Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Gardening Experiments

Biodiversity in the garden is something that I value.  When I am planning my garden, I definitely consider each branch of the evolutionary tree and try to include members from each family.  Some things, like fruit trees, are out of the question because I don't have enough room.

I try to think about what goes (grows) well together.  This concept is called "companion planting" and it is interesting to think that a small organic garden (using no pesticides) can be grown when plants that help each other are planted together, in nearby containers.  Some plants are grown to be a "trap" or "sacrificial" crop.  These plants attract predators away from your crop plants.  I use marigold.

Another way to scare pests is to use pinwheels as scarecrows.  The pinwheels I made are much prettier than some fake bird.  I got a pattern (shown at left), some colored straws, some corsage pins, and some gels that are used for stage lighting.  They are easy to assemble.  I mounted the straws on bamboo kebab skewers and stuck them in the ground throughout my garden.

I got the idea when we were planning an activity around Earth Day a few years ago.  I thought it would be great to talk about capturing wind energy.  It was perfect since the day we did the activity was really windy.  A year or so later, we were talking about color and light so I went to a DJ store and bought a bunch of light gels in all different colors.  These made pretty durable pinwheels.  The thing that actually degraded first was the straw, in particular the red one.  Maybe it was in the most direct sunlight.

What are your ideas for organic gardening?  How do you deter pests?

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