Garden Talk  #5

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Subject:Going Organic

Tips by:Jeff Jansen

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I do read about and receive a lot of information on organic formulas for fertilizers and pest control which can be produced at home. There is also much shared information on the health benefits of organically-grown herbs and other plants.

Some tried and tested organic pesticides have Neem oil as a main component. Commercially produced ready-to-use sprays may be a bit costly, hence the interest in homemade formulas using organic ingredients.

I have successfully used one tablespoon each of baking soda, mild liquid dishwash and vegetable oil mixed into one gallon of water. This mixture, sprayed on a cool morning, killed or removed ants that were farming scale insects and mealybugs on the woody stems of my shrubs. The scale insects and mealybugs were slower to show any effect from the mixture but were not a problem after a short period of time.
Four teaspoons of baking soda in one gallon of water is an effective spray fungicide.
Cinnamon powder can be a substitute for rooting powders.
Kunyit powder can help healing when applied to cuts and breaks on plants.

With the many different formulations for organic fertilizers in use, it may be beneficial to alternate applications between a fish based and a vegetable based fertilizer. There are also the proven benefits of using compost and vermicast.

If you do wish to try producing and using these formulas, please first do a test application on a small part of your garden. It is best to be certain that you understand application rates and frequencies and are able to monitor the results before you move on to the entire garden.

Jeff Jansen @