Gardening tips

There are more than 12,000 species of ants around the world. Some of them invade our homes, some invade our cars, and most ants invade our gardens. The abundance of fresh food that our garden offers is what attracts the ants. Ants are very persistent and they are not easy to contain. Putting fences around the garden is also ineffective because the ants will just get through it. Pesticides and insecticides is also a big NO!  While pesticides and insecticides may solve you of your ant problem, other insects that are beneficial to your garden will also be killed by these chemicals and it is also damaging to the environment. The best way to control and rid your ant problem in your garden is by natural method and there are many ways to do these.

Here are 6 effective ways to get rid of ants in the garden

vinegar

photo : morguefile.com

1. Vinegar

Vinegar is a natural ant repellent. Ants leave pheromones whenever they go and that is what the ants follow to go on their business day in and day out. By using vinegar spray, we can erase these pheromone trails and at the same time repel the ants in our garden. Just spray the leaves of the plants and also the trail that the ants follow. Just repeat this process for about a week and your ant problem will be solved.

 

soap and water

photo: morguefile.com

2. Soapy Water

This process is simple but effective. Just mix soap and water in a spraying bottle and spray it all over your garden. Soap kills ants by destroying their exoskeletons and the soap also erases the pheromone trails that the ants leave.

coffee ground

photo: morguefile.com

3. Coffee Grounds  

Ants and other insect pests such as slugs hate coffee grounds. The smell of caffeine that is in the coffee grounds is the main reason why ants avoid anything that has to do with coffee grounds. By sprinkling your garden with coffee grounds, the ants will surely keep away from your garden.

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photo: trustpass.alibaba

4. Corn Meal

Corn mill acts as a double edge sword for ants. They love it so much that it is a food to die for for these insects literally.  When ants bring corn mill into their nests and then feast on it, the result is instant death. Since ants cannot digest corn mill, their stomachs will expand and in due time it will burst instantly killing the ants. It may be a gruesome and brutal way for these insects to die but if it rids you of your ant problem, then, it is a good method to consider.

salt

photo: morguefile.com

5. Salt

An ordinary salt can also be used in repelling ants. It may not kill the ants but it can get rid of them just the same. Just spray a water and salt solution in your garden. Spray it to the ants pheromone trails as well as in their nest. You can also sprinkle salt along your garden where ants are present. Just keep repeating and doing this method until the ants are gone in your garden.

 

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photo: morguefile.com

6. Lemon Juice

Best used in making delicious lemonades, lemon juice can also be used as a very effective way of repelling ants in the garden. Just spray it around the garden, into your plants, and into the nest of the ants. The smell of the lemon juice will mess up the ants senses.

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source: .inboundmarketers

 

Gardening is fun! But sometimes the fun is sucked away by the presence of different garden pests that tries to crawl, fly, and feast on our plants once they start to grow. Garden pests go hand in hand in gardening. Expect to have pests once you garden your soil. But, that does not mean that we can’t do anything to control these pests from attacking our plants. There are many types of pesticides that are being sold in the market that we can use. But if we want our garden to stay organic as possible, then, using chemical pesticides to get rid of the pests in the garden is a big NO! Instead, we can make our own “ORGANIC PESTICIDES” using the different plants and organic matters that can be found in the garden. There are also plants that you can grow in your garden that can help you deter garden pests.

Here are 11 organic ways to battle common garden pests using organic materials found in the garden and at home:

bowl of worms

source: flapest

1. BUG JUICE

Juice bugs to kill bugs. Well, it may sound unbelievable and gross, but hey it works! Just go to your garden and collect any garden pests, bugs, snails, and grubs that you can find. Put them all in the blender, pour in some fresh water, shut the lid cover and turn it on. Once finished, get your strainer and strain your bug juice shake. Next, get your empty spray bottle, fill it up with water and add a small amount of your bug juice. Shake the mixture, now you have a very effective bug spray which you can use to fight those pests in your garden. Spray the mixture into your plants, particularly the leaves and those garden pests will disappear like magic.

CONSUMER Milk 1

source: telegraph

2. MILK

Maybe some garden pests are lactose intolerant. As in this case, milk can be used as a garden pest deterring agent. When you have a mildew problem on your plants, most specially your peas, cucumber, and pumpkin leaves, milk can solve that problem for you. Just add equals parts of milk and water in a spray bottle and spray your plants until the mildew is under control. For better success, cut off the affected leaves of your plants to avoid the mildew from spreading out. Never water your plants at night. Just in the morning.

