Saturday, May 30, 2009

Want to be my friend? (sounds so corny)


For anyone interested, you can find me on Facebook as well. Please leave your name and/or e-mail in a comment to this entry and we can meet at Facebook! Hope to see you soon!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Wildflower identification

Today on our way home from church, we decided to take a scenic route through the country. En route, we saw just gorgeous spring wildflowers on the side of the road. They were so pretty we just had to pull over and pick some for our centerpiece. (There were no signs posted saying we couldn't.) They were asking me what it was called, but I had no idea. So I did some web research and found this really neat wildflower identification site. What we found was called Dames Rocket:

~So pretty!~

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

My plan of attack!

After doing some research and talking things over with my handsome hubby *grin*, I've decided to do the following in regard to dealing with squash bugs:

1- plant a "trap crop"~ which we did this evening. I planted crookneck yellow summer squash (the bugs' favorite) where our old garden used to lie.

2- plant our real squash crop as late a possible

3- around our real crop, we're going to plant companion crops of nasturtiums, marigolds, and peppermint to organically drive as many squash bugs away as possible... driving them toward the trap crop

4- if/when we see squash bug eggs, nymphs, or adults growing and devouring the squash vines on the trap crop, we plan on dousing the plants with gasoline, oil, etc. and setting it on FIRE!!!

(Burn the suckers!!!)

We'll see if our plans succeed this year. Keep everyone posted!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Squash Bugs


*ugh... I HATE this nasty critters!!!*

Organic Control: There are few if any effective organic control options for squash bug. However, natural enemies of the squash bug include Tachinid fly, Trishopoda pennipes and Sceleonids, Eumicrosoma spp. These biological control options may prove useful. Sabadilla may provide some control and is organic certified.

... not what I like to hear...

This was a bit more promising:
http://www.life123.com/home-garden/gardening-tips/garden-pests/top-five-ways-to-control-squash-bugs.shtml

Also, another interesting/helpful read:
http://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/PDF/squash_pest.pdf

Trap them?:
http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/organic/msg0722512410012.html

Nasturtiums was also suggested:
http://www.sallybernstein.com/food/columns/gilbert/nasturtiums.htm

And also: radishes and Petunias.

This at least gives me some direction. I'm planning on taking a trip to the local greenhouse to purchase peppermint anyway, so I'll ask them what they think.

Gardening (II)

I am soooo excited to be planting an organic garden this year!!!

Yesterday, my garden was tilled (yippie!) and I immediately planted garlic and spearmint. Apparently tomato bugs and mice do not like the smell of spearmint. (I wondered why we didn't have to spray our tomatoes last year.) So... I took several cuttings of spearmint, planted them in several separate containers (they spread like mad if not contained), and then buried those containers strategically around the garden. Garlic was buried in one corner.

Today, the kids and I planted cherry tomatoes (we sprouted indoors) & lettuce seeds.


Next up: marigolds around the perimeter.
Keeps out bunnies and deer.

My major concern is squash bugs. They're absolutely horrendous. I'm looking into organic ways to keep them off. I'm hoping that taking a year off from squash and moving my garden will help this year. If you have any suggestions, PLEASE SHARE! I really do NOT want to use pesticides if I can avoid it!

Still to come:
-watermelon
-summer squash
-pumpkin
-peas
-tomatoes
-carrots
-Canterbury Bells
-Daisies

Saturday, May 02, 2009

More on Garlic Oil

I recently posted on how we curb ear infections in our home with garlic oil. We recently came across another medicinal use for garlic: getting rid of coughs/chest colds.
We read about it here at LearningHerbs.com.

You use it on your feet!
At first, I was skeptical... Feet?...
But this week, our children came down with some sort of flu bug (low grade fever, cough, etc.) and so I tried this recipe on them. I rubbed garlic oil on their feet 3x's/day, slapped some socks on them, and the coughing subsided! Then, just last night my husband started getting sick with the same bug. So... I tried it on him, too!... And it worked! I also brewed him a cup of "special-tea".
Ginger works as an immune system booster.

I'm sold... garlic is awesome!