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As the Garden Section of THE ROCK FATHER is ramping-up again for 2015, we’re planning our gardening activities for the new season, and in-turn are thinking about how to be as “green” as possible. In all honesty, “going green” when it comes to lawn and garden chemicals is not easy – and while I’ve made a mighty effort for the past five years, I’ve been unable to go 100%. With that in mind, the folks over at Birds & Blooms have offered-up three tips for growing a chemical-free garden that I’m sharing with you today.

Birds & Blooms - Spring 2015Why Eliminate Chemicals?

Even if you don’t have children or pets, there are plenty of reasons to steer clear of chemicals. For starters, pesticides, fungicides and herbicides don’t just kill pests and weeds—they also kill helpful birds and insects. Pesticides also come with hidden consequences, like polluting the runoff water that flows into our water systems.

STEP ONE: Nurture Healthy Plants

Pests prey on weak plants, so to keep them out of your garden, your plants need to be as healthy as possible. Load the soil with as much compost and organic matter as you can. This provides the perfect environment for healthy, strong plants.

STEP TWO: Invite Your Allies

Less than 1 percent of the pest population of a garden can truly be considered pests. Most of these bugs are actually your garden allies, ready to take on the bad bugs. These garden friends can be wiped out when pesticides are used.

STEP THREE: Natural Pest Solutions

If you are looking for a solution to a specific problem, try a less toxic product, like insecticidal soaps or horticultural oils. These are helpful in controlling aphids, caterpillars, crickets, fleas, flies and mites.

Plants to attract beneficial insects include:
  • Creeping thyme
  • Marjoram
  • Tarragon
  • Rosemary
  • Lavender
  • Mexican sunflower
  • Dill
  • Oregano
  • Fennel
  • Salvia
  • Sage
  • Yarrow
  • Mint
  • Catmint

Want even more detail? Head over to Birds & Blooms for more, and keep your browser pointed at the Home & Garden section of THE ROCK FATHER in the months ahead for more of my personal stories, reviews and tips as well.

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