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source: bobvila

3. VINEGAR SPRAY

You can get rid of those cabbage moths and grubs by using vinegar solution spray. Just mix 1 part of vinegar to 3 parts water then add a teaspoon of detergent. Shake well and spray it on your plant leaves. If you have molasses at your disposal, then add them also into the mixture for a much better effect.

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source: telegraph.co

4. VEGETABLE OIL SPRAY

In an air tight bottle, mix a tablespoon of dishwashing detergent and a cup of vegetable oil. After mixing, seal tight the bottle and store it in a safe place, away from the reach of children. When your garden is infested with pests, just mix 2-3 tablespoon of the mixture to a cup of water, put it in a spray bottle and spray it on your plants.

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source: natures-health-foods.com

5. CHILI PEPPER SPRAY

Chili pepper spray solution is one of the most effective organic sprays that can be used against garden pests. This solution when properly done, acts as a poison to garden pests including caterpillars. Mix fresh chilies with water and add pure soap. After mixing, strain it and pour it into a spraying bottle and spray it on your plants.

Wormwood

source: medicinalherbinfo.org

6. WORMWOOD SPRAY

With its very pungent smell, wormwood spray is very effective against soft bodied insects. It can also repel ants, flies, house moths, and even snakes. Just boil wormwood leaves in water for a few hours. After boiling, place it to a bottle sprayer and spray it on your plants.

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source: calbenpuresoap

7. PURE SOAP SPRAY

Pure soap spray solution is very effective and it can act as a natural insecticide. When soap is mixed with water and used as a deterrent against garden pests, it will break down the pests’ exoskeleton. The insect will then die from dehydration.

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source: motherearthliving

8. CHILI GARLIC SPRAY

Boil 3 hot chilies with 5 garlic cloves in 2 liters of water. After boiling, leave it overnight. This solution can be used to all garden plants for garden pest control.

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source: wikihow

9. GARLIC SPRAY

Mix 10 garlic cloves together with 3 small chilies and 3 medium-sized onions, and then boil it in one liter of water. After about 10 minutes of boiling, reduce your fire and simmer it for another 10 minutes. After simmering, leave it to cool overnight. When cooled, add two tablespoon of milk. Store it in an air tight jar and label it. When you want to use it, just dilute 1 cup of the mixture to 9 liters of water. Spray it all over your garden to kill off the garden pests.

rhubarb

source: thehungryguest

10. RHUBARB SPRAY

In 3 liters of water, boil one kilogram of rhubarb leaves for an hour or so. Then, add a little soap. When you rhubarb solution has cooled down, place it in an air tight jar. Keep it away from children and out of reach as it can be harmful to humans once it gets in contact with the skin. Just dilute equal parts of the solution and water when you want to use it and spray it in your garden.

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source: forum.grasscity

11. USE PREDATOR INSECTS

Never forget about predator insects. Having predator insects in your garden can sometime do more good than harm in the garden. A single predator insect can consume a thousand insects that are destructive to your garden plants in their lifetime. So when you see a spider or a praying mantis in your garden, do not squish them. Instead let them be, because these insects keep the population of other insects in your garden in check, and they also eat those irritating pests in your garden.

Aside from making “Organic Pesticides” to get rid of pests in the garden, you can also grow plants that can help you deter garden pests. Here are 17 plants that deter garden pests:

1. Alliums

allium
Flickr/Alexandre Dulaunoy

Alliums can repel numerous pests including aphids, cabbage worms, carrot flies, slugs, and snails. They are also a good companion plant for broccoli, carrots, cabbage, kohlrabi, potatoes, tomatoes, and peppers.

2. Basil

basil plants
Flickr/Alice Henneman

If you want to get rid of flies and mosquitoes at home, grow basils. Basils can be planted indoors and outdoors. You can also make a natural insect repellent spray using basils. All you have to do is pour 4 ounces of boiling water in a container with 4-6 ounces of fresh basil leaves. Let the mixture sit for a few hours. After that remove the leaves and add 4 ounces of vodka into the mixture. Place the mixture into a clean spray bottle. Make sure to protect your eyes, nose, and mouth when spraying.

3. Citronella Grass

lemongrass
mnn.com

 

Citronella grass is an excellent mosquito repellent. This plant is commonly used in making natural insect repellent and it is also used in making scented candles and lanterns. The fumes of the scented candles and lanterns can repel mosquitoes.

This perennial plant can grow up to 6 ft. high. You can plant them in large containers or directly in your garden.

4. Chrysanthemums

Chrysanthemums
Flickr/Audrey

Chrysanthemums contain pyrethrums that can kill flying and jumping insects such as ants, Japanese beetles, lice, ticks, fleas, silverfish, roaches, bedbugs, spider mites, and many more.

