Friday, May 31, 2013

Garden Time!

The weather is getting nicer, and an outdoor activities many individuals are engaging in are yard work and gardening. I have always tried to fill my "flower boxes" with purposeful plants that require low maintenance and return each year, like the artichoke pictured above. I was looking at my delicious creation and noticed a large amount of ants feasting away.
In trying to find a way to keep the ants away, I began researching some home-made, non-toxic aides for growing my plants. As we know, the more toxins in our water supply, the more resources needed to clean it. So, here are a few DIY concoctions for keeping pests away and nourishing your produce without contributing to poisonous water drain-off:

For a natural insecticide:
mix 1 1/2 tablespoons of liquid soap
1 quart of water
A couple drops of orange or lemon essential oil

put in a spray bottle and spray infested area of plant. Reapply after rain. 

For a natural fertilizer:

Many of the products you use daily can be used to feed the plants in your garden. A few examples:

Coffee grounds – Acid loving plants such as tomatoes, blueberries, roses and azaleas love coffee grounds mixed into the soil, sprinkled on top of the ground before watering, or poured on top of the soil. If using as a soil drench, soak 6 cups of coffee grounds in a 5 gallon bucket of water. Let it sit for 2-3 days and then saturate the soil around your plants.

 Egg shells – Wash them first, then crush. Work the shell pieces into the soil near tomatoes and peppers. The calcium helps fend off blossom end rot. Eggshells are 93% calcium carbonate, the same ingredient as lime, a tried and true soil amendment!

For more recipes and suggestions, check out these two sites where I found this useful information:

Natural Pesticides

Natural Fertilizers

Happy Gardening!


  1. Thanks for the insecticide recipe - our garden has been invaded by ants, hoping this will work.

  2. Thank you for the tips! I've been trying to fend off bugs in my garden too.

  3. Pretty soon it will be nice enough here for bugs, especially with all this rain we keep getting! thanks for the tips!

  4. We have a lot of critters in our garden. Now that the weather is up to my gardening standards, I think this information will be very useful. Thank you for the tip!

  5. I'll have to try the tips for my tomatoes! I love that there are natural pesticides!

  6. Great tips! Thanks! My whole family seems to be able to garden except me so I'm always looking for little tidbits of info I can use to look like I'm not the black thumb of the family. Ha!

  7. Oh! Thank you for this tips! I knew that egg shells were great for the compost, but had no idea that they could help peppers and tomatoes directly. And great tips for those pesty little critters.