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Archive for April, 2012

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Safe Pest Control Tips

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Safe Pest Control Tips

Pest control must be done with utmost consideration to safety; safety in terms of the plants, animals and humans. This holds especially true for those with vegetable and organic gardens.

The main purpose of growing vegetables organically will be defeated if they become tainted with pest control chemicals.

Here are a few long-term maintenance tips to make pest control less damaging and more environmentally friendly.

1. Use the physical pest control process.

This may be accomplished through picking grubs off by hand, creating barriers and traps and plugging holes. Snails can be found hiding in damp places under rocks and towrds the base of those plants with straplike foliage.

2. Apply biological pest control.

Encourage predatory insects such as green lacewings and dragonflies to feed on aphids and other pests that attack your plants. You can do this by placing a shallow bowl of water in the garden. Dragonflies especially will hover around water. Bacterial insecticides such as B. thuringiensis could also be used against caterpillars.

3. Only as a last resort should we turn to chemical pest control.

Organic pest control methods can be successful and the ingredients for many of the recipes can be found in the kitchen cupboards. If chemical sprays are really necessary, try and find the least-toxic. These include insecticidal soaps, horticultural oils, dehydrating dusts, etc.

4. Consider the use of safer pest control substitutes.

Recipes for alternative pest control include the following:

Against Green Aphids and Mites – Mix 1 tablespoon of liquid soap and a cup of vegetable oil. Dilute a teaspoon of this solution in a cup of water and spray on aphids and mites.

Against Cockroaches – Dusts of boric acid can be applied to cracks or entry points of these insects. Bay leaves on pantry shelves could also help in warding off these critters.

Make sure that the chemicals you use are made specifically for the insects you are targeting.

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Citrus Fruits And Its Many Benefits

Citrus Fruits And Its Many Benefits

Citrus fruits have long been known to have many health benefits. In the days of the first ocean crossings, sailors often became sick with scurvy due to vitamin C deficiencies caused by a lack of citrus fruits. Even though vitamin C deficiency is no longer such a problem, many people don’t eat enough citrus fruits, that is a shame since citrus fruits are among the most delicious, and most nutritious, fruits available. Whether you have a grapefruit at breakfast or an orange at lunch, adding more citrus to your diet can do wonders for your health not to mention better eating habits. Of course citrus fruits are not limited to the standard oranges and grapefruits, most major grocery stores have an endless variety of citrus fruits on their shelves, including pineapples, tomatoes, lemons, kumquats, mandarin oranges, tangerines, and limes.

Everyone knows that citrus fruits have large amounts of vitamin C to offer, but many citrus fruits have significant levels of other important nutrients, such as potassium, as well. Let’s take a closer look at what citrus fruits have to offer.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is the first thing that comes to mind when most people think of citrus fruits, and it is true that most citrus fruits are simply loaded with this important vitamin. Vitamin C is perhaps the most studied of all vitamins, and it has shown promise in shortening the duration of colds, helping wounds heal faster, and protecting the body from the damaging effects of free radicals. Vitamin C is essential for healthy skin and gums, and since vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin, sufficient quantities must be consumed every day. Unlike fat soluble vitamins, vitamin C is not stored in the body. That is why eating at least a few servings a day of citrus fruits and other vitamin C rich foods is so important. Luckily, getting the recommended daily amount of vitamin C is not difficult, since a single orange contains 150% of the government’s recommended daily allowance of vitamin C.

Fiber

Fiber content is often overlooked as a benefit of citrus fruits. After all, most people picture cereals and grains when they think of fiber. Even so, citrus fruits are a good source of dietary fiber, including the all important soluble fiber. Fiber plays a vital role in digestion, and studies have indicated it may help to reduce levels of cholesterol in the blood and even reduce the risk of some kinds of cancer.

Folate (folic acid)

Folate, or folic acid as it is also known, plays a vital role in early pregnancy, so all women of child bearing age are encouraged to consume adequate amounts of this important nutrient. That is because one of the most critical times in a pregnancy takes place before the woman knows she is pregnant. In addition to its importance in preventing many neural tube birth defects, folic acid also aids in the production of mature red blood cells and helps to prevent anemia. Citrus fruits are an excellent source of folic acid.

Potassium

Oranges are particularly high in potassium, as are non citrus fruits like bananas. Potassium is vital to maintaining a proper fluid balance in the body, and for transmitting signals between nerve cells. Potassium levels can be affected by excess caffeine consumption and by dehydration, so it is important to consume adequate levels of potassium every day. With all these things going for them, it’s easy to see why citrus fruits are so important to the diet. No matter what your ultimate fitness goal, a diet rich in citrus fruits will help to get you off to the right start. And with the many varieties of citrus fruits to choose from, it is easy to spice things up and bring variety to your healthy eating plan. To Start a healthy Eating habit, With all natural please visit eathealthy.recyclingearthenergy.com 

Butterfly Gardening

The outside of the exhibit

The outside of the exhibit (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Aquilegia 'Blue Butterflies' Flower 2671px

Aquilegia 'Blue Butterflies' Flower 2671px (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Butterfly Gardening
What is butterfly gardening? Simply put butterfly gardening is the art of growing flowers and plants that will attract these colorful and dainty creatures to your garden. Delight your family and visitors with beautiful butterflies, but be sure to create a safe habitat for them. If you own cats rethink your plans, because it would be a shame to attract these lovely insects to their death.

Butterfly Gardening

The design your butterfly garden is a matter of personal preference. Typical points to consider are the size of your garden and the types of flowers and plants you want to grow. Pick a style of garden that appeals to you, but ensure it also contains the plants and flowers that appeal to the butterflies you wish to attract.

Butterfly Gardening

It is important to find out which plants and flowers will attract the species of butterflies. that live in your area. This information can be found at the local library
To create the kind of environment that they find attractive, you will also need water of some kind. A birdbath will look attractive and keep the butterflies up off the ground, away from stray cats or mischievous puppies. A shallow dish on a post or hung in a tree will do just as well.

Butterfly Gardening

When planting your butterfly garden be careful how you coordinate the colors you choose for your flowerbeds. Although butterflies do not care about your choice of color, you don’t want your garden to be a hodgepodge of unrelated colors and textures. Butterflies are attracted to those flowers that have nectar rather than pollen, like honeysuckle, milkweed, summer lilac, Valerian, daisies, Purple Coneflower, Yellow Sage, day lilies and lavender.

Butterfly Gardening

Some people find it helpful to draw and color a layout of their butterfly gardening plan to see what the finished product would look like. Keep in mind that warm colors like red and orange are flashy and showy. These colors have a greater impact against a strong green background. Cool colors such as blue and purple are soothing and toned down and would work better with a white contrast to create the look of freshness and brightness.

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