5. Lavender

lavender
Flickr/Aneo

Lavenders repel unwanted insects such as mosquitoes, fleas, and flies. These insects don’t want the smell of lavenders. Plant lavenders in a sunny spot in your garden or place tied bouquets of lavenders indoors where flies and mosquitoes love to stay.

6. Lemon Thyme

lemon thyme
Flickr/Kristen Taylor

Another herb that can repel mosquitoes is lemon thyme. However, you need to bruise or crush and rub the leaves in your skin to release its chemicals.

You have to make sure that the natural properties of this plant will not adversely affect you. To avoid any damage in your skin you have to determine your tolerance. To do this, crush some leaves and rub it into a small area on your forearm and observe it for a few days.

7. Mint

mint
Flickr/Pawel

Mint can also repel mosquitoes. It is best to grow mints in containers rather than in the garden. Mints spread aggressively in the garden and it will be difficult for you to remove them.

Mints have a strong aromatic fragrance that mosquitoes don’t like. Place potted mints in your garden, patio, or indoors to repel mosquitoes and other unwanted insects.

8. Rosemary

rosemary
Flickr/Tony Alter

Rosemary can repel mosquitoes and garden pests that are harmful to your vegetables. You can plant rosemary directly in the garden or in containers.

You can make a natural insect repellent spray by boiling a quart of water and a quart of dried rosemary leaves for 20-30 minutes. Separate the water and the dried leaves, add a quart of cool water into the hot mixture. Place the mixture into a clean container with clean cover and store it in your refrigerator. Use when needed.

9. Nasturtiums

Nasturtiums
Flickr/David Goehring

Nasturtiums are a good companion plant for cucumbers, kale, kohlrabi, tomatoes, radishes, broccoli, and collards. Nasturtiums can repel insects destroying these plants such as aphids, whiteflies, cabbage loopers, and squash bugs.

10. Petunia

petunia
Flickr/Serres Fortier

Petunia can deter pests like asparagus beetles, squash bugs, aphids, leafhoppers, and tomato hornworms. It is also a good companion plant for basil, tomatoes, beans, and peppers.

11. Bay Leaves

bay
Flickr/Nature And

Bay leaves are good deterrent for flies.

12. Chives

chives
Flickr/Mike Bowler

Chives deter pests such as aphids, carrot flies, and Japanese beetles.

13. Dill

dill
Flickr/Martin Lindstrom

Dill deter pests such as aphids, cabbage loopers, tomato hornworms, squash bugs, and spider mites.

14. Fennel

fennel
Flickr/Frank Wales

Fennel can repel aphids, snails, and slugs.

15. Lemon Balm

lemon balm
Flickr/Alice Henneman

Lemon balm is a good repellent for mosquitoes.

16. Parsley

parsley
Flickr/Phelyan Sanjoin

Asparagus beetles dislike parsley.

17. Thyme

thyme
Flickr/Alice Henneman

Thyme is a good repellent for many pests in the garden such as cabbage loopers, cabbage maggots, corn earworms, tomato hornworms, and whiteflies.

There are many ways to use tea bags in our garden. Here are 10 of them.

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 source: www.veggiegardener.com

1. Food for Your Garden

Watering your plants with re-brewed used tea bags can protect the plants from fungal infections. By opening the tea bag, you can also sprinkle the damp leaves around the plants base to fertilize the soil. Schedule occasional tea time for your acid-loving house plants. You can also work wet tea leaves into the soil around the plants to give them lush and luxuriant look.

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 source: www.wikihow.com

2. Planter for Potting Preparation

Tea bags can retain water and also leach nutrients to the soil so putting a few used tea bags on top of the drainage layer at the bottom of the planter before potting makes for a healthier potted plant.

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 source: treepreservationaustralia

3. Compost Pile Enhancement

Pouring a few cups of re-brewed tea in your compost will speed up the decomposition process. Because liquid tea hastens decomposition, it draws out the acid- producing bacteria hence creating desirable acid- rich compost.

VLUU L100, M100 / Samsung L100, M100

 source: groundtoground.org

4. Tea Bags as Fertilizer

Since the materials in tea bags are rich in nitrogen components, using those balances the carbon- rich materials found in the soil. Just apply the composted tea bags as fertilizer by putting it around the plants.

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 source: ratetea

5. Tea Bags as Compost

Tea bags can be composted as long as they are made of paper or muslin. Collect old tea bags and make a pitcher of tea and pour it into the compost heaps. It will speed up the pile’s decomposition and it also attracts good bacteria into the mix.

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 source: www.thingsmymothertaught.com

6. Plant Protection

Make a weakened brew to water the plants with. By sprinkling the leaves around the plant stems, pests can be repelled and you can compost it all later on.

