Do what we can, summer will have its flies!

Do what we can, summer will have its flies! ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

As the pests & weeds begin to appear in my garden & yard I glanced over gardening notes & did a quick refresher on natural ways to ward them off!  I thought I would share a few of my favorites:

  • Marigolds are companion plants that help ward off pests like bean beetles & harmful nematodes. They also encourage growth when planted around tomatoes, strawberries, beans & roses.  (I always find my beneficial lady bugs in & around the marigolds in my garden).
  • Sprinkle baking soda lightly around tomato plants. This will sweeten the tomatoes by lowering acidity.
  • A strong solution of saltwater can kill an area infested with poison ivy plants.
  • Boil 1 quart water, then add 2 tablespoons salt and 5 tablespoons vinegar. While still hot, pour mixture directly onto weeds between cracks on sidewalks & driveways.  This is one of my favorite weeding tips. I do this once a year!
  • A squirt of vinegar may help invigorate a plant & make it more resistant to disease and pests. Mix 1 ounce vinegar with 1 gallon of water or compost tea, and use as a regular spray on garden plants.
  • Blood meal is great for deterring small animals, like rabbits & squirrels.  Sprinkle some in & around your garden. It is a high nitrogen fertilizer so remember to include that in your gardening plan so you don’t over fertilize your plants.  You can also use blood meal to help activate your compost as well. It will speed up decomposition since it is 12% nitrogen!
  • Lavender repels ants & so does sprinkling a mixture of 1/2 cinnamon & 1/2 white pepper around the garden when you see them. 
  • Radishes are good to plant with cucumbers, they will deter cucumber beetles.

The new gardening tip I’ve come across this season…fresh basil!  We love the aroma of basil but houseflies don’t! Use potted basil in your kitchen, screen porch & elsewhere to ward off the little nuisances.  Basil will also ward off tomato hornworms & should be planted in & around your tomato plants. Makes me want to go plant some basil seeds right now!  

Happy Gardening!

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