Organic Pest Control
Organic Pest Control
By Erin Huffstetler | 04/23/2014 | 1 Comment
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People gardened long before pesticides existed, so how did they deal with pests? By working with nature, instead of against it. Here’s a look at some of the organic pest control measures that I have in place in my garden.

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Ladybug House
How to Build a Ladybug House
By Erin Huffstetler | 04/15/2014 | 5 Comments
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We built mason bee houses to attract pollinators for our fruit trees. Now, that that’s worked, we’re working to attract more beneficial bugs to help with the pest control.

Since this is the first year that our apricot bushes have fruited, making sure they’re well protected is top priority. I did some research to figure out which pests we were likely to be up against, and learned that aphids are one of the biggest threats. Knowing that ladybugs have a voracious appetite for aphids, I decided it was time for us to finally build that ladybug house that’s been sitting on my to-do list for ages.

We already have a good ladybug population in our yard, but by building them a house, we hope to encourage them to overwinter in our yard, so they’ll be ready to go to work for us as soon as the warm weather arrives each spring. And since we’ll be placing our new ladybug house next to our apricot bushes, that should mean our bushes will be well protected from aphids all season long.

Ladybugs also eat mites, white flies and scale, so we may just have to build another one for our vegetable garden.

Want to build your own ladybug house? Here’s how we made ours:

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How to Make a Citronella Candle
How to Make a Citronella Candle
By Erin Huffstetler | 06/20/2013 | No Comments
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Fend off mosquitoes with a homemade citronella candle. Here’s how to make one.

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Grapes
How to Protect Fruit from Birds
By Erin Huffstetler | 06/04/2013 | No Comments
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Last year my grape vines produced fruit for the first time. I knew the birds would go after them, but I decided to hold off on netting them until I saw signs of munching. They just seemed too pretty to net. Colossally bad call on my part. I literally went to bed one night with bunches and bunches of grapes and woke up the next morning to none. My vines were only a few days past bloom, and each grape was no bigger than a pea, so I can’t imagine they even tasted good. Rude birds!

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Bug Repellent Bars
How to Make Bug Repellent Bars
By Erin Huffstetler | 05/30/2013 | 11 Comments
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Tired of getting chewed up by mosquitoes? Take care of the problem by making your own bug repellent bars. They don’t have any of the nasty chemicals that you’ll find in store-bought repellents, and they work just as well (plus they’re good for your skin, too):

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