Sunday, June 17, 2007

Bananas, Salt, Tea and WD40

By Billie A Williams
Rose bushes are they hard to raise? Depends on who you talk to. I have had terrible luck with the miniature variety, but basically the others are a breeze. They need pruning, water and occasionally a few banana peels. What you never heard of burying banana peels around the perimeter of your roses? The nutrients are ideal for them, but what I didn’t know before was, the banana peel actually retards aphids a real nasty for rose bushes and gladiolas. I usually spray my plants at the first sign of trouble with a weak soap solution. If I see any aphids near my roses, I use Mrs Murphy’s Oil soap mixed with water in a spray bottle (also good on the grape vines) but I like the double duty banana peel instead. Tea is another rose booster. It will enhance the growth of roses.

Here are a few more hints for other bugs and areas of your living space. Are you tired of uninvited guests at your picnic? To keep those pesky ants at bay try putting plastic containers under the legs of your picnic table and filling them with water. The ants may climb up the plastic container but they will fall in and drown before they get to the table legs.

Salt has always been a favorite remedy of mine for so many things. You can fill a plastic container with salt water and place it at ground level in your gardens where you have seen slugs or snail damage. The snails and slugs drown trying to get at the salt. (This works with beer too) If you need to bait them use pieces of raw potato around the dish. You can also use salt to stop weeds from growing in the cracks of your sidewalks or walkways and is one of the many things that can extend the life of cut flowers. In the kitchen you can use a light salt water solution to put peeled potatoes or apples in until you are ready to use them, to keep them from turning dark.

Tea is a great addition to any acid loving houseplants soil. I use weak tea to water my ferns, and other house plants once a month. You can also use it and the tea bags to speed up the decomposition of your compost pile. (Compost pile coffee grounds, tea bags, egg shells and any organic vegetable matter is great.)

Now here is something I bet you’ve not heard of before—WD-40 ™uses in your garden. I believe WD-40 ™ has nearly as many uses as duct tape. You can use it to spray your flower beds lightly to keep cats, dogs and other animals out of them. You can use it on your bird feeders to keep squirrels off of them (hmmm cheaper than Cheyenne pepper – perhaps.) Those dirty messy pigeons building nests on balconies and porches, try spraying surfaces with WD-40™ it makes your place very unappealing to the pests.
Also spray railings and bird feeders to keep them off. If you have a wasp problem, building nests under your eaves—next summer spray the over hang under the eaves with WD-40™. One more good use for it, spray thistle plants and they will be history.
Use it to take care of your lawn and garden tools. Spray the handles to keep them from splintering and giving you slivers, spray the tines of garden forks, shovels, hoes, to keep them rust free and in good condition. (you can do this with your snow shovel, snow blower etc to keep snow from sticking to them in the winter, too)

Like I said WD-40™ is in a race with duct tape™ and probably super glue™ to see who is the most versatile and important. I love organic solutions when at all possible, but when something works like magic it’s hard to resist using modern warfare in the garden to get rid of pests.

Feel free to pass this article along as long as you leave this resource box attached.
Billie A Williams
Multi-published Mystery/Suspense Author
Whose Accidental Sleuth’s solve crimes with wit, wisdom and chutzpah.

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