinois Extension Personally, I pretty much follow all the advice given in this brilliant article: Organic Lawn Care For the Cheap and Lazy So far, the advice given in that article hasn't totally prevented my crabgrass problem. I'm still battling crabgrass, ...


21

Save the beer and make your own traps is my suggestion. It works just as well and is a lot cheaper. Mix the following and let it sit in a warm place, stirring occasionally until you get a yeasty smell. 1 cup of water 1 teaspoon of sugar 1 teaspoon of flour 1/2 teaspoon of dry yeast Place it in marjarine containers, pop bottles etc, every 15 feet or so in ...


18

Slugs don't like crawling (sliming? oozing?) over copper. I've seen ribbons of copper and other types of copper bariers sold in gardening stores, but I usually just go to my local hardware store and buy a few feet of thin, non insulated copper wire (8 gauge wire, I think, is what I usually bought). I then bend them into loops and place the loops around the ...


17

I'm having good results with Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis), but I don't think aphids are listed on the label as being controlled by it. The main problem I'm solving with Bt is cabbage loopers. Wikipedia says: Cry toxins have specific activities against insect species of the orders Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies), Diptera (flies and mosquitoes), ...


17

I have found that a soap solution works really well - and it is safe! If used promptly, it is also effective in ridding broad beans of blackfly.


15

Here's an idea that makes a lot of short term work but has paid off for me in the long run. Add a water feature with some shallow (1" to 2" deep) areas. You will attract birds, frogs and toads who will assist in keeping the slug population low. This does not eliminate all slugs, just some of them. And, it takes time for the word to get out that your ...


15

You could kill it by suffocating it from light and heating it naturally. Put a dark tarp over it, and anchor it so it doesn't blow away. The heat from the sun and lack of light will burn that and anything else growing under there in several days to a couple of weeks.


15

I've used neem tree oil mixed with organic dish soap on edible container grown fruits and veggies and have always had good luck. Neem oil is edible but you'd probably want to wash your fruits/vegetables before eating because the oil is quite bitter.


14

update Answer has been edited after considering comments by bstpierre. This is a great question, and I hope to learn more from some of the other answers and comments. I was unable to find good information that can be used to answer this question, but based on a few informed estimates, all assuming a vegetarian diet. 0.04 ha / 0.1 acre John Jeavons (see ...


13

I've seen from multiple sources that about 4000 sq ft per adult is about what is required, assuming a vegetarian diet. How to Grow More Vegetables, by John Jeavons Gardening When it Counts, by Steve Solomon Jeavons' book goes into some detail about how to plan your garden and your diet. Around p25 there are charts and explanation about choosing crops that ...


12

IMHO that answer should work fine in your situation. It's a pretty "standard" procedure for dealing with such pests on potted plants. Submerging the pot in water for an hour or two, then allowing it to dry out will not have any adverse effects on your Basil plant (or any other "common" potted plant I can think of). It's not like you're keeping the roots ...


12

Generic, non-chemical pest controls that you can try: Physical barriers like row covers. Traps -- some traps use pheromones to lure the insects in and then trap them with glue or sticky tape. Vacuuming is effective on some insects. Trap crops will sometimes work -- you plant a species that the pests like even more than the crop you want to harvest. The ...


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

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 ...


10

I use pyretheum. Is it organic enough for your needs? Depends. Back in the UK "pyretheum" is the 'natural' variant made from chrysanthenums (and the one I used to go for); and "pyrethins" are the synthetic equivalent. But here in the US there does not appear to be any distinction and everything is labeled "pyrethin" plus various claims to being a natural ...


10

"SE Gardening" contains quite a bit of information on this subject, below I've tried to gather up some of that information and post it here in one place for easy reference. All links are to "SE Gardening" posts unless noted otherwise. Improve your soil, keep your soil in good health I'm a huge! believer in the benefits (almost magical properties) of ...


10

Something not suggested: sheet mulching for "lasagna" gardening. A local department store will probably give you 4,500 sqft of cardboard boxes for free -- they may even deliver them! De-tape and de-staple them, break them down, and put them over everything you want to kill. Put a bit of topsoil on the cardboard to hold it down. The cardboard will eventually ...


10

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 ...


9

I have been using "Slug Stop" non-toxic granules for some years now, and they do the job - and withstand heavy rain! They are extremely absorbent and work by extracting moisture from slugs and snails as these contact them. They aren't cheap, but they are the only organic deterrent I have found - and there aren't many I haven't tried! - that gives effective ...


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

I severely disabled some ground ivy by letting it grow a foot tall and mowing it off at one inch. The grass really jumped and thickened, though it was a shock at first. The grass thickening crowded out the ivy and the ivy has been stunted all year.


8

Mike McGrath on "You bet your garden" always recommends corn gluten for organic crabgrass control. Plan NOW for a Weed-Free Lawn: Naturally!


8

Good answers above. But one is missing: Torch your weeds. You can build your own torch (um, dangerous) or purchase one such as the Red Dragon. But beware. According to this worthwhile read at Bifurcated Carrots, you should not use a torch near dry brush or over mulch, both of which can be extremely flammable. Also, a torch may not kill weeds that have ...


8

You could kill the weeds with any of the other solutions already posted here, but if you don't cure the root cause as to why the weeds are outcompeting the lawn grass, they will just come back. Before you kill the weeds, get your soil tested. At the very least, check the pH. Then kill the weeds. (I think your best approach to killing the weeds will be ...


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.


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible