Eco Garden

Your First Vegetable Garden

Gardening with children is great fun and you can begin in any month of the year. Check out this huge guide to starting a vegetable garden at GardenersPath.com.

Kids love to plant seeds, eventually seeing them sprout, and finally harvesting what they've grown. Or maybe they just love digging around in the dirt and making a big mess!

Either way, starting a vegetable garden is likely to be something your child will love. It's also a great way to bond as parent and child while growing healthy food that you can eventually eat. The whole process is steeped in tradition and there's something about it that appeals to a primitive side of us humans – those both young and old!

Growing and tending to a vegetable garden also teaches kids a little bit about nature. It would be a shame to grow up without spending time outside, interacting directly with mother nature. A simple vegetable garden can spark a lifelong interest in the outdoors and in nature!

Vegetable gardens take some work. They need to be looked after in order to flourish, and this can make for a great sense of pride for your child as they take responsibility for something and see the results of their efforts over time. This is a useful skills for like as well – Learning that diligence and hard work towards your goals gives you a much better chance of succeeding will serve a child into early adulthood and beyond.

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Posted by Eco Warrior - April 15, 2018 at 7:08 am

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Autumn Gardening Projects to Keep Your Backyard Green and Breathtaking

Autumn is one of the best parts of the year for gardening, and you can do so much every day in order to prepare your plants for the upcoming weather changes. Weather conditions starting from March are fit for planting herbs and veggies, but also different sorts of flowers in all colours, as these can blossom even at low temperatures. No matter how big or small your garden is, you can find a quiet corner to relax and enjoy some gardening you’ll be proud of later.

Start with preparing the soil

First, you’ll need to build a strong foundation for your plants. You can achieve this by using fertilizers and nourishing the ground that’s still warm from the summer heat. This will provide your plants with enough nutrients to start growing, as well as with some additional pesticides so that they will start to spread quite soon. You need to keep the soil moist: after being constantly dry during the summer, these cooler autumn days are a true relief not only for the plants, but also the soil. This doesn’t mean you should reduce watering, though; it just means you won’t have to do it as frequently. Although the surface seems like it’s moist, deep down, the soil is still dry and you’ll need to water it quite a lot before the water reaches the roots of your plants.

Plant without worrying about it

Autumn is a glorious time for many plants because the weather conditions suit lots of different species. The most obvious choice would be planting bulbs, because they can survive these conditions and will add some much-needed colour to your backyard. You’d be surprised at the variety of colours, sizes and shapes these flowers come in. Moreover, as they reach their full potential in the spring, this is the perfect time to plant them and show them love before they start blooming. Another great choice is Boronia, a native Australian shrub famous for its unique, fresh, perfume-like smell. Not only do its pink, yellow and green colours really pop in any garden, but they also stand out thanks to this overpowering smell.

It’s all about the design

Because of the specific weather conditions, many Aussies decide to ask experts for help when it comes to planning their backyard. They know how changeable the weather is, so they often seek out professional help to make sure their plants will survive until the warm weather comes back. People often have a tendency of wanting to do everything on their own and, to be honest, this isn’t always the best solution. Landscape design is a complicated process that includes all the landscape planning, planting and incorporating additional water features. This is why it’s worth hiring experts in landscaping from North Shore to keep your garden flawless and ensure you’ll get the most out of it by the springtime.

Lawn care and fertilizers

After a hot and dry summer, your lawn is quite dry and far away from its signature green colour, so autumn is the perfect time to take care of it. First of all, you need to recover your lawn and fertilize it without using any strong products you used during spring and summer. You need to find a solution that contains a low percentage of nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus, as these repair damaged roots and help new ones grow. Time organization is crucial here because you’ll need to do all of this before the temperature seriously drops and prevents your lawn from recovering before the cold weather. This will ultimately result in strong roots and thick grass in the spring. What you also need to take care of is your garden’s hygiene, and although this seems like something you can skip, make sure not to do so. Clean all the garbage, remove the grass after mowing your lawn and see if there are bugs eating your plants or trees, because this can be a rather serious problem. This is the time to react; don’t rely on the cold winter temperature to remove the unwanted guests from your backyard, but be prepared for any situation. After that’s done, just pay attention to the final touches and enjoy your garden and its beautiful features.

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Posted by Eco Warrior - March 22, 2018 at 11:08 am

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How to Create an Eco-Friendly Garden

You may never even consider that your garden could be anything other than eco-friendly, but you’d be surprised how environmentally unfriendly a garden can be. If you have just a couple of harmful habits – using pesticides, not recycling and mowing with a gas lawnmower are just some of these – it’s high time you changed that and did something good for the environment. There is a variety of ways for you to create a sustainable garden and be proud of making a positive impact on the world’s climate problem. Whether you have a garden for aesthetic purposes or really like growing your own fruits and vegetables, it’s important to make a change in your daily life.

Make a compost

While you can purchase the final product from your local supplier, making your own compost has numerous benefits. Invest in a compost bin and separate your garbage in order to create enough supplements to improve your soil. This easy way of using your waste can give your plants the nutrients they need to grow and prevent disease. To start this project, begin by collecting food leftovers and kitchen scraps, but be careful not to use meat. In addition to that, you can also make a compost out of leaves and use it to enrich the soil for your garden.

Conserve water

If you want to keep our planet safe, you obviously can’t always use water from your garden hose to water your grass and plants. This will cost you money and is the total opposite of being eco-friendly. The most sustainable option would be to place containers that will gather rainwater which you can later use for your garden. You can also choose plants which don’t require that much water and thus minimize the size of your lawn and effectively reduce the total amount of water usage. Water conservation plays a big part in decreasing the use of chemicals in the soil because of the chlorine it contains.

Look for advice and help

While some people like to do everything on their own, many still like to consult landscaping experts to help them create a perfect garden design. That way, you can have a great start and work from there to create a true natural oasis. Having someone to help you learn the basics can be crucial when it comes to almost every part of gardening. Knowing which plants go together and which you can keep close by is the first thing any experienced gardener will teach you.

Attract friendly birds

Eco Garden

There are so many bugs you’ll want in your garden, no matter how strange that may sound in the beginning. Not all the bugs are harmful and you should consider this option as a supplement to chemicals. Bugs are a part of the ecosystem, and you can use this natural circle to your benefit and get familiar which birds and insects are good or bad for your garden. Buy a birdhouse and attract the ones that are good to have in your garden and you’ll see the change they make soon enough.

Use only a few pesticides

If you need to use pesticides in order to prevent a disease or kill insects, opt for the one that targets those threats directly without leaving marks on the entire plant. Try to see if there’s a more natural and eco-friendly replacement and try to solve your problems that way. Many of them degrade rapidly with a little help of water and lots of different biopesticides can be the best solution for your garden. Be careful and read the instruction very thoroughly before using them on your fruits and vegetables because it’s important to know when you can start consuming the final product.

Eco Garden

Since environmental issues and sustainability have been gaining more and more attention, people need to start doing their share of the work to keep the planet safe. By taking steps like these, you too can make a change without investing too much time and money into it, yet still feel proud of your work. A few everyday rules could be beneficial in the long run and keep the final products as aesthetically pleasing and welcoming as it was before.

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Posted by Eco Warrior - December 11, 2017 at 5:42 pm

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How to Grow Your Own Superfood

Being healthy does not require doctors and medical help as long as you take care of yourself at a most basic level. While the food will be your medicine, superfood will grant you superpowers of longevity, amazing immune system, and radiant younger look. It doesn’t even have to cost a fortune since you can have your own ‘’pharmacy’’ in the secret of your backyard, where you can have an unlimited feast on your medicine without any side effects. Growing these amazing fruits and veggies is fairly easy, so green up your fingers and supply your family with healthy bites.

Goji Berries

Related to tomatoes, these are enormously healthy and rich in nutrients that improve eyesight, boost the immune system and delays the aging process. Goji berries are easy to grow since they will make it on any soil type, as long as there is plenty of sunlight and regular watering.  Goji starts fruiting in midsummer until the first frost in the fall and make sure to cut them by two-thirds each fall to keep the solid shape.

