To instill a sense of belonging and environmental stewardship, the garden is a tool to increase understanding of nature and as a guide for gardening and living.
Companion planting is the practice of planting two or more plant species in close proximity in order to achieve natural methods of pest control and higher yield crops. An example of this, is repelling pests with smell. Planting marigolds and herbs in the vegetable garden can confuse or repel plant pests by masking the odors of the primary garden crop. The smell of sweet basil planted in your garden will repel aphids, mosquitoes and mites. Basil will also act as a fungicide and slows the growth of milkweed bugs. The Three Sisters is the name given by Native Americans to the practice of growing corn, beans and squash together. Corn offers structure for the beans to climb. The beans, in turn, help to replenish the soil with nutrients. The large leaves of the squash act as living mulch, conserving water and providing the even moisture needed for the corn and beans to fully develop.
Attracting Beneficial Insects
The idea of attracting insects to your garden may seem bewildering, but there are beneficial insects that can actually control populations of the nuisance bugs we don’t want in our gardens. Nectar and pollen are needed during the life cycle of many of these insects, thus a variety of flowering plants will help attract and maintain their populations. Since most of the beneficial insects have short mouthparts, plants with numerous small flowers will allow these insects easier access to pollen. Carrot family herbs such as fennel, dill, anise and coriander produce broad clusters of small flowers attractive to beneficials. Sunflowers, zinnias, asters, yarrow and goldenrod attract a variety of these helpful bugs.
One of the basic principles of gardening is to feed the soil and let the soil feed the plants. Composting is nature’s way for gardeners to create a source of high-quality nutrition for their garden and eliminate the need to buy commercial fertilizers. The key to good composting is to provide the best possible conditions for the proliferation of composting organisms. These organism’s needs are simple: a balanced diet, water, air and warmth. Compost should be kept as damp as a moist sponge. The balanced diet requires a correct proportion of carbon for energy and nitrogen for forming protein. The ideal C/N ratio is 30:1. Materials high in carbon are brown, yellow and dry, like leaves or straw. High nitrogen materials are green and moist, like grass clippings and vegetative kitchen waste.
Click on headline above to read a post Amy Nelson sent in to the Willie Nelson Peace Research Institute about elephants being beaten. All of our hearts should ache after learning about this. The elephants, as is all of the animal kingdom, are our teachers and fellow travelers on this planet. "The Golden Rule" applies to ALL.
Published Author, Environmentalist ~ I seek to see the natural world have a stronger voice in human affairs. My life's dance is tied to my passion for the beauty of our earth and the people, plants and animals that inhabit it. I hope my music and other creative ideas give you some comfort, joy, hope, and peace.
Be Strong; Be Well
~ Patty:) ~