Ward House

Garden dreams with some yarn thrown in

The first pair of mittens crochet turned out so well that both girls will get a pair… as soon as I’m finished making them.  This pattern will be worked instead the one I created.  

Nothing new on the renovation work.  Last night and tonite were/will be spent fixing other people’s hot water heaters; replacing the elements.  I do not believe we will be able to leave that hole in the kitchen ceiling as a vent.  This evening, when trying to start a fire in the stove, I kept feeling this strong breeze down my neck.  Looked up to see the hole.  Hmmm.  Nope, no decorative vent there.  Too much cold air.  Brrr.

All else on the home front is quite.  Both girls are away visiting their dad (just 1.5 hours south of here) and they will be home in time for New Years.  Snow still abounds and the garden is lying in a blanket of white.  Next season I hope to have more going in the cold frame department. In the meantime searching for doable pest control has begun.  The HGTV site has some good info on critter control:

  • For slugs:  “For example, all too often the slugs in her garden take over her flowers. Since the mother slug lays her eggs at the base of the most tender, succulent plants, the babies proceed to pulverize her precious petunias. But Binetti sprays a homemade half-and-half mixture of ammonia and water on the slugs. “In order for the solution to work, you have to spray it directly on the slugs,” she says. The bonus is that the ammonia converts into nitrogen, so as you’re killing the slugs, you’re actually fertilizing your plants. And Binetti suggests using the leftovers to wash the windows.”I use beer as snail bait,” adds master gardener Paul James. “I put a little bit in a shallow container, and I place it in the garden. They crawl in, but they can’t crawl out.”
  • Cabbage worms: “To protect her cabbage, Binetti sprinkles self-rising flour on the cabbage leaves. The worms eat the flour, and when the sun comes out, the worms explode.

    Just take a cup or two of self-rising flour, pour into a small paper bag and roll up the top of the bag. Poke a few holes in the base of the bag and sprinkle the flour over the cabbage. Binetti recommends applying the flour to your plants during the early morning since that’s when the worms are most actively eating. Once the mercury starts rising, so will the worms.”

Info on controlling moles and such is also included (chili powder).  My biggest battle, other than with cabbage loopers, are shield bugs.  I think an order of Praying Mantis  and tachnid flies is in order.  I had heard that mantis need numerous flowers for them to  hang around the garden.  Is that true? 

As with any search, asking the right question is key to finding the information you want.  Praying mantis cocoons are the easiest to find: Planet Natural and Buglogical are the two I’ve found so far.  Anyone have another supplier? 

This tidbit was also helpful:

What types of plants will attract more beneficial insects? Generally, they are attracted to plants that have small flowers such as golden marguerite, cosmos (especially the tall white variety), lemon gem marigold, zinnia, tansy, dill, fennel, Queen Anne’s lace (Daucus carota), spearmint, buckwheat, caraway, basket of gold alyssum, sedums, yarrow and coriander. If you want to attract a specific beneficial insect, a little research may help you learn what that insect prefers. For example, ladybugs are especially drawn to yarrows, golden marguerite, dill and fennel. Of course, you’ll want to select plants that will look good in your garden too.

In looking at how my garden is set up, I believe that permanent beds need to be installed along the perimeter and in these perm beds, the herbs and other beneficial plants can be grown.  And with what shall we build these perm beds?  That will be my next search.


December 29, 2009 - Posted by | Crafting, family, Gardening


  1. You could simply move to zone 4, at which points everything (pests included) die over the winter. 🙂

    Comment by Meadowlark | December 29, 2009 | Reply

  2. Well, there is that. =) I think I like zone 6. Warm enough in the summers and the winters are cold yet bearable. Not icebergish like a 4. *big grin*

    Comment by Annette | December 29, 2009 | Reply

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