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Marigold Flowers on Order

Marigold Flower Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

When we learned more about Marigold we fell in love with the flower all over again. When we first began the garden we had a huge ant problem. The ants came out in a full fledge army not just a few. They were moving significant amounts of soil and uprooting plants and seedlings by digging from bottom up right in their pots. So, when we learned that ants disdained them, we got several seed packets and placed them strategically around the garden. It took some time but our ant problem was soon reduce to almost non existent. When one first starts gardening, one wonders will these organic remedies work? Am I doing it right? We have remained true to our organic journey and did not use any chemicals while growing our plants. The Marigolds have been no exception. In fact they helped us along our organic journey.

Many neighbors and gardening cohorts come by from time to time to view the plants in containers and the garden. When one of our neighbors came over and saw the marigolds he immediately put in an order. They are coming along very nicely as one can see. Once they have grown and are more easily managed, they will go home to his mother. Want to take a plant of your own home? Shop our plants. Would you like to start your own garden? Wonderful! What questions do you have? Share your comments with the community by positing them below. Share the wealth with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

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Protection & Precaution Gardening Tips

Protection in the Garden
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Gardening is indeed a wonderful thing to do for many reasons. Its contributions to good health are our favorites. What did you learn from this video? How will this help you garden better or simply move better without encouraging injury? Who do you know that can benefit from knowing this information?

Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

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Organic Integrity

What do you think about the standards of these organic growers? Would you rather a farmer grow your food or an industrial corporate complex? If you could set your own standards for Organic Growing, what would they be? As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing.

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

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Food & Science

Food and Science
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Is it okay to eat foods that have GMO (genetically modified food), pesticides and irradiation if we do not know the health effects? Should we be test subjects without knowing? Should food be a matter of science or biology? Eliot Coleman believes food should be more a function of biology. Do you think health producers should be responsible for any health problems you have if you get sick from foods they said were okay to eat? Is producing ‘more’ food more important than your health? Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Stay healthy.

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

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How is the Garden?

As you already know, one of the number one questions we get is: how is the garden? This question helped to encourage this site. The answer is a lot of good things are happening in the garden. While we still are keeping our eye out for slugs, snails and flies, for the most part they seem to be under control. But, Mother Nature is always full of surprises. So we will be keeping our eyes peeled. We have seen a few snails here and there. They are tricky because you do not always know what is in the shell. We currently have been treating the garden with the Organic Pest remedy: Oatmeal. Stay tuned for updates on if this Organic Remedy for snails is effective.

The Vole seems to have been taken care of. We have seen no more signs of eaten leaves although there are still a few flies around. The ants however seem to be our most difficult pest. We have been doing a regimen of ground black pepper and water solution, fertilizer for the plants health, marigold flowers (which ants dislike) and Neem Oil, all which should help. Some help more than others. Overall our Organic Remedies have worked although the verdict is still out on the ants, snails and slugs.

Our Roma Tomatoes, San Marzano Tomatoes, Squash, Pumpkin, Sugar Baby Water Melon and Green Bean Plants are all doing very well. They have developed root systems and have begun multiplying their leaves and growing tall. We believe a Vole was causing a lot of havoc in the garden. Now that we have addressed that problem the garden seems to be taking off. Two of our bean plants have been leaning over. Their stalks are very tall, lean and can normally bear the weight of its fruit (beans) thus far. However, we identified two bean plants that needed some additional support so; we staked them with a few wooden paint stirrers that we got from the paint section for free. We will still have to keep our eyes open for flies, snails and slugs so they do not eat the leaves and the harvest. We thus continue to treat the plants with Neem Oil (an Organic Pest Remedy).

Have you started a garden? Do you have house plants? Send us pictures and leave us a comment telling us all about it. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep growing. Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today.

