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6 Ways to Keep Your Garden and Yard Pest-Free Without Chemicals

6 Ways to Maintain a Pest-Free Garden and Yard Without Chemicals - How to Garden Without Pests or Pesticides

Today, we’re talking about how to keep your garden pest-free without the use of pesticides or insecticides. It’s a common question for people who want to maintain an organic yard or garden.

While it may not be easy, it is possible. So, don’t give up! Let’s turn that black thumb into a green thumb.

What is Organic Gardening?

Reconnecting with nature and all its beauty is a great way to heighten your awareness to the world around you, both big and small. Unfortunately, gardening is more complicated than it seems, as any true gardener knows.

First off, the soil is alive with a small-scale world mostly unknown to us. One scoop of soil can be home to hundreds of thousands of fungi, thousands of protozoans, and a huge assortment of microscopic creatures known as cryptozoa.

In the 1980s, Jostein Goksøyr and Vigdis Torsvik (Norwegian scientists), gathered a gram of soil from a nearby beech forest … Read Full Post »

How Often To Water Lawn In Summer

How often to water lawn in summer

As we all know, the official start to summer is in late June.

The truth is, homeowners in Texas and other southern states know that temperatures can start inching up in April or May, depending on the year.

Because of this, many people wonder when and how to adjust their lawn watering schedule to ensure that grass and plants survive our dry and hot summer months.

Do you water a little bit every day? Water only once a week, but leave the sprinklers on for a long time to let the water really soak down? Forgo watering altogether because you had a rainy spring and your plants are looking great?

Then, you may wonder when exactly to set your sprinklers. What time should you water your lawn, if and when you do?

Maybe you have been inconsistent in your watering from year to year, and it’s just not working. Perhaps you have a water-logged … Read Full Post »

How to Prepare Your Yard for Spring and Summer

How to Prepare Your Yard for Spring and Summer

Winter weather can leave your landscape wanting. To help bring your landscape back to its fuller and lusher self, it’s important to do some spring lawn prep and maintenance.

Spring lawn care in essential for keeping your yard thriving and resilient through summer. If you want to a beautiful lawn and garden, follow these steps to keep your lawn and landscaping lush and green for the summer.

10 Ways to Get Lawn and Landscaping Ready for Summer

1. Rake It Up

The first step to preparing your yard for spring and summer is to do some raking and cleaning around the home. Use your yard waste container to collect all the leaves, twigs and other debris that has accumulated over winter. Vigorously rake your lawn to clear your landscaping of thatch—dried out, dead grass and organic debris.

The more material you have on the ground, the more difficult it will be for your lawn to … Read Full Post »

How to Start an Organic Lawn & Garden | National Lawn Care Month

How to Start an Organic Lawn & Garden | National Lawn Care Month

April is National Lawn Care Month and National Pest Management Month! To help your May flowers get off to a healthy, pest-free start, learn how to start your first completely organic garden. Your lawn and garden will look lush and green, and of course, will be completely organic. Spring is the best time to start!

How to Start an Organic Lawn & Garden

Even if your soil looks dead and lifeless, it can be brought back to life. But in order to find out what your soil needs, you need a soil test. 

  1. Get a Soil Sample

Testing your soil is the first step toward building good garden soil. You could waste a lot of money and energy, not to mention the possibility for poisoning, by adding things to your soil before conducting a soil test.

It’s a good idea to test your soil every 3-5 years since levels change all the time. Spring is … Read Full Post »

What Are Herbicides? Herbicide Pros & Cons

What Are Herbicides? Herbicide Pros & Cons

Everything is bigger in Texas, including the weeds. Before you let plant predators such as cleavers, chickweed, henbit, sow thistle and wild carrot take over, learn the pros and cons of herbicides, as well as some non-chemical alternatives.

Weeds can rob nutrients from the soil and smother other plants, but they aren’t all bad. Some can help your plants grow; others you may actually enjoy. They can also act as a free soil test, telling you whether or not you need soil balancing. Certain weeds spring up only when the soil is too high or low in something.

Many times, you can organically solve your weed problem by simply getting rid of the existing weeds and then balancing the soil. Learn more about how to improve soil quality in your lawn.

