Garden Questions – Organic Answers

Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Flowers and vegetables vary in their needs, but all need to be watered and fertilized appropriately and kept pest free or nearly so. Organic strategies begin below ground level and focus on exactly these 3 things. By building fertile, organic soil that drains well, you can grow almost anything but like the questioner’s hibiscus, additions are necessary after a point. These popular tropical flowering plants are known as ‘heavy feeders’ because they use nutrients quickly and will simply stop blooming without them. Add your favorite fertilizer to water along with 1T of WormWise Vermicompost Tea each week to keep flowers blooming, including that hibiscus. About those bugs: You can treat both organically beginning with physical controls. Use a strong stream of water to blast the slow-moving aphids off of the plants. Pull the mulch out from around those tomatoes and shake the plants to discover shield-shaped stinkbugs. They sting the fruit and the discoloration forms where they inject a toxin as they feed. You can gather the fallen bugs into a sheet daily. Because both of these pests can cause great damage in a short time, you will also want to use organic pesticides to control their numbers. Products containing Neem can work on both aphids and stinkbugs; pyrethrin sprays will contain aphids and the youngest stinkbugs, too. Because the plants are stressed, it is especially important to also spray them with WWV Tea weekly.
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