Use These 10 Foods in Your Organic Garden!

I have had my plants and seeds in the ground for a month now and I am already beyond frustrated with this years organic garden. Two weeks of rain has the basil looking spotty, the leaves falling off the pepper plants and holes in the rhubarb leaves where the slugs have been feasting. Organic gardening is healthy for us and the environment but it is not always easy. Mother’s Day will be spent out in the back yard weeding, replanting, and attempting some natural pest control. Yes, I plan on spending Mother’s Day in the garden….my favorite spot to be but I never have enough time to spend there. If you are attempting an organic garden this year, do not give up at the first sign of trouble. There are many natural products right in your own kitchen that can make your organic garden a success. Try those FIRST. And if they don’t work, move on to commercial organic gardening products. As a last resort, grab the chemical treatments if you must. Some garden pests and diseases are persistent! Here is my list of foods that can make your organic garden flourish this summer!

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Use These 10 Foods in Your Organic Garden

10 Foods that Conquer Garden Pests in the Organic Garden

1. Vinegar:  Make a vinegar weed killer for broad spectrum weed killing. This will kill any plant you spray it with so DON’T spray your tomatoes and cucumbers! Fill a spray bottle with apple cider vinegar and add one tablespoon of dish washing liquid. Spray weeds in the hottest part of the afternoon. This will kill the leaves but not necessarily the roots. You will probably need to do this multiple times to really kill the entire plant.

2. Coffee: Snails and slugs HATE coffee. Silly creatures, right? Spray your plants with coffee or sprinkle used coffee grounds around your garden plants to repel these nasty, slimy little things. Earthworms love coffee grounds and they make a great soil conditioner while still repelling pests.

Organic Gardening Tips

3. Hot peppers:  If you have a dog that likes to get into your garden bed, you need to look no further than your vegetable bin for a solution. My own dog prefers trampling all over the plants rather than eating them but hot peppers will keep your dog from nosing around too close to the plants. Puree one hot pepper with an equal amount of water and a teaspoon of dish washing liquid. Strain into a spray bottle and spray onto plants. This will also keep squirrels away if they are a problem!

4. Garlic:  If your organic garden is over run by pests, make a solution of garlic and hot peppers. Chop up a head of garlic and one hot pepper. Place this in a quart of water and let it sit for one hour. Strain into a spray bottle and spray on your plant leaves. Keep the remainder in the refrigerator for future use. It will last 2 to 3 weeks. Be aware that this will also repel many pollinators so use sparingly and only when you have a real problem.

10 Foods to use in your organic garden

5. Salt:  I have been known to head out into my garden after dark to sprinkle slugs with salt. They are a huge problem on my rhubarb plants and my husband swears he can hear me laugh gleefully every time I kill another one. Nothing to prepare for this organic garden treatment. Just throw on your garden shoes, grab a flashlight, and take your salt shaker out for a little slug hunting.

6. Baking Soda: Baking soda makes a great fungal treatment in your organic garden. Combine 1 tablespoon of baking soda, 1/2 tablespoon of oil, and 1 cup warm water. Stir to dissolve. Add 2 more quarts of tap water and put solution into a spray bottle. After removing the worst of your diseased leaves, spray the rest with your baking soda spray. Do this ever few days until you no longer see any disease. This solution is best made fresh every time you need it and should be applied either first thing in the AM before the sun comes up or at dusk. Avoid the heat of the day or you may burn your leaves.

Foods for organic garden success

7. Eggshells:  When you are done cracking open your eggs, rinse the egg shells and crumble them into your garden. The egg shells will break down, providing food for your plants. At the same time, the sharp edges of the shell pieces will help keep caterpillars, slugs, snails, and other soft bodied pests from eating your plants.

8. Cornmeal:  Apparently, studies have been done which suggest that cornmeal has antifungal properties in the organic garden. People’s experiences using cornmeal in the garden are still hit or miss from what I can tell. Backwoods Home suggests the following use of cornmeal as a fungicide in the garden:
Dry: Work 2 pounds of cornmeal into the soil for every 100 square feet. Water well, to activate the fungus killing properties. One application per season is usually sufficient
Spray: What’s called ‘cornmeal juice’ can be made by soaking 1 cup of cornmeal in 1 gallon of water overnight. Strain the liquid and use as a spray on susceptible plants.
Uses for Beer in your organic garden

Photo Courtesy of Morguefile

9. Beer:  This organic garden treatment horrifies my husband because he hates to see a good beer go to waste! But, beer is a wonder product to use for natural gardening! Slightly bury a small jar into the soil. You want the neck of the jar at soil level. Fill the jar almost to the top with beer. Slugs will head in to enjoy a drink and drown. Something about the beer itself attracts the slugs, the little lushes!

10. Kitchen Scraps:  Composting our leftover kitchen scraps and giving it to your garden is a cheap way to fertilize your plants. And plants that are strong and healthy are the ones that are able to successfully recover from pests and disease. Plant material like carrot tops, onion skins, potato peels, and apple cores can all be composted along with your grass clippings and dry leaves to create a beautiful, rich food for your organic garden.
An organic garden can be a huge undertaking or it can be as simple as a pot or two on your patio. However, all garden plants are susceptible to some sort of pest or disease. Examine your plants regularly so you can combat problems when they first start. And reach for a natural solution whenever possible!

Have any other organic garden tips you want to share?

 

Comments

  1. Thanks for the tips on organic gardening. I will use some of them this year.

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