Monday, October 16, 2006

Organic gardening and patience. Long ago I developed an iterest in gardening at my grandmother's side. Grammy was a widow with seven children. She never used chemicals because, even if she could find them back then, she wouldn't have had the money to buy them. Her garden was always beautiful. When she amended the soil with compost or coffee grounds, or tea leaves, she knew it would take a while to see a difference. No matter - that was just gardening.

With this wonderful memory I've tried to eliminate chemicals from the garden. I use a LOT of compost & mulch (which is free from the city of Bethlehem!) I still use some chemicals but I catch slugs with beer, put coffee grounds around some shrubs, spray bugs off with water, try to eliminate scale and fungus with a baking soda/soap solution (1 gal. water, 2 tbs. baking soda, little dish soap - insecticidal soap would be better but I never seem to get around to buying any).

In this day of instant gratification, it's hard to have the patience to wait for results. But it is well worth the effort. It took three years to eliminate the scale from the euonymous - I'm still working on the clay soil from the garage construction.

Doug Green has a wonderful web site to help eliminate chemicals as well as offer helpful gardening tips. Check it out and sign up for his newsletter.

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