Goji Berries

Quinoa

Rich in protein, amino acids, and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, quinoa is more than beneficial in prevention and treatment of diseases. Although quinoa is proven to be difficult to grow for commercial use, you can grow this plant in the garden. The best time for planting quinoa is April when the ground starts warming. Place some well-rotted manure underneath and harvest it in the fall. Before rubbing the seeds, hang the plants to dry for a while.

Oregano

Even though used as a spice, oregano is full of nutrients that can boost immunity, improve heart, bones, and digestion. In addition to that, oregano has antibacterial properties and is highly beneficial in improving the functionality of metabolism. You can easily grow it indoors since it requires fairly moderate temperatures, a bit drier soil and six to eight hours of the sun.

Oregano

Blueberries

A handful of blueberries a day will reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer, not to mention that they are a powerful antioxidant. Blueberries can thrive only in a full sun and well-drained soil. Consider planting them in raised beds to ensure drainage and add some organic fertilizer. Since they are shallow rooted plants, they require more water than rest of the fruits.

Broccoli

Since it is rich in vitamin C, fibers and folate, broccoli reduces the risk of heart diseases. It is a cool season crop, but it can be planted in spring also. Broccoli requires full sun, cool weather, rich soil and proper watering. For maintaining the moisture of the soil install Hoselink retractable hose reels in your garden, since it will provide the right level of moist during the sunny days while it won’t take too much space.

Broccoli

Sweet Potatoes

They are the most nutritional veggie out there full of minerals, fibers, and antioxidants. Sweet potatoes, aside from being delicious is a top source of vitamin A and which is more important, it is quite easy to grow. They can be grown in a poor soil as long as you are adding some organic compost and avoid watering them too much for they can easily rot.

Kale

A king of healthy greens, kale is packed with vitamins, minerals, fibers and numerous cancer-fighting substances. Kale is cold weather crop which tastes best after the frost. Kale prefers full sun, average fertility soil and well-drained but moist ground. Avoid planting the kale near beans, tomatoes or strawberries.

Kale

Ginger

A superfood worthy of its label, ginger is super healthy and can help in fighting various infections, inflammations, pains, and morning sickness. It also improves brain function and protects against Alzheimer's disease. Growing ginger is simple as long as you have rich soil and keep it away from direct sunlight. Also, ginger prefers humidity and moist ground, but avoid overwatering for it may drain away the nutrients.

Almost every fruit and veggie has a health elevating effect while the superfoods listed above is just a small part of Nature’s pharmacy. With some minimal effort and a little dirt on the hands, you can have a healthy treasure growing in your garden, providing the best quality food for yourself and your loved ones.

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Posted by Eco Warrior - July 26, 2017 at 9:45 am

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3 Natural Alternatives to Pesticide for Garden Pest Control

The damaging consequences of pesticide exposure have been well-documented the past couple of decades. From causing long-term health effects like birth defects to being linked to long-term bee population declines. Although industrial pesticide is largely seen as the culprit, we should still collectively play our part to help reduce pesticide exposure to our surrounding communities.

Instead of using chemical pesticide, try any of these natural eco-friendly methods to keep the pests at bay. These methods may not necessarily give instant results, but they are much more sustainable over the long-term and more beneficial for your health.

Biological Control

How to Create an Eco Garden: The Practical Guide to Greener, Planet-friendly Gardening

Not all insects are pests. As gardeners, it's important to differentiate the good bugs from the bad ones. Biological control is a method of reducing pests by introducing natural enemies. For example, one way of keeping caterpillar populations in check is by introducing natural predators like ground beetles and damsel bugs. These bugs, for the most part, will leave your precious plants alone as their diet primarily consists of smaller animals like the caterpillar.

While some beneficial insects can be bought and shipped to your doorsteps, it is more sustainable over the long-term to attract beneficial insects that may already exist in your area. There are typically three conditions that need to be fulfilled to attract them: shelter, water, and food. The type of shelter will vary by species. For example, ground beetles like to take shelter in areas that have a diversity of perennial plants. Praying mantis, on the other hand, like to stick around foliage plants, where they can easily blend in and wait for their next prey. Keep in mind that biological control isn't limited to just insect predators. There are plenty of other wildlife species that could play a beneficial role. Examples include: birds, hedgehogs, frogs, and bats.