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 source: rozendorp

7. Roses Love Tea Leaves

Sprinkle your rosebushes with tea leave and cover it with mulch. Nutrients from the tea will be released into the soil once you water your plants. The tannic acid that naturally occurs in the tea is what the plants love.

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 source: dailystar

8. Pain Reliever for Bug Bites

Our garden will always have bugs crawling and flying in every direction. So when an insect decides to mulch on you, relieve the pain of bites and stings by making a used tea bag compress. Just put a cooled tea bag compress on the painful area to sooth the pain and reduce inflammation.

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 source: subbuskitchen

9. Adds Flavor in the Kitchen

Would it be great if we can make the flavors of our harvested fruits and vegetable a notch higher? Well, our used tea bags can do just that. Before cooking your favorite soup or just plain rice, just toss your used tea bags into the cooking pot. Allow it to steep for a while before adding your favorite vegetable or grains.

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 source: dirtmamas

10. Deter Garden Pests

Rodents munching away our garden vegetables are a big pain in the head.  By watering our garden with weakened brew of tea, we can minimize the damage done by these pesky rodents in our garden. Because rodents don’t actually like the smell of tea, it will think twice before going to a munching spree.

We are talking about unique tricks here! So go and read on to keep those weeds away:

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Via Buzzfeed

1. Newspapers

Put a thick layer of those old newspapers you have in your home, on top of the soil. Prepare your beds, then your compost, and put your soaker hose down, before putting the newsaper down. Thay way, you can be sure that your plants are watered, while those weed seeds that land on top, don’t. Also, tear a hole in the newspaper where you would place the seeds. In time, it would decompose too, which will add humus to the soil.

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Source: OurGardenGang

2. Cardboards

Same as newspapers, they are great weed barriers. It is perfect for walkways, too.  Just put a little mulch on the top and you are good enough to go.

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Source: Natureb4

3. Vinegar

Vinegar has many uses in the garden. One is to keep those weeds away. Just one spray and it will clear the weed down to its root. Make sure to reapply to those persistent weeds, and also use dog cone to focus on the weeds and not on the plants near it.

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Source: Bobvila

 4. Boiling water

Yes, do not raise your eyebrow on this one. This works. Just make sure to be careful on the plant near the weeds.

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Source: Flickr k.ivoutin

5. Mulch

You might already know how mulch is a vital ingredient for the garden. And this is just one proof! Make sure to put down a nice thick layer of mulch, and you can be sure the weeds won’t be there.

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Source: HowToSurviveIt

6. Fire

To place the fire right where you just need it, use a propane torch. Also make sure that things are watered well. You do not want a backyard fire, for sure.

7 Source: FarmerFredrant

7. Plastic

Besides the fact that it’s a great weed barrier, it also keeps the soil warm, which would be beneficial if you’re in an area with colder climate.

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Source: Flickr TheDeliciousLife

Who doesn’t have the urge to search for cheap alternative materials that we could use for everyday life? Surely, most of us do. Well, we found out that plain old kitchen cinnamon has many great uses for your plants. So spice things up and check these 6 of the best things cinnamon can do for your greeneries:

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Source: Flickr Sean Winters

1. Rooting hormone

See those chemical stuffs they sell for this purpose? Forget that. Just apply cinnamon powder onto your plants’ stems, when cutting.

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Source: Flickr hardworkinghippy

2. Prevent your seedling from “dampening off”.

Several fungi and soil conditions could cause your seedlings to die. The term “dampening off” just means those range of diseases that attack your plants either before or even after germination. The solution? Dust your soil with cinnamon powder!

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Source: Flickr Susanne Nilsson

3. Ant deterrent

Luckily, ants do not love cinnamon like most of us do. It would not kill them, but they would surely stay away from those areas you lined up with cinnamon powder.

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Source: Flickr Tall and Ginger

4. Prevent wild mushroom’s growth

It’s not a happy task to pull wild mushrooms from your beautiful flower bed, right? Dust your mulch with cinnamon powder, and it would surely control the growth of these mushrooms.

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Source

5. Fix plant’s wounds

No matter how much we take care of our plants, accidental things would still happen. A slip of the weed whacker or even overzealous pruning could would a plant. Prevent fungal infection and promote fast healing by sprinkling cinnamon dust onto the plant’s wound.

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Source: Flickr Faith Goble

6. House plant savior

This helpful powder could get rid of your indoor plant’s molds and mildews. Simple task to do is just sprinkle cinnamon powder onto the soil.

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With its cheap price and many uses, who’s going to hate cinnamon? How about you? Have you done any of these?