Stocking My Garden Shed Shelves

Stocking My Garden Shed Shelves

When I heard that on April 14th and 15th the Bonide company was going to donate their profits from the sale of their products in our store to Habit for Humanity Cape Cod, they had my attention. I routinely use many of their products through the course of the summer, so here was a change to be prepared for the season ahead and do something good for a local charity as well. As I started to make a shopping list in preparation for that weekend, I realized that our customers might be interested in knowing what some of our go-to products are, and why we keep them on hand.

Diatomaceous Earth I use DE for a number of purposes. First, when ever I plant some new annuals or veggies that are right-out-of-the-greenhouse-tender, I dust them lightly with DE to protect them from earwigs and slugs the first week that they are in the garden. I usually only have to dust them that one time, and I do it right after planting. I also dust new seedlings as they come out of the ground. Plants such as zinnias, chard, and beets, for example. This prevents the earwigs, cutworms and flea beetles from doing them in before they have a chance to develop any foliage. DE is a must for your emerging dahlia foliage for the same reason…earwigs love dahlias, and one application is usually enough to protect the young plants. I also use DE to knock back populations of squash bugs and cucumber beetles in the vegetable garden. Words of Caution: Don’t use DE more than necessary, and never dust flowers where bees forage…it’s an organic product but it doesn’t discriminate between an earwig and a bee. And don’t spread DE on a windy day when you will breath the dust, or wear a mask for protection – breathing dust of any kind isn’t good for your lungs.

Turbo This product is added to a sprayer so that whatever you’re using in the garden actually sticks onto the foliage. So, for example, when we spray our trees with Spinosad to kill the Winter Moth or Gypsy Moth larvae, we add Turbo to the sprayer. When we mix up an organic fungicide to use on our tomatoes for Early Blight, or our squash to control powdery mildew, we add Turbo. When we spray the broccoli and kale with Bt to control the cabbage loper larvae the Turbo insures that the Bt will actually coat the leaves and be there when the larvae start to munch. If you spray your plants with compost or seaweed-emulsion tea as a foliage feed, Turbo will help those organic feeds stick to the leaves so they can be absorbed. Basically, anything we put in our pump sprayer has Turbo in it.

Mite-X  This has been my product of choice for spider mites, and since it is labeled for thrips, this year I will use it on my hydrangeas to see if it’s good at knocking the chilli thrips (Scirtothrips dorsalis) population down. Chilli thrips distort the foliage on hydrangeas, and it’s a relatively new pest on Cape Cod. I’ve always appreciated that this product is made of a range of plant oils, so I can use it on my indoor plants as well as outside.

Insecticidal Soap  Insecticidal soap should be on everyone’s shelf for use on aphids, whitefly, scale and assorted other common insects. The soap smothers the insects and eggs it covers, and actually penetrates insects’ cuticles, which causes cell collapse and desiccation. It’s a good “first response” insecticide and when used promptly often brings an infestation quickly under control.

Revitalize  I was pleased to see this fungicide on our shelves this year, because it offers us another choice in organic fungus control. The active ingredient is Bacillus amyloliquefaciens strain D747, one of the beneficial bacteria that out-competes fungi. I use such bio-fungicides  to control early blight on tomatoes, powdery mildew on squash, and leaf spot on chard where needed. And for those of you who have had difficulty with damping off (sudden death of seedlings), know that this product is listed on several extension sites as being helpful for those fungal conditions.  I will find the concentrate most useful and will most likely get two or three bottles for use all summer, since we spray our tomatoes every ten days to two weeks to dampen down the early blight.

Mosquito Beater If you’re planning on having barbecues, firepit gatherings, or other outdoor events this summer, you’ll want to have Mosquito Beater on hand. We used this two days before a large wedding was held on our property and the ceremony, cocktail hour and evening reception were completely mosquito-free! And because it’s made of plant-based oils, you don’t have to worry about harming dogs, kids, birds or other critters. So that’s my shopping list for April 14th and 15th at Country Garden…and that’s just the beginning of the helpful products you’ll find for your home, yard and gardens. 

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