Chemical-free for Spring Part II

I know it’s been a while between the first and second parts of this season – I apologize.

So, now that we’ve addressed some of the chemical-free alternatives for lawn care, let’s attack how to protect your garden from unwelcome critters and pests.

According to a Reader’s Digest article, “Harsh chemicals kill beneficial organisms as well, including butterflies, ladybugs, and bees, all of which help our gardens grow and stay healthy…garden chemicals can leach into groundwater, where they can leave toxic residue that poisons fish, small plants and water fowl…According to the Environmental Protection Agency [EPA], a number of lawn pesticides contain carcinogens that in large quantities can cause birth defects, gene mutations, nervous system damage, or liver or kidney damage.”

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to have that perfect, chemical-free garden. In fact, many of the ingredients needed to transform your garden from harsh chemicals to no chemicals are easy to find, and, in some cases, located right under your nose in your house. Here are a few suggestions to eliminate chemical usage in your garden:

  1. Shake some cayenne pepper on your vegetable garden or plants and grasses to get rid of yard critters, squirrels or rabbits.
  2. Get rid of standing water! Standing water is a breeding ground for many insects and a potential incubator for the West Nile virus.
  3. Buy lots of ladybugs and let them lose in your garden and watch as aphids and other bugs disappear.
  4. Make your own insecticides – Mix two tablespoons of plant-based liquid soap with one gallon of water and spray. For extra strength, add a few drops of plant oils such as rosemary, peppermint or clove.
  5. Try ecofriendly insecticides, which contain natural solutions such as vinegar, corn gluten, fatty acids and plant oils.

For more suggestions visit http://tinyurl.com/pnnoqep. Also, the Web site, Beyond Pesticides is another great resource for those who believe in a chemical-free and toxic-free environment.

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