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Friday, September 6, 2013

In The Garden ...

Even though we are still in the lower 110 F most days, we had quite a bit of rain and a drop in temperature last week and things are starting to happen in the garden!

The seedlings are starting to emerge, some new growth is happening on the transplants and there is a promise of cooler weather (well, “cool” is somewhat relative in Phoenix) and the fall growing season starting!

I can’t wait!






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  1. Thanks for taking time to let us in on your tips and recipes and such. I live in Chandler and have planted a garden for two years now. Both years I have had problems with pests. I have teeny, tiny snails, squash bugs, white flies and roly poly bugs. I have been trying to go without pesticides (due to a neighbors illness)and using a spray with dish soap, and spreading coffee grounds over the dirt, etc. Needless to say, my garden failed both years. Do you have any suggestions?

  2. Hi Berta,
    I know what you mean! Seems I have every bug known to man attacking my garden too. If the heat doesn't kill the garden, the bugs somewhat do. Or the birds - I have a lot of problems with birds too!

    I have found 3 things the most effective in containing the pests, all of them organic.

    1. Diatamacious Earth. I dust around my transplants when I plant them and I dust as soon as I see any kind of pest moving in. The drawback of DE is however that you have to be careful not to dust any blooms as we don't want to harm the beneficial insects and that it is only effective as long as it's in dry dust form, so if you water your garden with a shower want rather than drip irrigation, you would have to reapply every time. Same goes for after any kind of rain.
    I find it is however the most useful for all manner of insects and pests and completely save for humans and pets.

    2. Pepper/Garlic spray works well too and doesn't tend to harm the plants. I would however recommend not to spray in the full heat of the sun, but toward evening, as the plants are usually strained enough and could get burnt from the pepper spray.
    I make mine with 2 jalapenos or other hot peppers (you can also use red pepper flakes,) 1 quart of water, 1 head of garlic, 1 tsp of oil. Mix in a blender until fine, add 1 tbsp of dishwash liquid and let it sit for about 2 hrs or so before straining out the solids.
    Fill the liquid into a spray bottle and spray invested plants all over, including the under side. The mix can be kept in the refrigerator for 7-10 days.

    3. Beneficial bugs. Unfortunately we can't get them around here until about mid september, as these bugs generally get shipped on regular un-refigerated vans and the heat just kills them. But by mid September through to June, Ladybugs, Nemotodes and praying mantises released in your garden can really help with the pest control in natural ways!

    I also find it really helpful to ask the advice of people that have been growing in this area for years and the Valley Permaculture forum provides really good information. You can check it out here: http://www.phoenixpermaculture.org/forum

    Hope that helps some!

    1. Thank you so much. I will try those and follow the link. I really appreciate your advice.


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Birgit Kerr