using used tea bags to cover pot drainage holes

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I saw this interesting suggestion I thought I should share.  Instead of putting your tea bags in your garbage (or compost) place them in the bottom of your pots before planting.  This helps keep the soil from draining out when you water and allows some nutrient to seep into your soil.

Via LifeHacker

All About the Tomato Hornworm: From How to ID Them to Best Tomato Hornworm

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Tomato hornworms are common garden pests. This post will show you how to identify them and the best tomato hornworm control methods.

About the Tomato Hornworm

The tomato hornworm becomes the five-spotted hawk moth. In its caterpillar form, it is incredibly disastrous to gardens and landscapes.

How to ID the Tomato Hornworm

The tomato hornworm is 4-5 inches long, once full size. Typically they are the largest caterpillars you will see in your garden. Green in color it has white V-shaped marks. Their color and markings help camouflage them in your garden. In fact, you may see their destruction before you see the actual caterpillar.

Tomato hornworms have enormous appetites, destroying entire leaves, stems and immature fruits.

Given their name, many incorrectly assume they only attack tomatoes. However, they also attack eggplants, peppers and potatoes. In a matter of days they can completely defoliate a plant.

If you don’t recognize their damage or spot one, you can ID these vicious pests by their black droppings, called frass, found at the base of plants or on leaves.

How to Control Tomato Hornworms

One of the simplest ways to control tomato hornworms is to pick them off whenever you see them. They are large and easy to grab when you spot them. Either squish them or spray them with organic pesticides.

Handpicking, however, can be time-consuming. Only best for very small gardens, handpicking will ultimately leave behind some of the caterpillars. And because even just one caterpillar will cause extensive damage, handpicking is often not the most effective way to end their infestation.

Beneficial Insects

There are insects that eat the tomato hornworm, such as the praying mantis. However, beneficial insects may not be in your garden. If you add these beneficial insects, they will end up leaving for other food sources once they can’t find pests in your garden anymore. Thus, relying on them as your sole form of pest control gives the pests another chance of infestation.

Applying BT

BT, or Bacillus Thuringiensis, can be used to treat a tomato hornworm infestation. However, it only works on small larvae, leaving the plant-destroying adults behind to continue their extensive damage.

Best Organic Tomato Hornworm Control

They make really effective organic pesticide products. They are easy to use and kill the tomato hornworms at all stages, ensuring you a healthy organic garden.

Available as sprays and powders, the most effective ones:

· Kill 45 different insect species

· Exterminate them at all stages, from eggs to adults

· Are ready-to-use

· Are OMRI Listed, which means they’ve been reviewed and approved for use in organic gardening.

Guest Author Byline This guest blog post is written by Michelle Anderson who specializes in insect control, including organic pesticides and insect killer.

How to cure garlic

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Last year it was raining when I pulled my garlic and it almost seems like it hasn’t stopped running up to a couple of weeks ago.  So unfortunately I was unable to properly let my garlic lay out in the sun for a few days to completely dry out.  I did the best I could and braided the garlic and hung it up in my garage to keep the vampires away and to provide some awesome flavor to my cooking.  Given my garage has some moisture and varying heat many of the cloves still were moist enough to start sprouting though I did have a good supply most of the winter.

Fortunately this year with out mild summer the garlic grew great and was able to pull them out a week ago and strangely enough there even was some sunshine to get them dry this year.  I have taken a spare length of wire shelving and use it to move them in the garage at night and out to bask in the sunshine during the day. 

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Now they have a good tan off to braid them up and find a drier place to store them and should have garlic to eat for at least 6 months. 

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As for the sprouting garlic…will put that in the ground now for next year.