Organic insect control is possible. It usually involves a means other than poisoning the insect. One method is to capture the insect. For example, an effective means for dealing with slugs is to bury an open beer in your garden. Slugs will be attracted to the beer and will crawl into the beer and drown.
White flies are common pest in the Southeast. Whitefly Traps will attract and capture whiteflies, fungus gnats, thrips and other pests in gardens, greenhouses and potted plants. Once the card is covered with insects, replace it with another.
Diatomaceous Earth is made from the mineral remains of single-cell aquatic plants. This low cost, effective product is a super-fine dust that kills by abrading and dehydrating crawling insects. It controls slugs, ants, cockroaches, earwigs, fleas, and other crawling insects without the use of chemicals. For dry application of Diatomaceous Earth use a duster and cover the entire plant. You can also use a flour sifter. Apply to both the top and bottom of the leaf. Applies best when there is dew or after a light rain. It is a long lasting, effective powder. Insects can not build up resistance. This is also effective to control parasites on pets and livestock. (Wear a dust mask when applying large amounts of it.)
Of course, there is a concern about its impact on bees. It can kill bees just like any other powder designed to kill insects. If the bees get in it, it will stick to them like pollen and be used in the hive with the pollen and kill the bees that are exposed to it. But, this doesn't mean that we can't use Diatomaceous Earth. Just be careful with it. Only use it when necessary and use a pesticide applicator. Don't use it on plants that are blooming unless you are willing to either cover the plants or keep the bees in. If you provide clean drinking water for the bees that is easy for them to reach, they won't drink the water off the dirt.
Monday, April 18, 2011
Posted by Donna Byers at 7:44 AM
Monday, April 11, 2011
The Today Show ran a story today about backyard chickens' surge in popularity.
Posted by Donna Byers at 6:06 PM
Sunday, April 10, 2011
I have been in the market for a spacious, 6 foot tall dog kennel because our female Great Pyrenees should be going in heat soon. The more I shopped the more I became convinced that this would be a big expense. When I was able to find them on craigslist, they also wanted top dollar. Finally, I found a great one with 84 sq ft and 6 ft high at dogkennels.com for only $250. The lowest price that I found for a rusted one on craigslist was $160. With $5 shipping and no sales tax, this is far better that I can get at any local retailer. I ordered on Saturday and it is promised on Wednesday. Not bad.
As I began to think of ways that I can use the kennel for more than a couple of weeks a year, I realized that this is a perfect set up for a small chicken flock. The 6 ft height will minimize your hens flying over it and bothering neighbors and will offer great protection from predators. The 84 sq feet area offers plenty of room for free ranging.
I have found that four hens can live quite comfortably in a large dog house. They will utilize it for laying eggs and shelter during inclement weather. When the weather is good, they will roost on the top. I have found good prices on dog houses at Walmart and Big Lots.
The added benefit of using the dog kennel for chicken housing is that in the event that you decide chickens are not for you, you can use the kennel and house for other purposes. You could even put it around your garden with netting on top to keep critters out. And as I discussed earlier, you can recoup most of your investment on craigslist.
Posted by Donna Byers at 7:47 AM
Thursday, April 7, 2011
Monday, April 4, 2011
Cary Lyn Quinn of Decatur now has a garden on her deck! After consulting with The Backyard Farm, she has been able to do what she didn't think possible!! Cary Lyn is very busy with OrganizeAtlanta, a professional organizing business. So, she doesn't have a lot of time to spend maintaining her garden. Fortunately, her raised bed is easy to maintain.
Thanks for the help, Brett!
Posted by Donna Byers at 12:11 PM