Vinegar onic Tea for Houseplants

Do your houseplants look pale and undernourished despite regular feedings Maybe your water is to blame. Nutrients are less available in hard (alkaline) water, but you're sure to have a simple solution at hand. Just a little bit of vinegar, diluted in water, can help make vital nutrients more available to the plants by shifting the water's pH into the neutral range. And because it's loaded with up to 50 trace minerals, vinegar may be just the thing to perk up your plants. Raw, unpasteurized...

Fast tun and fabulous fertilizer Quicktixes

Feed the soil, and the soil will feed your plants. That's one of the basic tenets of organic gardening. In most cases, an annual application of rich compost or weli-aged manure will provide enough nutrients and organic matter to sustain your plants all through the growing season. Even so, your garden will probably need a quick pick-me-up from time to time. That doesn't mean Lhat you have to run out to the garden center and drop some cash on an expensive lertilizer, Chances are you have the...

Fantastic foliar teeding formula

Foliar (or leaf) feeding is the most efficient way to fertilize, says John Dromgoole, owner of Garden-Ville nursery in Austin, Texas, and host of the Gardening Naturally radio program. When you apply fertilizer to the soil, the roots may take up as little as 10 percent of the nutrients, he explains, but when fertilizer is applied to the leaves, 90 percent of the material is absorbed. John regularly foliar-feeds all of the nursery stock at Garden-Ville, as well as the plants in his home...

Directions

Sumac Spice

1, Mix the essential oil and orris root in the glass jar 2. Cap the jar and let it mellow in a cool dark place for a day to a week. For pleasing potpourri, experiment with different blends of herbs, flowers, berries, pods, and other plant material, along with essential oils and a fixative like orris root. 3. Mix the dried materials in the crock, stirring gently with your hands. Sprinkle in the orris root mix as you go along. 4. Let it sit overnight, take a whiff, and adjust the formula as...

Seaweed Extract For Orchids

Fish Sea Weed

Mix the fish emulsion and seaweed extract together in the container 2. Pour the mix into a jar or bottle. Seal it tightly, label it, and store it in a cool, dark place, like a basement storage cabinct. 3. To use, add 3 tablespoons of starter solution to I gallon of water. Use as a soil Keep seedlings growing strong by misting them with starter solution every 2 weeks. The light mist from the spray bottle won't disturb roots or leaves like the heavy stream from a watering can would. drench at...

Ailing Sug

If there's one pest that every gardener loves to hate, it's a slug. Slugs can ruin tender young vegetables and beautiful flower gardens in just a few nights' feedings. But slimy slugs will drink themselves to death when you offer them this aromatic brew concocted by Carl Elliot, garden coordinator for Seattle Tilth's demonstration garden. Any time is a good time to get rid of garden slugs, but Carl says to be especially vigilant in the fall. That way, there will be fewer slugs around in the...

Vinegar pray leps Cats Away

LIse vinegar to chase away wandering tomcats and neutralize the smell that they leave behind. The cats can smell the vinegar but I can't, says Victoria Price of Silver Spring, Maryland. She puts vinegar around the base of her birdbath, on her patio wall, and on the trunk of a cedar tree that's a popular gathering placc for cats. As long as the cats can smell the vinegar, it works like a scent fence to keep them away.

Ingredients and Supplies

1 handfuls each of fresh plantain leaf, calendula lowers Calendula officinalis , Si.-John's-wort flowers Hypericum perforatum , and black cohosh leaf Gmicijuga racemosa Double boiler Extra-virgin olive oil Strainer Linen towel, fine cotton handkerchief, 4-inch piece of Solomon's seal root Polygonatum bijlorum optional,- see Use Solomon's Seat Sparingly on the facing page 1 tablespoon hexane-free castor oil 1 tablespoon coconut oil Vi ounce or more beeswax, grated Blender lA cup floral water...

Storing Herbs

Although herbs hanging in the kitchen add a homey touch, leaving them exposed to moisture in the air for too long will eventually degrade their flavor. Therefore, as soon as the herbs are crackly dry, remove the leaves from the stalks. Be careful not to crumble the leaves or you'll lose some of the aromatic oils. Rlace the leaves in airtight containers. Glass or ceramic containers arc your best choice because metal and plastic can affect the flavor of delicate herbs. Store the containers in a...

How Much Sulfur to

The amount of sulfur you need to add to your soil to keep acid-loving plants like blueberries happy depends on the type of soil in your garden, as well as the pH you start with. Sandy soils typically need less sulfur to lower pH levels, while loam and clay soils take more sullur to change their pH. tf you're not sure what kind of soil you have, see Soil Texture Tips on page 65. Then use the results of a soil pH test to find your soil's current pH and the pounds of sulfur you need to add, per...