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

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Saving Time in the Garden

Garden Sprayer

We do not have many big tools in our garden tool box but, we have a few key tools that have begun to save us a ton of time. The sprayer pictured above is holds a gallon. It pumps the air out of the container and you hold the lever down for a continuous spray powered by air pressure. The more pressure the more liquid sprayed. There are sieves to filter the liquid so, what you put in the container must be fairly liquid. For things that are less liquid like our ground pepper and water mix we use the water can. We can more than cover our garden space with 2 passes of the water can. The holes in the water can are larger and should be able to hold most mixtures you apply to your garden.

Besides watering the garden, we also fertilize on a regular basis. We have also been applying different mixtures to the soil and plants to discourage pests. You will find that your Organic Remedies are less processed than chemical remedies and, thus may require a water can or sprayer that can hold a less refined liquid.  Thus far the water can, oscillating sprinkler and sprayer are all we need to apply what we need to the garden as well as save time. The most expensive item was the water can because we opted for metal over plastic. There is always something to do in the garden so, anytime we can automate or save time in a manner that makes financial sense for our size garden we do so.

Did you know that you can use wooden paint stirrers to stake smaller plants? Do you know how to stake a plant? Read our article “Stake Holder” dated May 9, 2020 to learn more about staking. Curious as to how you can save time in your garden? Just Ask! Did you know that you can get globes that water your house plants as needed? All you do is fill the globe. Want to know more? Just Ask. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep growing.

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

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Organic Remedy for Slugs

Organic Remedy for Slugs

Velmer shared with us the rich benefits of used coffee grounds. She scored some major points with this natural resource. Coffee grounds can be used in compost (the filters as well). They can also be used as soil fertilizer. And they can be used as an Organic Remedy for slugs. Our cabbages and Brussels Sprouts have had a time with flies to slugs to snails. We were searching for the correct Organic Remedy to remove these ‘pests’ from our garden as they do not promote plant health and growth. In fact they eat faster than we do! We could barely keep up with how fast nature was moving.

Just when we thought one pest was gone, we discover that we are dealing with a few pests. Some of the pests are in different growth stages. So we had to lay down an Organic Remedy for flies, slugs and snails all at once. The great thing about many of the Organic Remedies (coffee grounds a case in point) that we have been using is that they serve multiple purposes. As the coffee grounds deter the slugs and as they are worked into the soil, they will also fertilize the soil. Typically you would till the coffee grounds into the soil for proper fertilization. Nonetheless, it should have some positive effects.

While our Cabbage & Brussels Sprouts plants may not ever recover, we believe that getting rid of the pests is an overall good idea for the garden. We want to put a big welcome sign out for those insects and animals that do promote the goals of our garden, such as lady bugs, butterflies, bees and birds. What else are used coffee grounds good for? Can you use any of these Organic Remedies around the house? Did you know that vinegar and water can be mixed and used as a Windex? Did you know that eliminating or reducing the use of chemicals in your home can improve your health? Did you know there are organic cleansers for the home on the market? As always you are the best part of what we do. Stay healthy.

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

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Savings

Nature is an interesting thing. Just when you think you have a pest under control, you do not and just when you think a plant is done, it comes back. During this journey the days have been rare when I have felt ahead of the curve when it comes to pests. Some of the seemingly easiest things to do are not Organic. The Organic Remedy can be that of great patience as it will often work in conjunction with nature and on her time table not ours. If all things are effective, our known pest issues should soon come under control. Things definitely seem to be getting better and not worse although time will tell. We still have a ways to go with the snails and ants in the garden.

The good news is that we believe the Vole was the root of the problem as it was eating our vegetables from underneath the ground. We will be keeping our eyes peeled and hoping things come under control. There are a few things that have truly been time savers for us affording us an opportunity to give our attention to other things in the garden and they both surround watering and pest control applications.

First we purchased a water can, which is designed to mimic the application of water in a manner similar to nature (rain fall). My can is super fast and can cover a large amount of space in a short time. I placed both my fertilizer (promote plant health) and ground black pepper (ant deterrent) in my water can and was able to apply it within minutes. The second solution was an oscillating water sprinkler. By the time we put our salad on the plate for dinner the garden had been watered. We came out to check the sprinkler and had to turn it off because it had spread so much water so fast it was beginning to pool.

