Wednesday, October 19, 2011

31 Days to Branch Out: Day 19

Boy we are just truckin along here! It's already day 19! Yay!

Today is Learn to Crochet day here at Branch Out Craft Club! YAY! I honestly think Crocheting is much easier than knitting and it only uses one needle! So, to start, go HERE! It has a video plus step by step illustrated instructions that are pretty darn easy to follow! Don't try them all in one day- Just remember: Crafts are for relaxation and fun! Not frustration!

 I want to touch on one of the major problems with gardening: critters. Bugs mostly is what we're covering today. I wanted to have a garden so I could have my own somewhat organic veggies but I can't seem to grow squash without buggies gettin in the vines. So, luckily there is this!

Homemade Pest and Disease Remedies
Insecticidal soap, rotenone/pyrethrum liquid spray, and diatomaceous earth for horticultural use (silica particles from the skeletal remains of sea creatures that penetrate the bodies of insects on contact-sold as a dust) are good store-bought natural pest remedies. Follow the directions on the labels.
Alcohol spray for Aphids
Mix ½ to 1 cup alcohol with a quart of water. Do not spray the entire plant until you have done a test leaf. Spray one leaf. Wait a day. If it shows signs of burning, do not use alcohol on the plant. Never use in the heat of the day in the sun.
Beer Traps for Slugs
Put some cheap beer in saucers. Place the saucers every 3 to 4 feet around the plants that are being eaten. The slugs will crawl into the beer and drown.
Chamomile Tea for Damping Off
Spray seedlings with a hot water infusion of chamomile tea to prevent the disease.
Citrus Spray for Aphids
This is a good spray for aphids or any other soft-bodied bugs. Boil 2 cups of water in a glass or stainless steel pot. Remove from the burner and add the peel of one lemon or one grapefruit. Cover the pot and let steep overnight. Mix ½ water and ½ citrus liquid. The spray must come in contact with the insects' body to be effective. Spray as needed.
Eucalyptus Liquid Soap (found in health food stores)
Add ½ teaspoon to a quart of water and spray for insects
Horticultural oil
These sprays have a petroleum distillate carrier for natural botanical insecticides. Never use them on a sunny day, and be sure plants are watered well before spraying.
Insecticidal soap
Sold under the Safer brand name. You will find it in any garden store. The concentrate is a better buy than any others.
Liquid rotenone/pyrethrins spray
Bonide is the brand. Follow directions on the label. This spray is very effective, especially if not overused.
Molasses Spray for Rusts
1 cup sulfured molasses
1 cup powdered milk (optional)
1 gallon water
1 cup seaweed powder (optional)
1 cup rock powder (optional)

If you are using only molasses, stir into water and use. If using all ingredients, mix molasses and powders and make into a paste. Wrap 1 cup of the paste in a panty hose. Put in the water, and let sit for 2 to 4 hours. Strain and spray.

So good luck with your gardening!
Branch out and be creative!'

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