Sometimes, however, herbicides are necessary. But before you start releasing chemicals around your property, it’s important to consider what they are, how … Read Full Post »

How To Keep Deer Out Of Your Garden For Good

How to keep deer out of garden

Many people think of deer as sweet, beautiful and adorable animals—Bambi, anyone?—yet many homeowners in both urban and rural areas view deer as pests. This is because these animals have an irritating habit of munching on rose bushes, trees and other plants and flowers that people cultivate in their gardens, and leaving a tattered, raggedy mess in their wake. Interested in how to keep deer out of your garden for good?

The first and most important thing to remember is that deer are intelligent animals with acute senses and a highly adaptable nature. This means that whichever repellent method you try, the deer that are plaguing your plants are sure to learn and adapt quickly—and then it will be time to try a new technique.

So when it comes to repelling deer, what works and what doesn’t? Which techniques are the most effective for keeping deer away from your yard and … Read Full Post »

When To Start Mowing Lawn And Proper Mowing Techniques

When to start mowing lawn

The end of winter means one thing for many of us in the Southern states: the brutal heat of summer isn’t far away. To look on the bright side, everything comes to life again during the springtime. Insects and other animals emerge from their winter hiding spots and plants and flowers begin to bloom once more.

Just like all other living things in your backyard, your grass will also begin to grow. While your initial inclination might be to get out the lawnmower on the first day of sunshine and warmth, knowing how and when to start mowing your lawn will be the first step in giving your grass the care it needs to survive our dry and hot summers.

In this post, we’ll dive into the dos and don’ts of mowing your grass, including how to properly cut and care for your lawn after the winter months up until your the … Read Full Post »

Central Texas Gardening: Your Ultimate Guide

Central Texas gardening

Look around Austin and the Texas Hill Country and you can see that this area is teeming with plant life. Trees like the Texas Ash, Cedar Elm and Arroyo Sweetwood. Shrubs like Bottlebrush and Pineapple Guavas. Flowers, yuccas, ornamental grasses and vines.

So why is it so hard to grow anything in your own yard?

Flowers wilt. Veggies never seem to get started. Even those bushes you planted in the front several years ago have barely shown any growth.

Yet somehow, your neighbors’ plants are doing just fine. It’s embarrassing. What are the secrets to Central Texas gardening?

First off, take a deep breath and stop beating yourself up so much. Setting up and maintaining a garden in and around the Hill Country is tough.

That lush plant life you see around the area? Mother Nature had to work hard for that, carefully helping plants to adapt to the rugged Central Texas landscape. And your neighbors? … Read Full Post »

How Plant Probiotics Promote Soil and Plant Growth

How Plant Probiotics Promote Soil and Plant Growth

Probiotics, basically helpful bacteria, are recommended for treating everything from digestion to depression. But probiotics aren’t just beneficial to humans. They can also maintain the balance of good and bad bacteria in plants and soil. Helpful microbes, like those found in Holganix, can help plants grow bigger, healthier, and stronger.

What are probiotics?

Probiotics are bacteria or fungi that are non-harmful or helpful. Harmful bacteria and fungi would be classified as a type of parasite.

When the bad bacteria overwhelm the good bacteria, you can get sick. The same applies to your plants and soil. It’s all about maintaining a healthy balance between the trillions of cells and microbes that make up living things.

All plants have endophytes, organisms that live between plant cells, which is normally the term used for the plant version of probiotics.

Endophytes attach themselves to plants and serve a similar purpose for plants that probiotics do for us. In the … Read Full Post »

Hummingbirds in Texas: How To Welcome Them To Your Yard

Hummingbirds in Texas

You are sitting on your porch, reading a book, when it happens: a hummingbird pays you a visit. The impossibly tiny bird flits from flower to flower. Then it hovers. Its wings are a blur of frantic activity while the head barely moves. After a moment it’s gone, zipping off in search of greener pastures.

The experience is a bit of everyday magic, and it leaves you with a happy, contented feeling. I wish they’d come by more often, you think.

Seeing hummingbirds in Texas isn’t an everyday occurrence, but there are several things you can do to make your yard friendlier to them and encourage them to stop by more frequently.

It starts with knowing which hummingbirds can be found in Texas–and when.

Hummingbird Migration: Texas

You might not know this, but there are somewhere in the neighborhood of 300 different species of hummingbirds in the world. Most of those, however, never make it anywhere … Read Full Post »