Organic Gardening

Vinegar Weed Control that Actually Works

March 4, 2010 15 comments
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When I was in horticulture school, the old-skool dudes teaching pest control were all about the chemicals – they just didn’t believe organics could be as effective as the lethal stuff. Yet every so often, a hint of doubt would creep into their voices about safety. I’d hear, “well, this one’s actually pretty bad” or  […]

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How to Kill Dandelions in Lawn Organically

February 11, 2010 13 comments
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I just got a nifty tip on how to kill dandelions organically when they are growing in your lawn or in the center of another plant: injection with vinegar-based organic weed killer. You may have found that if you spray non-selective herbicide, organic or otherwise, on your dandelion that you end up with a dead […]

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Organic Gardening 101: Learning to Love What You’ve Got (How to Stop Spraying and Start Seeing Beauty Everywhere)

July 25, 2009 18 comments
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We’ve been talking about how to prevent pests on roses and flowers, and how to treat them organically if you do end up with problems. Today I want to talk about one of the biggest things that keeps us from gardening organically – our expectations and attachments to a specific kind of garden or plant. […]

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How to Treat Rose and Flower Pests Naturally: Organic Control of Black Spot/ Powdery Mildew, Aphids, and Caterpillars

July 14, 2009 6 comments
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If you’ve tried to prevent rose problems with the tips in this article, but still ended up with some pests (it happens!), here are the methods I recommend to get rid of pests on roses the organic way. (Obviously, before spraying anything, read the instructions on the bottle and be sure to suit up appropriately […]

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How to Treat Rose and Flower Pests Naturally: Prevention

July 12, 2009 2 comments
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The introduction to this series is here. Preventing pests with good gardening habits is the first step towards having healthy roses and flowers. Healthy plants are a lot less likely to get diseases, while sickly plants become overrun by problems very quickly. Not only that, attending to the basics of a healthy garden will get […]

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How to Treat Rose and Flower Pests Naturally: Intro

July 12, 2009 2 comments
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Roses can be tough to grow organically, because they’ve been so over-bred for their honking big flowers that often, breeders paid little attention to disease-resistance. So you end up with these great frankenflowers that look fantastic – until midsummer when the black spot, caterpillars, and aphids move in. But – I admit it – I […]

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How to Kill Thrips Organically on Rhododendrons and Other Plants

June 27, 2009 10 comments
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Thrips are a tiny sucking insect that pester Rhododendrons (particularly many older varieties) and Azaleas, some evergreen Viburnums, Photinia, and occasionally other plants in the coastal Pacific Northwest. You can tell you have them because your ordinarily green leaves will develop a silvery sheen on them, while the undersides of the leaves will get little […]

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Soil, Water, and Mulch: The Three Key Steps to a Healthy Organic Garden

June 14, 2009 3 comments
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As a professional landscaper, I get to see and diagnose a lot of garden issues. I find many people at wits’ end, spraying for pest problems and dealing with unhappy plants. Most of the time, the pest problem or grumpy plant shouldn’t be looked at as the problem itself – more accurately, they are symptoms […]

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Organic Snail and Slug Control: How to Kill Snails and Slugs Naturally

June 5, 2009 47 comments
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Snails and slugs are one of the most common pests in the garden, and the traditional pesticide treatment for them is particularly nasty. If you are transitioning to an organic garden, treating snails and slugs differently is an easy (and still highly effective) change that will have a great impact on your family’s health and […]

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Organic Gardening 101: How to Begin Gardening Naturally and Have Happier Plants

May 31, 2009 6 comments
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I’ve been asked a lot lately about organics in the garden. “How do I kill snails around my vegetable starts?” is a common question. “Does anything organic really work on roses?” I even spoke with one gardener who felt chained to her Miracle-Gro routine – having to laboriously water it in every two weeks. It […]

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