These two items saved me so much time I had time to transplant a couple of plants into new pots; clean some previously emptied pots and clean up around the garden. Anytime you can save time around the garden through automation or quick applications for example do so. What are some things you do to save time? What are some new ways you can save time? What is the cost savings or expense to these methods? Does it make sense overall? As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep growing.

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

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Slug to Snail in 60 Seconds

Garden Snails

When you read Eliot Coleman’s books one of the things he will tell you is that, some of the best farmers are great observers of nature. What we have observed is while nature may take its time to produce a tomato, a slug can turn into a snail within a matter of a day. Either these slugs are very good at hiding or they are very fast at transformation. So, why should the gardener be concerned about such observations and nature?

The Slug was first larva. Most gardeners will tell you that some insects and animals are there to help the processes you need to occur in the garden to produce healthy fruit bearing trees while others are not helpful. Normally they are described as either good or bad bugs as some plants are described as plants and others as weeds. Some things will help you along the way and others things will not. Nonetheless, within it all is the overall balance of nature, which we are still observing. Observing implies that we do not all there is to know about nature.

As we identify those things that are helpful to our Organic Garden Pursuits and those that are not, we can begin to enhance the garden experience by managing these things. First we have to identify those things that are helpful and those things that are not. Then we can decide how to properly address them. An Organic Remedy for larva is different than that of a slug and even a snail. This is not always the case but often there are some differences.

Time is of the essence when you are dealing with those things that are not helpful to your garden. I have found that in the case of the snail things moved very quickly. One day I had larva the next I had slugs and the next I had snails and some at the same time. Just as I was researching one Organic Remedy, my pest had transformed into something else. Yesterday I found that I had to conduct research for the pest and address the pest within the hour albeit it was a snail at this point. I mistook larva for an insect caught in a spider web and while I was still identifying my pest half the crop was being eaten up.

The good news is as one becomes more experienced and quicker to respond the better these issues can be addressed. How do you know when a plant is in trouble? How do you try to get at the root of the problem? How do you identify what the problem is? How can you solve a problem if you do not know what the problem is? As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep growing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

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Bugging

Good Garden Bugs

Being on an Organic Journey there are many organizations that you come to like such as the USDA Organic Certification Program. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) is one of them. Our government does not do everything right but the EPA is definitely a move in the right direction. We have found them to be a great resource of information. They have compiled a book to help us identify garden bugs, so we know which ones are good and which ones are ‘not helpful’ and how we can address these pests in an Organic manner. Click EPA to get this booklet.

Our transplanted Cabbage and Brussels Sprouts (learn more about effective ways to transplant by reading our May 2, 2020 article “True to Transplanting”) from the garden center, that came to us as small plants, have faced one pest after the other. Just when we got rid of one here came another. They ate both plants before we even had a chance to say harvest. Now we have found that what we believed to have been spider webs was actually larva, big lesson, and they hatched and became what we believe to be slugs. We are pretty certain since we have snails on the garage door and found some on the plants. First, the best thing to do is to remove the larva before they hatch. Just when we reduced the number of ants then came the flies. They were munching on the plants and we did not know. Then came the snails who laid their eggs and now we have slugs.

Plant shock threw these plants into one predator issue to another. The good news is that the EPA has an Organic Remedy to these bugs. We will be employing some of these remedies and will let you know what we discover. The Mole Max (uses sound) has thus far proven to be very useful in resolving our Vole issue. We believe, we never saw it, that a Vole was eating our plants from underneath the ground. This also caused a lot of stress and probably root problems for our plants. Our plants have been through a lot. Nonetheless, the Organic Remedies are plentiful and we believe one is bound to work. FYI: Lady Bugs are Good Bugs.

What are some other tools you can use to help identify the issue(s) your plants are having when they get in trouble? What are some other organizations that provide helpful information for Organic Consuming? What is important to you as an Organic Consumer? As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep growing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.