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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Garden Update

Garden spray update: 
The concoction I made up to spray on the garden worked, at least as far as the bugs are concerned. It's been raining the last 2 days so I couldn't get out and check it until today, I went into the garden cage, walked straight to the okra, these had been infested with aphids and were being farmed by little black ants. I looked at the okra leaves that had been encrusted with aphids, all I could see was dead aphids, hundreds, maybe even thousands of them... The ants were still walking around on the ground, I didn't see any on the plants, I need to get back out there and dust with diatomaceous earth, especially around the ground where the ants are coming in. I didn't look around much, but I didn't notice any grasshoppers either, I'll look in more detail next time I go out there. The plants look great too, I always worry that I might be making my mixtures too strong and might burn my plants, but apparently I got it right, strong enough to kill the bugs, not too strong for the plants. :)

To recap, here is what I mixed up and how I applied it:

In a one gallon container I mixed

1 cap full of mouthwash (generic Listerine type, plain-not flavored)
4-5 tablespoons blackstrap moleasses
1 palmfull of Epsom Salt
1 palmfull of powdered milk
1-2 hard squirts of Ivory dish soap

I filled the container half way with water, then I mixed everything with my hand until I couldn't feel anything granular, once mixed, I filled the gallon container the rest of the way with water. I put this into a small hand held pump sprayer, I was able to fill it 3-4 times with the mixture, I sprayed the plants with the mix making sure to get the underside of the leaves (where many bugs hide).  The spray is along the lines of Jerry Baker's recipes and Howard Garrett (the Dirt Doctor) recipes, more leaning toward Jerry's stuff, if you don't know about them, look them up by name. I love being able to use things I have around the house, non-toxic, inexpensive and it works. :)

Wretha

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4 comments:

  1. Wretha, Thanks posting your blog. I actually tripped over it a couple days ago after the "living off grid" bug hit me again. I have been "practicing" it since I was a kid "squatting" on other people's land and building what I called "forts" from scavanged materials. I would spend my days there for most of the summer, or until I got kicked off of the land. I also lived with my grandfather who was decidedly on the grid (if you can call it that in SE Oklahoma) but built the house and all of the power/water/ gas connections himself back in the early 40's. Of course we added on, bricked and reroofed the home, but we still cooked at least half of all the food eaten there on the wood stove and used what we called swamp coolers instead of air conditioning.

    I had a couple of ideas you may or may not have tried. First, planting cilantro around the edge of your garden is a good way of keeping most of the bugs out and is a great spice too. And second, hanging a large light colered cheese cloth type material at the down wind end of your porch/deck and periopdiccly soaking it with water will sure cool things off in the middle of the hot summer days.

    Thanks again for your posts and for sharing your experience. I hope to join you someday with an experience of my own.

    Deke

    ReplyDelete
  2. Deke
    Thanks! I read your comment to my hubby, it put a smile on his face as he remembered doing the same things in his younger years. I also built "forts" and such with scrap material I could find laying about... Did you ever watch Grizzly Adams? That was one of my first inspirations to want to live "in the rough".

    Thanks for reading and leaving a comment, I appreciate each and every one!

    Wretha

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wretha, I did watch Grizzly Adams. I also read a book called My Side Of the Mountian when I was very young about a boy living in a tree trunk in the Catskills mountians. This book may have had the most profound effect as far as my desire to live by my own hand. Thanks again for sharing you radventure.

    Deke

    ReplyDelete
  4. Deke
    I remember that name "My Side Of The Mountain", I don't know if I read it (very possible) or if it was maybe made into a movie... anyhoo, thanks for reading and commenting! :)

    Wretha

    ReplyDelete

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