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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Further to the suggestion of goats, I had a large patch of Spiderwort (Tradescantia fluminensis) which was taken care of by two young hens within a couple of weeks. You could try the chicken tractor method or just let them roam around. There are many benefits to this method: Free chicken feed Free eggs Improved soil Chickens will do a good job of getting ...


7

The NPK numbers on the fertilizer represents the percent, by weight, of Nitrogen, P2O5 and K2O, respectively. So if your blood meal is labeled 12-0-0, then a 100 pound bag would contain 12 pounds of nitrogen. If you have a 400 sq ft garden, you'd want to apply a pound of nitrogen, or 100/12 = 8.3 lbs of 12-0-0 fertilizer. Note that the calculation 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

I use neem seed oil effectively. From the wikipedia article (emphasis not in original): Formulations made of neem oil also find wide usage as a bio-pesticide for organic farming, as it repels a wide variety of pests including the mealy bug, beet armyworm, aphids, the cabbage worm, thrips, whiteflies, mites, fungus gnats, beetles, moth larvae, mushroom ...


7

Not sure where you are in the world (therefore not sure if they're available where you are), but have you looked into using nematodes? Nemaslug Slug Killer Oz


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

Re RoundUp - don't use Round up, if you must use a weedkiller, buy glyphosate. This is the active ingredient in Round Up, minus all the other additives they put in it which make it more of a threat to the environment. Glyphosate works just as well - if you want to add a surfactant, a squirt of washing up liquid will do the job. Note that Round Up once ...


6

My bet is because of the slow(er) release of the nutrients in the granules over time. When the granules become wet, the substance will release a bit. After some other rain it will release some more etc. Releasing too much fertilizer at once can burn the roots etc. It can make your soil too acidic and 'scare' away micro-organisms that way. That's why you ...


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 ...


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