Friday, May 26, 2017

8 Organic liquid fertilizers you can make!

Organic gardeners are always looking for ways to improve their soil naturally. Of course you can buy organic fertilizers in a garden center but wouldn't it be more natural to just make them? I have tried many ways to make organic fertilizer for my garden over the years and have found them to be just as good as commercially available fertilizers. Plus I just like knowing what is going into my plants.

So what other kinds of organic soil amendments are there? We all know that coffee grounds give plants a nitrogen boost and compost tea is a great fertilizer (or it's stronger cousin...poop tea fertilizer) There are so many more fertilizers that you can make though! I've been looking way past common into the arena of kitchen scraps and garbage! I really like to find a new use for things you were going to throw away anyway, and make them into valuable fertilizers for your organic garden.

how to make | organic fertilizer

We've talked about dry organic soil amendments in the post Feed Your Garden. Today I want to talk about homemade liquid fertilizers. Most of these are made by allowing the chosen material to steep in water for several days. After a few days most of the soluble nutrients will have seeped into the water solution. Unless you actually want to ferment the material, this is where you want to stop steeping and use the fertilizer on your plants. I personally don't ferment fertilizer but some people have great success with it.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Growing and using catnip for tea

We're all familiar with catnip and how it affects cats. What is less well-known is how it affects humans. No, catnip is not just for cats! Catnip can be used topically or as a tea, tincture or infusion for many different reasons. Catnip is also one of the herbs that has a long history of use for children.

Catnip (Nepeta cataria) is a member of the mint family. It's sometimes referred to as Catmint. Even though it seems to produce a euphoria response in cats, catnip will not get you high! Here's an excellent explanation of why it works for cats though. 

growing catnip tea
Catnip has a much milder effect on people but it still produces many desired effects. There are many reasons why you should grow catnip for yourself:

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The best essential oils for headache relief

Lately I have been getting a lot of headaches. It started about three months ago. A couple of times a week I would wake up with a headache behind my eyes. It was a dull pain that made it hard to think straight at times. Sometimes the pain was actually in my eyes, other times it felt like sinus pressure, but it was always in the same general area.

Sometimes these headaches would last a couple hours. Other times they would last all the way till bedtime. I was having a hard time stopping them and I couldn't even figure out where they came from.

essential oils for headaches

I tried all the usual things for headaches: aspirin, Tylenol, ibuprofen, heat, cold, sleep, caffeine, even allergy medicines and nothing worked. I slept well & I don't have allergies so there was basically no reason why I would wake up with these headaches. Especially since it never happened before! (yes, I did see a Dr and she couldn't find a medical reason why I started getting headaches)

I eventually turned to essential oils out of desperation. I was literally grasping at straws. I was just praying something would work because it's really hard to go through your entire day with your whole face full of squeezing pressure. I have essential oils on hand, I use them in my salve recipes and diffuser all the time. So luckily I had about 20 to choose from and carrier oils to go with them.

Friday, May 12, 2017

How to keep deer out of your garden

One of my least favorite parts of gardening is battling the deer. It seems that every year just when I think everything is growing great, I find evidence of deer in my garden. This time it was my bulbs that had just sprouted. The deer had eaten my lily's down to just stubs. While this is heartbreaking, unfortunately it's nothing new for me. I live in an area with a lot of wildlife so it just makes sense that the deer will get in my garden and treat it like an all you can eat buffet.

I have tried just about everything to keep deer out of my garden. From fences to scare tactics, I've done it all and it sort of works. The biggest problem with keeping deer out of your garden is that they will adapt rapidly to anything you may try. Yes, many different tactics may work, but nothing that works well works forever.

Deer in garden.

The most effective deterrents are physical barriers like fences or netting's. Fences should be 8 feet tall to be most effective. Some people have luck with shrub walls if they're very thick and dense.

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