Pest-Repelling Plants

Growing vegetable or fruit crops in your backyard? Another natural pest control method to consider is companion planting. This refers to the concept of growing plants that provide some sort of benefit to its surroundings. Such benefits could include repelling pests, providing nutrients, or providing shade and support to the main crops.

In the context of pest control, one great companion plant is the lemongrass. A common ingredient found in natural insect repellents is citronella oil, which is extracted from lemongrass species. According to the National Pesticide information Center, citronella oil could repel pests by masking scents that are attractive to insects. Placing lemongrass plants around your backyard is unlikely to fully ward off pests like mosquitoes but it could at least form the first barrier of defense to ward off annoying pests.

DIY Natural Traps

Citronella oil is not the only natural ingredient that could help ward off pests from your backyard. Consider creating your own DIY pest traps by using other natural products such as diatomaceous earth, vinegar, and baking soda. Here is one interesting fact of the day. Diatomaceous earth is made from the fossilized remains of marine phytoplankton. The powder has sharp microscopic edges that lacerate the exoskeleton of most insects that come in contact with it. This eventually causes the insect to dehydrate and die. If you plan on creating your own natural pest traps then do be patient. Depending on the scale of the pest infestation, it could take anywhere between a few days to a few weeks to see notable results.

Pest season will be soon on its way so go the eco-friendly route by using natural alternatives to chemical pesticide products.

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Posted by Eco Warrior - May 19, 2017 at 5:27 am

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What’s Plaguing My Plants: An Organic Guide

Whether you’re gardening as a hobby or a necessity, pests always seem to find you. Using organic techniques in your garden is the healthiest way to keep the environment and the people around you protected. Keeping your garden toxin-free shouldn’t be a big task because the green way doesn’t necessarily have to be the hard way.

The problem with pesticides and synthetic solutions is that they have a faster turnaround and you see results quicker. Because of this, users tend to think these results are better than the alternative. However, although synthetic pesticides work quickly, in the long run they tend to wane, which will once again leave your garden unprotected. Organic solutions are slow to work, but are your goals short-term, or long-term? We always recommend using multiple organic combinations in your garden for the best results.

Your focus for keeping pests away should be constantly enhancing your soil. The soil in your garden will be your first line of defense again pests and other critters. Regardless of how fertile the soil starts out being, it will always deplete as time passes, since this is one of your plant’s main source of nutrients. That means if your soil’s nutrients are lessened, your plants will be unhealthy and will become a natural target for pests and diseases.

While your soil should be a point of focus in your garden, another organic solution would be to attract predatory insects. This may sound crazy, but the pests that are eating your garden are just as attractive as your plants, but to other creepy crawlies. So, how do you know which pest is good versus bad? And how can you attract the good critters? By growing specific plants in your garden, you will lure the good predators as well as pollinators and other small creatures like birds that would love to snack on those pesky garden pests. Check out the infographic below from eReplacementParts for more information on keeping your garden healthy, green, and toxin-free!

101 Organic Gardening Hacks: Eco-friendly Solutions to Improve Any Garden

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Posted by Eco Warrior - April 13, 2017 at 8:40 am

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Preparing Your Garden for Spring

It may still be chilly, cold and wet outside, but there are plenty of things you can do to prepare your garden before spring arrives.

Plants and bulbs may be laying dormant, but as the days grow longer and the earth begins to warm up things are stirring underground. It may be too late to plant spring bulbs for this year, but other plants and shrubs can be looked after and when it's raining cats and dogs you can also use the time to tidy the shed, make sure your tools are ready for use or even build a new compost bin.

In this infographic we offer ideas and tips on how to prepare your garden ready for spring. We take a look at a variety of gardening related chores that could, and should, be carried out prior to your garden bursting into life.

