Thursday, May 27, 2010
Fireplace wood ash is not only excellent in controlling icy sidewalks in the winter time, but for pest control in the spring and summer months too! But, do not use wood ash burned from wood that has been treated with chemicals!
CONTROL POND ALGAE:
We’ve talked about adding plants to control pond algae, but sprinkling wood ash in the water will also control algae buildup in the pond.
WARD OFF SLUGS – SNAILS - APHIDS:
These destructive creatures do not like wood ash at all. Sprinkle around the perimeter of the garden as preventative measures, or…
FERTILIZE with WOOD ASH:
Wood ash will raise the pH levels in your soil. Some gardeners swear by adding it to the compost pile and other say to keep wood ash out of the compost pile. Tomatoes, Azaleas, Roses, bulbs, and vegetable gardens love wood ash. Do not use wood ash on acidic-loving plants like rhododendron, blueberries or azaleas. Apply sparingly as to not disturb the alkaline levels in the soil.
APPLYING WOOD ASH to THE GARDEN:
When the ash has cooled, apply 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch to the garden.
WOOD ASH PROPERTIES:
Fertilizer Levels = 0-2-10 (nitrogen – phosphorus – potassium)
Levels will vary depending on the type of wood burned. Hard wood (such as oak) will produce 3 times more ash and 5 times more nutrients than soft wood. No not apply wood ash when regular fertilizer has been applied. Wait 2 months after fertilization to add the wood ash to your garden.
OVER WINTER with WOOD ASH:
Wood ash helps to prevent ice buildup. When preparing your garden plants for the winter, cover with wood ash and compost. In severe cold conditions; cover garden with a plastic tarp during the long winter months.
Wood ash will neutralize acidity in the soil often present in forested climates.
See more garden tips and videos at my website at:
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
KILLER HOT TOBASCO SAUCE: After a miserable failure with my first batch which nearly made my husband puke in the waste basket due to the aweful smell, I made a simple hot sauce insecticide soap spray which has cleaned out my army of snails and destructive cabbage worms.
Ha Ha HAAA!!! Soft skinned insects hate hot sauce. Mix 4 teaspoons of fire hot sauce with about 18 ounces water. Strain with a coffee filter into a clean water bottle. (If not strained the thick hot sauce will clog the sprayer.) Add 4 drops Ivory dish soap (Dawn will also work.) Shake well and spray! Don't forget to spray the under side of your leaves. For herbs and veggies. Do not apply to pond plants.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Steve - Nashville, TN
A: This also happened to me! Sounds like the plants needed a little more time in the shade. Leave them where they are. Pound some stakes in the ground and hang a sheet canopy over the plants for a little more time of shade. Pound in a thin stake next to the plants and gently bind them up for a little support. I usually use a plastic grocery bag to stake up plants. The artichokes will look a little sad for a while, but they will come back. Don't worry if the plants shed some of its leaves. This is how artichokes generate energy to the more important part of the plant; such as the center and the roots.
The pic on the left is an artichoke that I bound up to help it through its transplanting shock. See: http://www.sweetheartartichokes.com/care02.htm. B-1 can also help give a plant the boost it needs for recovery. This can be purchased at Lowes or Home Depot. Let me know how it goes!
WILTING ARTICHOKE UPDATE:
It seems as though they needed a little more water. It's almost 5pm here and still holding steady at 91 degrees so I gave them another good soaking. After about 10 minutes they began to perk back up. I'm going to run a slow drip soaker hose through the garden in about an hour so and then water the whole garden just after dusk so they'll get a little more water then too. I think I just underestimated exactly how much water they need. I'll keep you posted. Steve
Steven - Tyler, TX
A: Pond algae can easily be taken care of with the right mix of plants: such as pennywort, hornwort, primrose creeper, water lettuce, and parrot feather. I keep a pond near my driveway where it gets to 120 degrees in the summertime. No algae problems so far! The hot afternoon sun definitely can promote algae growth. Your plants, however, will need at least 4 hours of sunshine per day.
Koi and goldfish are both from the carp family. I wouldn't put koi in your pond if you want to add plants... because koi will eat the plants. Regular feeder gold fish actually look very nice in a pond and will grow to about 6 inches long. They are more hardy than koi and do not have problems with disease like the koi do. Shebunkins are another good choice for a water garden. They are also from the carp family, but are like a calico goldfish. I have goldfish and catfish in my pond. I also have some small koi, but luckily have not had a problem with them eating all my plants. I believe it is because the pond is very shallow.
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Artichoke Planting Tips
1. Do not disturb the roots
2. Water the hole before planting the artichoke
3. Put an old banana in the hole before planting the artichoke
These few tips will get your artichoke plant off to a great start!