Gardening 101: A Learning Experience!

One of the best parts of summer is planting that garden that will provide you with fresh vegetables all season long! This past weekend I planted mine. I have two small gardens in my backyard. This year I planted peas, carrots, lettuce, onions, spinach, beets, and kohlrabi. I also have two wooden herb boxes on my deck, and I planted mint in one, and basil and dill in the other. I love being able to step outside on my deck and cut fresh herbs to use while I’m cooking. And I think my favourite part of having a garden is the fresh carrots I can dig up. I don’t think any vegetable can taste as good as a freshly harvested carrot!

I have only been gardening for a few years, and I am not an expert, so I am continually looking for suggestions and helpful hints when it comes to growing produce. I love that when it comes to gardening, I learn something new every year. I have tried so many different types of vegetables, and some grow, others don’t! But it is always fun trying!

Last year I had problems with pests in my garden. My garden was infested with caterpillars and slugs. So, this year I have consulted a great book called Your Guide to Organic Gardening by Coles Notes. It not only gave great gardening tips, but also contained a section on organic pesticides that a person can use to ensure that they keep both pests and chemicals out of the garden. I haven’t tried any of these, but I look forward to using some of them this season if those slugs return!

  • Garlic oil: Garlic oil can be sprayed on infected plants to keep the pests away. Mix 6 tbsp of crushed garlic cloves with 3 tbsp of oil and steep it for a day. Strain the oil and add it to 4 cups of water and 1 tsp of biodegradable dish soap.
  • Baking soda: This can be used to help prevent fungal diseases. Mix 1 tsp of baking soda in a quart of water, and add several drops of biodegradable dish soap. Put in a spray bottle and apply to plants.
  • Essential Oils: Mixing essential oils with water in a spray bottle can help ward off pests. Try pine, witch hazel, and rosemary.
  • Soaps: Mix 1 tbsp of liquid biodegradable dish soap in with 1 cup of oil. In a spray bottle, mix 2 tsp of this soap-oil mixture to 1 cup of water. Spray on plants to help control pests.

There are many alternatives to chemicals when it comes to getting rid of pests in the garden. This year I have some ideas to keep those caterpillars from eating my spinach leaves! Bundles of Energy wants to know if you have tried any natural or environmental ways to keep your garden free of pests! And as a new gardener I would appreciate the suggestions!

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