Are Organic Foods Healthier?

Tomatoes
Delicious tomatoes

Why do so many people talk so enthusiastically about organic foods? Are they really healthier than non-organic food?

Many adherents to organic foods answer that question with a resounding “Yes!” They say that the organic food has given them more energy, and they generally speaking feel more well than before they began to eat organically.

I just read an article – on http://www.givemeamotive.com – that gives some of the reasons why many gardeners have chosen to grow their fruits and vegetables organically.

According to the organic gardening enthusiasts the secret behind the organic foods is the way they’re grown and cultivated. Because the organic vegetables and fruits aren’t sprayed with chemicals you don’t get any traces of these chemicals later on when you eat the organic foods.

This also holds good when we talk about animal foods. If they animals haven’t eaten foods with chemicals, then you don’t get any traces of these chemicals if you eat their meat, eggs, milk etc.

Squash
Squash is a wonderful vegatable

Some people are still skeptical to the claims of the adherents of eating organically. These people often argue that the chemicals are necessary to reduce plant diseases and pests.

The organic gardeners, on the other hand, counter-argue that not only can they prevent and fight against plant diseases and pests without using chemicals, but in addition to that organic gardening protects the environment. Organic gardening, they argue, does a lot to make the world our children have to live in a safer and healthier place.

Best,
Anette

You Can Grow Your Garden During the Winter

Some people seem to have gotten the impression that all your gardening activities stop during the winter periods. But that’s not correct.

I just read a fine article by Faith Fernandez on how you can take care of your garden during the colder months of the year.

You Can Grow Your Garden During the Winter
You Can Grow Your Garden During the Winter

The first thing you can do is to protect your plants against cold and maybe even frost, if you live in a cold climate. But how can you do that?
One way is to heap mulch around the roots of your plants. If you have potted plants it’s a good idea to take them inside during the cold months.

But protecting your more fragile plants isn’t the only thing you can do in your garden during the winter. I know that this may come as a surprise to some people, but you can actually grow plants – vegetables and flowers – in your garden during the winter.

Of course you can’t grow just any kind of plant during the winter, but Faith Fernandez mentions such plants as broccoli, spinach, collards, kale, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts. These plants can actually be sown during the winter. And one of the advantages of doing this is that your plants are not as vulnerable against pests and plant diseases as they are if you sow them in the warmer months. Again, this may surprise many people, but to me this has given Organic Gardening a completely new perspective.

If you want to protect your plants during the winter you can also grow your plants in a greenhouse or a hothouse, if you have one. Another solution is to use raised containers that protect your vegetables and flowers against frost in the soil.

You can read Faith’s article here, if you like:
http://organicgardentip.blogspot.com/2010/09/organic-gardening-in-winter-fridays.html

Best,
Anette

A biological way to keep slugs and snails out of your garden

I just read an interesting thread on the Garden Stew forum. In this thread one active gardener, KK Ng, tells how slugs and snails have eaten up some of his new Romaine Lettuce plants. A lot of the other gardeners there share their tips on how to solve the problem.

We’ve had a lot of problems with slugs and snails in my area our area and I wanted to share some of my own tips on how to fight these pests.

 

(RIP) slug
Slugs in your garden

One of the most interesting solutions I’ve come across is a ‘biological’ solution that doesn’t require you to use any chemicals at all. And best of all, this solution apparently is very effective.

This ‘biological’ method consists in making a kind of metallic fence that will guard the plants in your garden against the pests. The fence will simply keep them out of the area that’s protected with the fence.

Here is a short description of this solution. First of all, you need some galvanized metallic plates. You can get such plates in many different places. Just look around a bit in your local DIY centre and you’ll probably find some very quickly. If you can’t find any, you can easily find some on the Internet. The next step is to bend the top of the plates. The reason you do that is to prevent the slugs and snails from climbing over the fence. Then you bury the fence in the ground, so that the bending points outward and make it impossible for the pests to enter the area you want to protect. It’s very important that you dig the fence down into the ground so that the slugs and snails can’t get under it. If you want to make it even more difficult for the pests to get over the fence, you can for example smear soap on the bending. By doing this, you’ll make it even more difficult for the animals to get in. The fence will simply be too slippery for the pests to stick to it.

Some gardeners also use electric fences to keep the slugs and snails out. But personally I think that’s going a little bit overboard, if the other solution works fine.

Try this solution if you’re saddled with snails and slugs in your garden.

Best,
Anette

More slugs this year than last year

Following up on the post I wrote yesterday, on slugs and snails, I just read an article by Estelle Tran on The Pitt News. According to this article there are more leopard slugs this year than last year. And that’s my personal impression.

The reason that there more slugs this year, says Estelle, is that the huge amounts of snow that we got during the winter acted like a kind of isolating blanket. And this snow “blanket” kind of protected the slugs. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard this, but in fact the slugs have some kind of internal, built-in antifreeze. It’s quite impressive. But this antifreeze protects the slugs against the cold. And, the snow has added to that protection. That’s the reason why it seems like we have even more slugs this year than last year.

So, that’s the reason why it’s a good idea to take a close look at your garden. Now, some gardeners don’t consider the leopard slug to be a pest. One of their arguments is that the leopard slug has been in both United States and Europe for many, many years. But most gardeners probably consider this mollusk to be so. After all, these mollusks can do a lot of harm to a garden.

Yesterday I mentioned a couple of methods to fight slugs and snails in your garden. But there are others too. For example, some gardeners use beer to attract the slugs into traps. There’re many ways to make such beer traps. If you’d like to make one yourself, you can read step-by-step instructions here: http://monsterguide.net/how-to-make-beer-traps-for-slugs

Best,
Anette

Holes in your leaves made by snails and slugs?

I just read a question-answer article on Theithacajournal.com. The question is asked by a gardener that wonders why there’re so many holes in the leaves in their yard.

As they say in the answer, the cause may very well be snails or slugs.

Do you also have a problem with slugs and snails in your garden? Then you know how annoying and damaging this problem can be.

These pests can really do a lot of harm to your plants. They eat holes in the leaves of your plants and can even ruin them.

But the problem is that it’s often difficult to see these pests. You just see the damage that they’ve done.

But what can you do about this problem?

First of all, if you want to catch expose the snails and slugs then you have to look for them early in the morning or late in the evening. If you try to catch them red-handed in the middle of the day, it’s much more difficult to uncover them. Even if you’re lucky, all you’ll see is probably just a slime trail.

But what can you do to control these pests?

There are many good tips and suggestions, but when all comes to all one of the most effective ways to fight them is a good, old technique: Handpicking. Just put on a pair of gloves and go out in your garden early in the morning or late in the evening. Then, when you find them, you pick them one by one and put them into a bag. It’ll take some effort, but it’s an effective method.

Another solution is to use Iron Phosphate. This substance is much friendlier to both human beings, the environment and to your pets.

Best,
Anette