Thursday, January 29, 2009

Garden tonics from household items...

In the never ending quest to be better stewards of the land we need to limit our usage of toxic chemicals. A pioneer in this effort is Jerry Baker - America's Master Gardner. My mother listened to him for years on a local radio station, hurriedly noting his magical recipes and shortly putting them to use. Most were great successes and many are passed on from his Grandmother.

These days his show is no longer broadcast on that station, but there are other ways to access his recipes. Jerry's website offers a free newsletter, "magalog" - a magazine/ catalog combination, and archive records of older articles. This is in addition to the ability to purchase the many books he has authored over the years.

If the prices of the books seem to be too much, look for his books in local thrift stores or check them out at your library. Be prepared to make copious notes. You won't believe the ideas included!

Jerry is not the only kid on this block, just one of the most well known. Shels Garden has some tips for the most common gardening problems. Care 2 Make a Difference offers other ideas. The Earth Easy website not only gives treatment ideas but offers prevention tips. What's the old saying? "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."

If you're not to keen on mixing your own tonics try Garden's Alive for help. They have premixed solutions and sell naturally occuring parasitic remedies as well.

On the flip side, there are people who believe that these tonics and notions are not the best idea for your garden and make some very valid points. One of which is Garden Counselor Lawn Care.

The most important thing to remember is that whether or not the items you choose to use are "natural", "homemade", or manufactured you can easily overdo it. Don't assume that "natural" means safe for everything. What does an excellent job in one respect may harm in others. Try to dispense items in the manner you are told. A little too much or not enough may mean the difference between harmful or ineffective.

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