Using the right tools for the job can help control pests in the garden, says Marlene Link

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”5478″ img_size=”medium” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Should you share your beer with your garden? Probably not. Beer does not make a good fertilizer and would be better consumed by the gardener.

However, beer does make a good slug killer. Beer not only attracts slugs, but it kills them too. At least they die happy.

Two simple slug traps can be easily made at home.

The first one uses a tuna tin set into the soil at ground level and filled with beer.

The second trap is made with a plastic pop bottle with the top section cut off, inverted and placed into the bottom section with the narrow opening inside; then fill it with beer and place it at ground level.

Other gardening tips are to use coffee grounds to acidify the soil. Some plants that prefer acidic soil are: azaleas, rhododendrons, hydrangeas, daffodils, and blueberries. Always work the coffee grounds into the soil.

When controlling insects, people have used dish soap for years.

But modern-day dish soaps are different than the old-fashioned varieties and some are antibacterial.

These can cause wax removal, which not only kills the insects, but leads to the loss of water, leaf scorch and perhaps even the death of the plant.

Commercial insecticidal soaps have been specially formulated to protect the waxy cuticle of the plant, so a little extra money spent on a commercial product is money well spent.

One insect to welcome to your garden is the solitary bee.

These non-aggressive bees provide valuable and necessary pollination for many of your garden’s plants.

Dunnville Horticulture Society is selling solitary-pollen-bee nests as a fundraiser this summer.

Group members can purchase one for $20; the cost for nonmembers is $25.

Contact group president Deb Zynomirski at debzyn@gmail.com or 416-566-9337 to get yours.

Happy gardening to all you green thumbs out there.

Marlene Link is a member of the Dunnville Horticultural Society.


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