14 Aug 2013

Projects in and around the garden vary every week, indeed every day, that’s why we are kept fascinated.  Every garden is contrived, to some degree, even those gardens that have successfully married into their natural surroundings. This very fact alone means we have to maintain them and control the environment we have created in order for us to fully appreciate a small patch of our own personal space in nature.  I am talking about things like weeds pests and fungus.

I never use herbicides, and I’m committed to the slow but sure methods of weed eradication, for example: pulling, digging, hoeing and etc. There are a couple of tips that may make things lighter on your body, such as baking soda for weeds in pathways.  Tenacious weeds will tend to die and try and come back, however, three applications are all you need in order to fully eradicate your gardens weeds for the year.  Simply sprinkle your baking soda on dry.  I don’t use fungicides either, fungus is usually an indicator of some stress condition in a plant. The trick is to look for what may be stressing the plant.  Anything from lack of food and water; to internal disease; excess heat or moisture; temperature fluctuations; or even pH balance. Fungicides are a last resort!  Powdery mildew, for instance, is almost always caused by the conditions around the plant, too hot, too wet too dry. I alway try and remove affected parts and begin to feed or nurture fungus infected plants. 

 
Pests are another challenger entirely! A good variety of plants in humus rich soil will  encourage a balanced variety of insects, keeping infestations to a minimum.  Some soil born pests may be eradicated by removing the host plant and not growing its type in that spot. Remember we are merely trying to create a natural feeling space when building a garden.  So letting nature help out is…well, just natural.  
 
If you have any questions about any of the topics I am writing about or any regarding landscape design and horticultural practices I will be happy to answer them.
 
Regards,
 
Derek
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