6 Backyard Tips for Thinning Out Mosquitoes

I know everyone hates mosquitoes so this guest post gives some tips to help thin them out a bit.

Mosquitoes are not only uncomfortable insects that suck your blood –they are carriers of terrible ailments and conditions –the most recent being the Zika virus.

In the wake of this worldwide epidemic –there were three reported cases of Zika in the US last week- and the fast approaching summer in Florida, it has become imperative to keep our yards mosquito-free.

After all, we all want to hang out around the fire pits in the evenings of the summer, participate in the 4th of July picnicking and fireworks and have an all-round good time without having to worry about the little buggers. How can you do this?

Cut Your Greens

Spring typically brings such lush greenness and life to plants. As a result, you might have more bushes, grasses, and vegetation in and around your home. These are excellent hiding places for adult female mosquitoes which hide under that vegetation during the day and come out to play and feed at night.

It’s even worse when you have dense vegetation in dark areas. These create the perfect hiding spot for these critters. So, trim your hedges, mow your lawns, cut your brushes, and prune surrounding tree branches.

Eliminate All Standing Water

Standing water provides the right breeding conditions for mosquitoes. So, check out all standing containers and empty them of stagnant water. Check your drainages and make sure they are flowing. Stagnant water is the enemy.

As long as the water is flowing, the mosquitoes wouldn’t be able to settle and lay their eggs. Check your gutters too for standing water. Most people typically overlook this part and only check their gutters at the end of the year. Drain out any stagnant water by clearing out piled up gutter debris.

Invest in Insect Zappers

Insect zappers work like magic. The mosquitoes are attracted to them, they make contact and are killed by the UV lights. Depending on how big your yard is and your home, you should invest in between 3 and 10 of those. Ensure to keep one inside the home –out of the children’s reach of course- in case the buggers get in the house.

Invest in Pesticides and Insecticides

Fumigating your home and the environment with an eco-friendly insecticide will keep them at bay for at least a month. Then, have some insecticide in the house to repel or kill them.

Spray these at night with all doors and windows locked while everyone is outside, leave it be for 30 minutes, then aerate the house. You can also buy and use mosquito coils, although these don’t last long and the smoke gets blown away too quickly.  

In addition, pest services can assist in eradicating these problems. Heron Lawn and Pest Control can mitigate these problems by evaluating the state of your lawn and then offering a solution to effectively solve it.

Mosquito Repellent Plants are important

There are plants with odors that mosquitoes find repellent. These include citronella grass, lemon grass, catnip, lavender, and basil. These plants are effective at reducing the mosquito population in your backyard. They are also good for repelling other insects too.

Treat Your Ponds and Keep them Moving

If you don’t want to drain your still pond because of its landscaping features and qualities, you might want to consider taking some measures. These include reducing the population of water lilies as they tend to create avenues for standing water.

We all hate to deal with mosquiteos so my guest post gives you some tips on how to thinning them out.

If your ponds are clear, you should consider installing water aeration systems. These could be in the form of aeration pumps, water bubbler, and turning the pond into a temporary fountain. These will help keep the pond moving –a condition that is not conducive to mosquitoes breeding.

These tips should get you started on preventing and eliminating them. If you need more help, get in touch with Heron Pest to eliminate mosquitoes and all other insects on your home.

Why You Should Use Organic Seeds in Your Garden

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So, I've talked about organic fertilizer and why we should go organic now it's time to talk seeds. I know that seeds seem pretty insubstantial in the grand scheme of things, but if your garden is only as good as its seeds. I think the main reason I would suggest organic seeds is this, regular seeds are retrieved from plants that had chemicals and pesticides used on them. BUT, organic seeds have a better chance of being done in an organic environment too.

I get all my seeds through Burpee. I've dealt with them for a few years now and everything they sell is good quality and their customer service is good as well. They have a whole section on their site dedicated to organics and you find it right here. They have just about anything you could look for as far as seeds are concerned, but they also sell starter plants too.

http://www.burpee.com/flowers/sunflowers/sunflower-autumn-beauty-mix-organic-prod000381.html
Organic Sunflower Seeds

Anyway, back to the reasons for organic seeds. When plants are grown with chemicals and pesticides, the seeds will carry these chemicals as well. While regular seeds will probably still do well in a garden (even an organic one), these chemicals will still transfer to the plants grown from the seeds. So, for a truly organic garden, one needs to start with organic seeds.

http://www.burpee.com/vegetables/lettuce/lettuce-gourmet-blend-organic-prod000744.html
Organic Gourmet Blend Lettuce

Starting with organic seeds means that your garden will truly be an organic garden. No chemical, no pesticides that have leeched into the seeds because they were grown that way. In other words, you will know what went into your seeds and you will know what is coming out of your seeds.

The best organic gardens start with the best organic materials. This would be seeds, soil, fertilizer, and pest killers (yes there are organics for that too, we'll get into that next time). All organic materials will provide an all organic garden, which in turn will provide all organic fruits and veggies for you and your family.

Have a great day!