We've also included suggestions for flowers that will provide colour to your borders, along with ideas for mapping out your garden and planning a seed graph; both of which can be carried out indoors, so there's no excuses for inclement weather putting a dampener on your garden projects.

Read on to find out what you can do to prepare your garden ready for the start of spring and into the warmer months.

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Posted by Eco Warrior - February 15, 2017 at 4:05 pm

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Ultimate Rooftop Garden

As summer is at an end it's never been a better time to make a rooftop garden. the weather conditions are ideal, as there's not much risk of plants dying or drying out from lack of water, unless you forget to water them during any unforeseen dry spells. At this time of year occasional frosts are rare, which gives plants time to start growing before Jack frost nibs at their tender leaves.

This infographic offers some fabulous rooftop garden inspiration for those new to gardening, including hints and tips of what needs to be done before you rush off to the garden centre to start purchasing plants. We've also included drainage ideas, tips for selecting the right type of plants for your rooftop area and choosing the correct type of compost or soil to suit the growing conditions and your plants.

You don't want to be spending your valuable spare time weeding and pruning so we've also included some advice of plant care and maintenance.

To give you a flavour of the potential end results the infographic includes some of the most amazing rooftop gardens from around the world. Believe us, you'll be astounded and inspired!

Read on, and start planning and preparing your own fabulous rooftop garden this weekend.

rooftop-garden-guide

Rooftop Garden

Rooftop Garden

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Posted by Eco Warrior - October 21, 2016 at 6:13 am

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Revive Your Outdoors To An Oasis

The trend for decking has grown immensely in recent years, mostly due to its sleek and luxurious look and low-maintenance factor once installed. Home decking can really transform your outdoor space into a desirable area where you can relax, entertain and generally just get outside more and escape to your very own haven.

When it comes to decking styles, composite decking is particularly a winner due to its recycled content and numerous benefits compared to wood decking. If you’re after a low-maintenance solution for your garden renovation, composite decking requires the least amount of maintenance and effort and isn’t as harsh on the environment, with up to 40% of the materials being recycled materials.

When putting the plans together for your decking, there are plenty of factors to consider and it can become quite a challenge when making those big decisions. The below infographic from 4everdeck outlines the key benefits of decking and the main factors you should consider when putting your home renovation plans together. Enjoy!

revive-your-outdoors-to-an-oasis

Decks and Decking: 15 Step-by-step Projects - Quick and Easy Ideas to Enhance Your Garden (Weekend DIY)

Decks and Decking: 15 Step-by-step Projects

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Posted by Eco Warrior - August 20, 2016 at 5:23 am

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10 Plant Varieties That Keep Pests Away

Summer time means firing up the grill and inviting your friends over for a great barbecue. However, most of the time unexpected guests end up crashing the party.

No, we are not talking about your in-laws. It is the pesky bugs who enjoy a great bash in your BBQ party. But you can take comfort in knowing that there are ways to deal with gnats, mosquitoes, flies and other notorious bugs. And it doesn’t involve engaging in chemical warfare or covering yourself with sticky sprays.  

For going outdoors and having fun, all you need to do is strategically plant insect-repelling plants on your patio or the garden. The essential oil of these plants is a natural bug repellent and is a chemical free pest control solution, something insects tend to avoid. Furthermore, you can even use most of these plants to create your natural bug repellent.

Beneficial Plants

1) Marigolds

Marigold

Besides making the landscape more beautiful and attractive, the peculiar smell that marigolds have repels mosquitoes and insects. You can get a seed or a potted marigold plant from floral department or nursery. Make sure to plant the marigolds near the entry points, where mosquitoes drop in like windows, doors, balcony, and deck.

2) Basil

Basil

The basil helps in repelling mosquitoes and houseflies. Place the basil in a pot near the door of your home and especially in the outdoor area where you often relax.  Do you know basil is delicious and makes salads appetizing? It is used in various chicken and pork recipes and even in soups too.

With fresh basil, you can make an insect repellent spray. All you need is 4 ounces of hot water and 5 or 7 ounces of fresh and clean basil leaves. Add the basil leaves to the hot water and allow it to steep for many hours. Then you need to remove the leaves and squeeze all the moisture from the leaves. Add vodka to the mixture and store it in the refrigerator. When going out to the garden, spray it on the plants.

