Last year, I started freelance writing for Patch.com and wrote a nifty article with gardening tips. I never got to implement the things I learned while writing the article, because I was in a rented home and had no place for a vegetable garden. We now have our own yard and have the space to grow our vegetables and butterfly garden.
Today, we took a trip to Eastern Market to select our vegetables and grabbed two hanging baskets to finish the plans for the front yard.
Though many people hope to deter insects that will eat their plants, for my butterfly garden – I am hoping to attract them. Luckily, my butterfly garden and vegetable garden have a good distance between them so I can isolate the plant-eating insects to the appropriate area. Today, we found a Japanese lady bug larva and an unknown caterpillar in the vegetables so I transplanted them both to the butterfly attracting plants.
There is definitely a learning curve to the gardening process, but I am hopeful that this year will result in some beautiful butterflies, delicious veggies … and lessons I can carry into next year’s gardening. I continuously turn to the Internet for gardening guidance. My last blog talked about my butterfly garden lessons, today I’d like to share my vegetable garden lessons:
I have a real respect for organic farming, so I’d like to try to do things naturally with my garden. There are a few natural ways to deter insects from your vegetable garden. Some possibilities are:
- Mix lemon juice and water and spray the plants with the mixture.
- Grind up peppers and mix it with water. You can also fry up a variety of peppers with olive olive, allow it to cool, mix it with water and put it in a spray bottle.
- Some herbs, such as oregano or basil, deter pests. Planting these in your garden will help fight off unwanted bugs.
- Planting marigolds in or near your vegetable garden.
- Allowing good insects to roam freely will rid your vegetable garden of bad bugs. Ladybugs, praying mantis and lacewings will eat harmful pests and help your garden flourish
- Try not to plant tomatoes and peppers near each other. They attract the same pests, so if one plant gets infested – it could ruin several plants and multiple quickly. Planting an herb barrier can help this.
- Water your plants in the morning or a couple of hours before the sun goes down. Over watering will likely cause fungus or root rooting. Water when the sun is at its brightest will result in the water evaporating more quickly than the plant can absorb it.
- Coffee grounds work as a great, natural fertilizer. It can get expensive, though. Talk to your local café for low-cost or free grounds.
- Ash from wood or charcoal is also a great fertilizer.
- Planting herbs near your vegetables is said to have a positive influence on the veggie’s flavors.
Like I said, gardening is definitely a learning experience. Which is great because I love learning and viewing all of the growth and insect visitors. I am excited to see how much (or how little) we harvest from these vegetable plants.