Monday, April 15, 2013


Take your natural home care routine to the yard this Spring with these easy-to-follow instructions for eco-friendly gardening.  

1. Soil Preparation
To get the most out of your garden and landscape, start with rich soil. Whether you use DIY compost or pick up some from your local recycling center, adding nutrients to the soil with organic matter is your best bet for lush results.

2. Weeds
Toss the chemical sprays and use this recipe for DIY Weed Killer:

- 1 quart vinegar
- 1/4 cup salt
- 1 tsp liquid dish soap (any brand)

Pour all ingredients into a clearly-marked spray bottle and shake to thoroughly mix. Spray frequently on unwanted growth to eventually get rid of the weeds altogether.

3. Pests
A study University of California, Berkeley, found that soap spray used on
plant are effective against many insect pests of plants as well as fleas, ticks and lice. Use this DIY Soap Spray recipe:

2 Tbs of liquid dishwashing detergent
1 Gallon of water

First test your solution on a small part of the plant to make sure you do not damage the foliage, carefully observing the sprayed area of 2 weeks. Mix together well use a plant mister, hose-end sprayer or spray bottle to wet foliage thoroughly, especially new growth and undersides of leaves, being sure to get all of the foliage. You may find it easier to use a cloth with the solution to wipe all of the leaves. 

To prevent build up of the solution in potted plants, periodically immerse the plant's pot in a bucket of clean water until all air bubbles stop rising from the soil mix. To prevent burning of the foliage, rinse plants with water several hours after spraying.

4. Watering 
Make certain that you take into account how you will water your plants before planting any landscaping around your home. Consider drip line irrigation which uses less water than sprinklers. You may also want to invest in a water barrel or water reclamation system to reuse your "gray" water to water your plants. 

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