3) Citronella

Citronella

One of the common ingredients used in insect repellents is citronella. The presence of the strong smell makes it one of the best mosquito attractants. This perennial clumping grass grows 6 to 7 feet. You can keep it in a huge pot or plant it in the ground. The citronella plant thrives in areas where there are good drainage and best sunlight.

Organic Gardening: The Natural No-dig Way full colour edn

Organic Gardening: The Natural No-dig Way

4) Lavender

Lavender

Lavender helps in repelling fleas, moths, mosquitoes and flies. For centuries, it has been used to provide pleasant and sweet fragrance to clothes drawers and homes. Even though humans like the smell of lavender; flies, mosquitoes and other unwanted insects avoid it.  

Make sure to plant the lavender in the sunny area of your garden or at the entryways of your house. This will ensure that you have a pest-free home. Also, you can use the oil extracted from the lavender flower as a mosquito repellent. Just apply it on your skin when you are going to the garden or lawn.

5) Alliums

Alliums

Plants belonging to the Allium family like the dramatic Allium giganteum stalk up to about 6 feet. They are regarded as one of the best natural insecticides.  They help in repelling various pests and insects like aphids, slugs, cabbage worms and carrot flies which often plague your vegetable garden.

Peppers, tomatoes, cabbage, potatoes, kohlrabi, carrots, and broccoli are the plants that get the benefit from this pest repellant. Also, the allium helps in keeping the aphids away from rose bushes.   

6) Lemon Thyme

Lemon Thyme

If you want a plant that can repel mosquitoes, then try the lemon thyme. This is a handy herb which adapts to all kinds of shallow and rocky soil. It will thrive well in your rock garden, herb garden and even on the front border as long as there is enough sunlight.

One particular characteristic of this plant is that it will repel pesky mosquitoes but with a little bit of assistance. To release its chemical, you need to bruise the leaves. To do that just cut off a few of its stem and rub them on your hands.

7) Lemon Balm

Lemon Balm

The aroma of lemon balm (aka horsemint) helps in warding off mosquitoes. However, it attracts various pollinators like butterflies and bees. Furthermore, this plant is one of the fast growing and drought resistant plant which reseeds itself.

8) Mint

Mint

Mint plant is often used for repelling mosquitoes. It is best if you grow it in pots as it will spread aggressively if planted in the soil. Once they get established, then it is quite difficult to remove them. Cutting mint in the mulch will save cabbage, broccoli, and turnips from pest attacks.  

9) Chrysanthemums

Chrysanthemums

It is often used to repel ants, roaches, ticks, Japanese beetles, fleas, lice, silverfish, spider mites, bedbugs, root-knot nematodes, harlequin bugs and other harmful insects. The ingredient pyrethrum is commonly found in chrysanthemums is an effective insect repellant.  

Since the pyrethrum can destroy jumping and flying insects, they are often used in US homes and gardens as insecticides. Also, they are used in pet shampoos, indoor sprays, and even aerosol bombs. So, you need to be cautious while using them in any form.

10) Petunias

Petunias

The petunias plant repels tomato hornworms, aphids, leafhoppers, asparagus beetles, and even squash bugs. Many people think of the petunias as one of the best and natural pesticides. As they are available in various bright colors, they are quite famous. Also, it requires less maintenance and can grow in containers, garden beds and hanging baskets.

Conclusion

Various pest repellant plants help in keeping deadly insects away from your lawn and garden. So, next time when you reach for a chemical bug spray, think again. Take a minute and think about the harmful chemicals you are going to inject to your plants. Instead, you can take the nature’s arsenal for fighting these destructive pests.


Bio

Hi! I’m Angela from nycitypestcontrol.com and I write, curate, and get in touch with people who are active in the pest control arena. At NYCity, we are always at the forefront of finding new and innovative methods to control insect and rodent infestations without excessive collateral damage.

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Posted by Eco Warrior - June 25, 2016 at 9:59 am

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