Renee

 

 

 

Planting times in Arizona

Growing much of anything (with the exception of cactus) in Arizona can sometimes be a challenge. Because of this, I had to go searching for planting times in the state. Apparently I did not consult this chart before planting because according to this I shouldn't have started my pumpkin until later this month.

Since the average elevation of Arizona is about 4000 feet, I went with this chart for planting times.

Photo from: http://ag.arizona.edu/pubs/garden/mg/vegetable/regions46.html#4-6
Photo from: http://ag.arizona.edu/pubs/garden/mg/vegetable/regions46.html#4-6
Photo from: http://ag.arizona.edu/pubs/garden/mg/vegetable/regions46.html#4-6
Photo from: http://ag.arizona.edu/pubs/garden/mg/vegetable/regions46.html#4-6
Photo from: http://ag.arizona.edu/pubs/garden/mg/vegetable/regions46.html#4-6
Photo from: http://ag.arizona.edu/pubs/garden/mg/vegetable/regions46.html#4-6

 

Actually, really looking at the charts, I see that there are several that I should have waited to plant. Of course this year has already been warmer than most, so maybe this isn't a bad thing. I get the feeling I will just have to wait and see. I planted everything around the first part of April, so I'm almost a month in and so far all seems to be going well.

I think the only difficulty I am having so far, is knowing how much to water. I think I am watering too much right now but I am not sure. I need to get a hydrometer to check the soil for moistness to determine if I am over or under watering. I think this will be my next garden purchase.

Planting times depend on the temperatures to be accurate. Because we have been very warm so far this year, I think most of these dates probably need to be moved up at least a month. Which seems to say that I planted at about the right time.

I still have a few different seeds that I am hoping to get in the dirt very soon, like within the next couple weeks. I look forward to sharing that with you as well.

Have a great day!

Renee

Items for Gardening

 

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES
Strawberry Plant

In every task, hobby, or special project you take on, there are always things that can and many times will make it easier to do. This post is about things that make gardening easier. Most of what is on this list are things that I either already have or plan on purchasing.

Because of where I live, the ground is not the easiest place to grow, so I do mostly container gardening. I try to pick up my containers from the dollar store, or yard sales, or use things around the house to make my own elevated planters. We have so many used tires around the house, that project was a given. However, tires aren't the only thing that makes good planters, I have seen people use shoes, buckets, and many other items most of have around the house already. Really anything that will hold soil and release excess water will work.

So, where to start with this list of things we need to make gardening easier. I guess the best place to start is with the planters. So, if you don't want to make your own I would suggest the dollar store. They have so many sizes and different types.

  1. Whiskey Barrel types
    Photo from: Dollar General
    Photo from: Dollar General
  2. Hanging Planters
  3. Plastic planters

Just to name a few. For soil, one could go to the nearest Home Depot or Loews, but I prefer organic and there I usually go to Burpee's for my soil, fertilizers and seeds because they seem to have the best selection.

4.  Starting soil

Photo from: Burpee
Photo from: Burpee

5. Fertilizer

6. Seeds

Some of the tools you might want will include items such as:

7. The seed sower or others listed here.

8.Garden Carts shown here

9. Other organic supplies shown here.

10. Starter kits to get your plants going.

Photo from: Burpee
Photo from: Burpee

Of course there are so many others things that will make gardening easier too such as kneeling mats, however, this is just a short list for starting out. I hope this has been helpful to you and let me know if there are other tools or things that you like to use in gardening. I look forward to talking to you.

Have a great day!

Renee

 

Why Should We Go Organic?

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According to Anup Shah, Is GE Food Safe?, Global Issues, Updated: January 20, 2002 there is still so much that we do not know about genetically engineered foods. I think this alone is reason enough to go with organic foods. However, some feel that genetically engineered foods will be the cure to world hunger. I'm not sure this is true.

46H

The article above also mentions that GE food crops have been smaller than regular crops. Some feel that this is just a way for the food companies to make more money rather than help anyone out of hunger.  Because we do not know the long-term effects of GE food, would it be better to go organic instead? I would have to say yes!

89H

Organic foods are produced with natural fertilizers and do not use pesticides. Pesticides leave a residue on produce that can be harmful to humans, however, according to some, these levels are low enough not to. I will let you decide whether this is fact or fiction. I personally prefer organic because of this.

179H

Yes, organic foods can be more expensive than non-organic but for me, the cost is worth it. For some, this may not be the case. Either way, I think this is a personal decision that everyone needs to make. If you can grow your own, then you're even better off because you know what you are putting into it.

corn

This is one of the reasons I have started my own garden this year. I figure this will help to cut down on costs for buying produce. I just hope that I can actually get them to grow. Another way to get organic produce at a lower cost is to look for farmer's markets in your area. Not only is this a good way to buy organic, but it also provides money to your local economy.

There is a list here that names the 12 (or more) produce items that contain the most pesticides. There is also a list on the same site that names the clean 15. These are those items that do not have to purchased organic as they contain little to no pesticide residue on them. This list is updated every year to show which produce items to buy organic and which are ok to buy non-organic. I hope this helps in your journey to feed yourself (and your family) better.

Have a great day!

Renee