ecoTrain question of the week 5.5: Share your food gardening tips n tricks! PEST CONTROL

in ecoTrain2 months ago

Growing good quality food is not an easy task. The first thing that must be addressed before planting your seeds or seedlings is the soil. The right amount of nutrients, the correct ph of the soil, but also the ph of the water for each plant must be adjusted according to that particular plant's needs.

For instance , last year my basil plants were not thriving as they normally had in the past, I was disappointed in their growth . I always grow lots of basil, I not only love the taste of it, the aroma is like therapy for me. I love to just grab a few leaves and roll them between my finger and sniff, puts a grin on my face every the time.

So with a little research I found the reason why the basil was not producing. After testing the water I found that the ph was sitting at 7.0 Basil does best growing in soil with a pH range of 5.5 to 6.5. There it was, 7.0 was way too high.

The solution was easy peezy, fill some milk jugs with water then add "down" ph drops to the water and shake well. Remember to mark the jug for BASIL, since the low ph level may not be good for other veggies or herbs.

The basil exploded after a week of adding some of the water each day.
When full harvest came for the basil I was able to make a ton of pesto, vacuum sealed and ready to go anytime during the year.

So that's a little tip from our homestead to yours😄

Now for some pest control. Here in Upstate NY one of our biggest pests are SLUGS. They can slowly eat away at a perfect head of cabbage from the inside out.

Slugs do provide some benefits to the habitat they live in. They are a food source for many animals. Slugs also enrich the soil as they break down organic matter. This is important because it recycles nutrients, such as nitrogen, through the food chain.

They are ugly little creatures that can hide among the greenery in the veggie garden. They can be found on many different plants but they love cabbage. The biggest challenge is to find them before they destroy the foliage. Each vegetable bed on our farm always has half filled beer cans or bottles tossed around. The slugs are big beer lovers and if they get near the can or bottle with some beer in it, they cannot resist stopping in for a drink. Once they get into the bar, oh, I mean can, they die. I have seen as many as a dozen or more collected over night.


The other method we use to get rid of these cabbage eating buggers is to go to the garden in early morning and just search them out.
It's important to check inside the outer leaves of the cabbage, if you see some green slime, keep looking for surely there is a slug chomping on the leaves deeper inside the plant. Once you find them just give them a little snip with a scissor. Once their soft outer skin is punctured they are done for.


Another terrific tip for pest control is the use of a milk and egg mixture blended together, then poured into a spray bottle for use.
Six eggs to one quart of milk seems to do the trick,
I use this spray concoction on my baby fruit trees and young pine trees to keep away the deer. It works magic. I also spray it along the edges of each raised veggie bed to keep them out of there also. Before I found this magic mixture, many tomato plants were striped of their fruit and foliage.


The deer love young fruit trees, so I am especially vigilant with our new grafted apple trees . They are still small, but very healthy and I'm looking forward to the apples they will bear soon.

So there you have it folks, my response to the @ecotrain question of the week.

Enjoy !


Love these great tips!

I've featured this post in the Lotus Garden newsletter, which will be published tomorrow.

You've been curated by @minismallholding for Natural Medicine's homesteading newsletter, supporting gardeners, permaculturalists, foragers, environmentalists and other earth centred relationships with the earth.

Such an honor, thanks so very much @naturalmedicine.
Big shout out @minismallholding for the curation and support.
You are the best!!

Is it the rotten egg/milk flavor that deters deer? I've never had a deer problem in the suburbs so far, but I am curious in case they ever do show up.

Well hello there @creativetruth. No it's not the taste at all, it's the smell of the mixture that turns them off.
I can see tracks in the snow from the deer as they just walk on by my small white pines.
Thanks for stopping by.
Have a wonderful day.

Thank you for an interesting post, I always have a problem with the ph of the soil, also with pests.Your post really helped me.

Hi there @artywink, glad you learned a little from my experience. It's really true, we are always amending our soil. In gardening it's all about the soil.
Have a wonderful day, thanks for your comment.

Excellent tips!

Good morning @goldenoakfarm, glad you liked the tips.
Sometimes the simplest things work. I was so happy to find the milk and egg mix, the deer would just munch away on our baby trees, drove us nuts. But we came across something that really does works.
Hope you are well and managing ok, I'm sure the adjustment is tough.
Hang in there kiddo, it will take time but I know you will come through the fog and find joy in all your happy memories.
Enjoy the day my friend.

Very cool! I knew also ashes apparently and coffee can repel and kill slugs.

Those damns slugs ate all my w.... herbs last summer.

Good morning to you. I didn't know about the coffee, I will add that to my arsenal, I hate having to clip them, they're gross.
@thebigsweed told me about your music video and also the original song . Going to jump over there next. I get lazy while on vacation so I don't always get back to my peeps right away. Plus, with only one laptop to share with my hubby...let's just say he can be a windbag, write these long comments and generally hog the computer.😁😂🤣
Please don't tell him though, I don't want to blow my "queen" status with him.

hate having to clip them, they're gross.

The worst part, is when I accidentally step barefoot on them. For some reason, they never go away, they don't really die. Just gross.

I shouldn't mention this because it is yuk, but in South Africa, we had really big slugs, and I used to walk barefoot everywhere (I know haha). I kept a "slug tatoo" under my foot for a long time, a dry ass slug that left a mark under my foot, it worked as ink.

let's just say he can be a windbag, write these long comments and generally hog the computer.😁😂🤣

I know the type because I am one of them haha.

Alrighty then, see you on the song (not an original, just a cover, you are welcome to play the song request game by the way and win a chance to earn 10 HIVE! @dandays thinks it's too much for a prize. I don't know...)

Let me start out with saying this, great reply. The slugs in our area are as large as a snake.
When you mention that you step on them and they just won't die, I hear you. When I ground them into the dirt, and then I pick up my foot, they spit in my eye. It's funny you mention song of the week. Just before kicking up the computer, @farm-mom and I were talking about just that. We would love to hear your version of a song we pick.
It may have a little country twang to it, but as talented as you are, we figured you could handle most anything.
We really enjoy your company.

When I ground them into the dirt, and then I pick up my foot, they spit in my eye.

Hahaha I laughed out loud and spat some coffee. I imagined a slug insulting you his lungs out, in slug's slang.

We really enjoy your company.

Likewise! I have 2 new friends for the price of 2 !

Sounds like a bargain, 2 for 2.

Since were talking about DanDays, he'd also like to point out she's not just lazy when she's on vacation.

Eh, we need to talk, after working 42 years as radiologic technologist in the same hospital, raising four children and NOT losing
my mind, I think the word I used was incorrect, lazy? Nah, feeling my bliss, yup. See ya later alligator

I thought maybe you meant lost but I didn't wanna say anything.

💖 @farm-mom, you guys are the best! Sure am glad you understand and appreciate my humor. I don't know how many would recognize I'm just playing when I call someone lazy but I'm willing to bet not many with the whole language barrier and all and trying to express satire via text. Mwah!

Where's @thebigsweed? When I don't see him stop by my content I know he's out gettin lost somewhere and I guess I just wish I was lost with him.

See, we're all lazy... er, lost

Okay you're off of the hook. With all of the fish I've been landing lately, I'll classified you as a catch and release.
The big guy is sitting right hear next to me, I guess that's like being on speaker phone, be careful what you say.
Don't worry, you're both totally lost.

...catch and release.


We only get little brown slugs over here in the Midwest, or at least I do. I've heard of the beer trick! Can they smell it? Is that what attracts them?

Exactly, and then they crawl into the can and have a little too much to drink.