Safe Pest Control Tips

Pest control must be done with utmost consideration to safety; safety in terms of the plants, animals and humans. This holds especially true for those with vegetable and organic gardens.

The main purpose of growing vegetables organically will be defeated if they become tainted with pest control chemicals.

Here are a few long-term maintenance tips to make pest control less damaging and more environmentally friendly.

1. Use the physical pest control process.

This may be accomplished through picking grubs off by hand, creating barriers and traps and plugging holes. Snails can be found hiding in damp places under rocks and towrds the base of those plants with straplike foliage.

2. Apply biological pest control.

Encourage predatory insects such as green lacewings and dragonflies to feed on aphids and other pests that attack your plants. You can do this by placing a shallow bowl of water in the garden. Dragonflies especially will hover around water. Bacterial insecticides such as B. thuringiensis could also be used against caterpillars.

3. Only as a last resort should we turn to chemical pest control.

Organic pest control methods can be successful and the ingredients for many of the recipes can be found in the kitchen cupboards. If chemical sprays are really necessary, try and find the least-toxic. These include insecticidal soaps, horticultural oils, dehydrating dusts, etc.

4. Consider the use of safer pest control substitutes.

Recipes for alternative pest control include the following:

Against Green Aphids and Mites – Mix 1 tablespoon of liquid soap and a cup of vegetable oil. Dilute a teaspoon of this solution in a cup of water and spray on aphids and mites.

Against Cockroaches – Dusts of boric acid can be applied to cracks or entry points of these insects. Bay leaves on pantry shelves could also help in warding off these critters.

Make sure that the chemicals you use are made specifically for the insects you are targeting.

GARDENING’S MOST VALUABLE ADVICE

Many people may not be aware that gardening can actually harm the environment. A large amount of carbon dioxide can be released through tilling the soil. This contributes to global warming. When you cultivating and compacting the soil, destroys good fungi. Fertilizers like nitrogen and manure often leach out of the soil and pollute the water you drink.

Global warming

Did you know that the earth’s soil gives out carbon dioxide in the atmosphere 10 times more than all human activity? This comes from the pill bugs, microbes, fungi and worms when they breathe, digest food and then die. Although in the past plants have been capable of absorbing carbon dioxide caused by small-scale tillages, this isn’t the case nowadays.
The increase of the globe’s average temperature is because of the carbon dioxide the soil emits when tilled. The good news is that tilling can be minimized by mulching or sheet composting.

Good Fungi

In untilled soil, there is beneficial fungi known as the vesicular-arbuscular-mycorrhizae or VAM for short. VAM actually forms a symbiotic relationship with plants. Their filaments increase root hairs and provide nutrients to the plant. They give out zinc, copper, potassium and phosphorus. Plants provide carbohydrates for the fungi in return. It is possible to grow a garden without tilling the sooiil at all by mulching heavily until the soil is soft and friable.

Surplus Nitrogen

Many gardeners waste nitrogen and manures; farmers do otherwise. Farmers only need a quarter to a third of nitrogen to mix with an inch of compost, horse, or cow manure. Kate Burroughs of Sebastopol California, uses the same rule for her home-grown lettuce and sweet corns. When it comes to broccoli and pear trees, farmers only need a small amount. Notice that gardeners apply larger amounts of compost and manure than farmers. Obviously, they are not only wasting their fertilizer but also their money.

The best gardening advice that can be given to those concerned is to do all things with moderation. Keep in mind that too little and too much of something is not healthy. This is the most valuable advice one can have in gardening.

Butterfly Gardening

What is butterfly gardening? Simply put butterfly gardening is the art of growing flowers and plants that will attract these colorful and dainty creatures to your garden. Delight your family and visitors with beautiful butterflies, but be sure to create a safe habitat for them. If you own cats rethink your plans, because it would be a shame to attract these lovely insects to their death.

The design your butterfly garden is a matter of personal preference. Typical points to consider are the size of your garden and the types of flowers and plants you want to grow. Pick a style of garden that appeals to you, but ensure it also contains the plants and flowers that appeal to the butterflies you wish to attract.

It is important to find out which plants and flowers will attract the species of butterflies. that live in your area. This information can be found at the local library
To create the kind of environment that they find attractive, you will also need water of some kind. A birdbath will look attractive and keep the butterflies up off the ground, away from stray cats or mischievous puppies. A shallow dish on a post or hung in a tree will do just as well.

When planting your butterfly garden be careful how you coordinate the colors you choose for your flowerbeds. Although butterflies do not care about your choice of color, you don’t want your garden to be a hodgepodge of unrelated colors and textures. Butterflies are attracted to those flowers that have nectar rather than pollen, like honeysuckle, milkweed, summer lilac, Valerian, daisies, Purple Coneflower, Yellow Sage, day lilies and lavender.

Some people find it helpful to draw and color a layout of their butterfly gardening plan to see what the finished product would look like. Keep in mind that warm colors like red and orange are flashy and showy. These colors have a greater impact against a strong green background. Cool colors such as blue and purple are soothing and toned down and would work better with a white contrast to create the look of freshness and brightness.

Risk Factors And Symptoms Of Diabetes

Blood glucose levels are controlled by insulin. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas which lowers the blood-glucose level. When food is consumed and digested, our blood-glucose levels become elevated. This would in turn trigger the release of insulin to normalize the blood-glucose levels by promoting the uptake of glucose into our cells. Diabetes affects an estimate of 29.1 million people, 9.3% of the population, in the United States. In addition, another 86 million people may have prediabetes and they do not know it.

Over a long period of time, diabetes may lead to blindness, kidney failure and nerve damage. These are the result of damage to small vessels which is referred to as microvascular disease. Diabetes also plays an important factor in accelerating the hardening and narrowing of the arteries which would then lead to strokes, coronary heart disease and other large blood vessel diseases which is known as macrovascular disease.

Some causes of diabetes are due to the insufficient production of insulin, production of defective insulin or the cell’s inability to use insulin properly and efficiently. The cell’s inability to use insulin properly and efficiently affects mostly the muscle cells as well as fat tissues. This results in insulin resistance which is the main problem in type 2 diabetes. The absolute lack of insulin is the main disorder in type 1 diabetes. In type 2 diabetes, a steady decline of beta cells add on to the process of elevated blood sugars. Basically, if a person is resistant to insulin, the body can, to a certain extent, increase production of insulin thus overcoming the level of resistance. Overtime, if production decreases resulting in a slowdown of the release of insulin, diabetes develops.

There is no definite way to know if you have diabetes without having to undergo blood tests to determine your blood-glucose levels. As a result, many people are unaware that they have diabetes, especially in the early stages when symptoms may not be present.

However, some of the potential early tell-tale signs of diabetes are:
1. Increase urine output which would then lead to dehydration. Dehydration would also cause increased thirst as well as water consumption
2. Weight loss would still occur despite an increase in appetite resulting from a relative or absolute insulin deficiency
3. Fatigue
4. Nausea and vomiting
5. Frequent infections such as infections of the bladder, skin and vaginal areas.
6. Blurred vision may also occur as a result of fluctuations in blood-glucose levels

Some people are more prone to diabetes due to certain risk factors. Risk factors for type 1 diabetes are not well understood but family history is a known risk factor for type 1. On the other hand, many risk factors are known for type 2 diabetes and some of these factors are:
1. Being overweight or obese
2. High blood pressure
3. Family history
4. Sedentary lifestyle
5. Increasing age