pest control

Growing Herbs in the Eco Garden System

Growing Herbs in the Eco Garden System 560 315 Eco Garden Systems

Herbs are the wonderful accent to every meal whether it is for extra flavor or to just add a little culinary art to the dish. Most of us feel like gourmet cooks when we use one or two of the many varieties of herbs available. Using fresh herbs is the bonus that every chef would like to have at their fingertips. Planting and growing herbs is very simple especially if you plant them in an elevated bed or a container that is easy to reach for an easy harvest. There is a variety that you can choose from to plant depending on your cooking style. Here are five herbs to consider the next time you plant your garden: Parsley I begin with parsley because it is very easy to grow and will continue to grow with each harvest. Parsley adds a lot of color to salads, soups, and mixed vegetable dishes. It is widely known for its use as a garnish. Parsley grows best in moist, well-drained soil which makes the Eco Garden System and ideal garden to grow in. It is used in Mediterranean dishes and is packed with nutrients rich in vitamin A, K and E. Oregano Two common varieties of oregano are Greek or Italian. The flavor of oregano is best before the plant blooms. Harvesting and allowing to dry is better for this herb because it does not hold up well to prolong cooking. If using fresh oregano it is best to add towards the end of cooking. Oregano tends to grow in a drier environment with a neutral pH. However in the Eco Garden System it thrives well due to the well-drained soil and the fact that it is easier to contain and control. It should be snipped regularly to keep it bushy and tender. It…

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The Trial and Error of Gardening

The Trial and Error of Gardening 560 315 Eco Garden Systems

How many of you have been discouraged after planting a garden to find out some of your vegetation is not thriving? From brown spots to yellow leaves to weird looking bugs on your tomato and broccoli leaves, gardening has challenges that can make you want to quit immediately or run to your computer and google “Why are my pepper plant leaves turning yellow?” (If I haven’t googled it once I have googled it five times and that can be in one day.) I want quick answers to salvage what is left of the plant from diseases that will NOT go away on their own! Because I garden in a very large self-watering container, the most common diseases I run into usually come from existing plants that I purchase from nurseries or from organisms that arrive via wind first class. I have had to pull one cucumber plant and one tomato plant as well as some nasturtiums this garden season due to a few significant reasons. Here are three gardening issues that I have had to deal with when gardening in the Eco Garden System. Yellowing of leaves This can be on just about any plant that is growing in the garden. It is common in just about every garden and can be caused by one of three main factors: water, nutrients, or pests. A process of elimination of these three factors and problem solved! My first thought is watering. In a self- watering container this should be the easiest to eliminate. I know our first reaction is not enough water or too much water which with the Eco Garden system this should not be the case! Overwatering gives you wilted plants and under watering gives you shriveled up dry plants. A good way to test is to poke your finger…

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The Love of a Potato

The Love of a Potato 560 315 Eco Garden Systems

If you are a potato lover you know that a home grown potato is a delicacy!  It is a treat to eat a potato straight from the garden.  My favorite is, without a doubt, the new potatoes harvested before they reach maturity.  Boil the baby potatoes, add fresh garden peas with a rich cream sauce, and you have heaven in a pot! Potatoes make for a hearty side dish with any meal especially if you are feeding hungry boys. I have two, and they are always hungry!  Potatoes are the go to dish that complete the feeding frenzy of severe hunger (so they say!) Growing my own potatoes has had some challenges through the years. I have tried many ways to solve issues with soil and insects.  From mounding to mulching to organic soaps, I have had some unsuccessful crops, which have included few potatoes to a wipe out of the plant leaves before they flower. This year I planted my potatoes in the elevated Eco garden System. Potatoes are one of the easiest vegetables to grow in the Eco Garden System.  After years of growing potatoes in the ground this system was the answer to the age old dilemma of potato bugs! In gardening conversations, many gardeners sigh when you mention theses pesky little destroyers, and some will say “Just move your plot!”  Well, I am at the top of hill now and nowhere to go! In comes the Eco Garden System and wow, a season without bugs!  The plants were beautiful, and the flowers were stunning. Best of all, no bugs! The Eco system has many of the ideal conditions for growing potatoes. Potatoes should be planted at least 2 weeks before your last frost.  Seed potatoes can be cut to the size of an egg with at…

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Beneficial flowers

Beneficial Flowers for a Vegetable Garden

Beneficial Flowers for a Vegetable Garden 560 315 Eco Garden Systems

All flowers are beautiful! With the thousands of varieties that can be purchased it is hard to pick just a few; however, there are certain types of flowers that can be very beneficial to a vegetable garden.  There are many different types you can incorporate into your garden that are not only pretty, but repel insects, encourage pollination and are edible! When planting these flowers in a raised or elevated garden one thing you need to consider is space. Some of these flowers can multiply and expand, eventually over taking your garden; in raised and elevated beds try to plant dwarf varieties or bush varieties that won’t exceed a certain amount of room. Here are few of the most talked about vegetable garden flowers and why they are good companions in-ground or elevated gardens. Nasturtiums  Nasturtiums are an easy annual to grow with edible flowers and leaves. Nasturtiums have a peppery bloom that can be put in salads and added to other dishes. They are good companion plants to cucumbers, squash and broccoli. When planted next to these vegetables they will trap aphids and repel squash bugs. Nasturtiums add a colorful beauty to the garden, have a nice fragrance and come in bush and vine varieties. In raised beds, they work well on the edge of the garden growing out and over the garden bed. Marigolds Marigolds are another simple flower to grow and maintain. They are one of the most popular flowers to grow among your vegetables because they repel bad bugs and attract potential pollinators. Known for their strong fragrance, marigolds deters nematodes and the aroma confuses pests if planted in or around your vegetables. Because they are a bush annual they work well in raised beds without taking up much space. Marigolds are especially beneficial planted next…

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Companion Planting: Find Your Plants Some Friends!

Companion Planting: Find Your Plants Some Friends! 440 627 Eco Garden Systems

  When it comes to planning your garden it is important to consider where you plant your vegetables and what you plant next to them because each vegetable is unique in structure and flavor. Competing for root space and above ground space or just keeping the bugs away are important to consider when planning your garden. With any garden experience, trial and error will give you an idea of what works and what does not. Three key points to companion planning in your garden are: Pest control Soil space and nutrients The cardinal points: north, south, east and west. Pest control is a big factor in any garden because most of your pests come from the plant itself or the soil you plant it in. Not all bugs are bad; however, some are extremely beneficial such as pollinators and predators. Walking out to your garden and seeing spider webs strung from plant to plant can be a welcoming sight; however, remain observant of these eight-legged guests as spiders do eat potentially bad bugs, but they can also eat their share of good bugs as well.  Planting companion plants next to each other can help deter a lot of the bad bugs. An example of this is decoy planting. Marigolds and Nasturtiums, which are edible, are good to plant between vegetables because they mask the smell of the vegetable plant, which in turn confuses the garden pests. They also repel pests such as nematodes and beetles. Root space and soil nutrients have a huge impact on what you plant and where you plant them. Heavy feeders such as cucumbers and cabbage should be planted next to light-feeding carrots so there is no competition for soil nutrients. Planting shallow-rooted vegetables next to deep-rooted ones will eliminate root competition, as well as planting…

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