Thursday, August 20, 2009

Goodbye - Weeds, Fleas and Ticks: Welcome Buckwheat

Buckwheat Sprouts - Four Days

The buckwheat seeds sprouted in the old garlic bed in four days.The buckwheat seeds were planted on a hot Friday; the following Tuesday little green shoots made the brown earth almost invisible.

Garlic use to grow in the new buckwheat bed. The garlic was harvested one day last week in between rainstorms. Hopefully,some buckwheat will mature before the killing frost arrives. Most information I have found claims buckwheat is rapid grower and ready for harvest in 8 to 12 weeks.

Buckwheat is a good cover crop; it improves the soil and it helps to suppress weed growth. The buckwheat did germinate faster than any weeds, and everyday seems to grow faster; so maybe it will give the weeds a taste of their own medicine. The plan is re-planted the bed back into garlic before Jack Frosts comes along.

There is another advantage. Buckwheat should bloom when it is four weeks old. This bed should start to bloom by mid September. The buckwheat, on this schedule, should be helpful to the late season bees and other pollinators. Most everything else will be dying back as the buckwheat begins. At least, that's my theory.

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Fleas and Ticks: Bad, Bad, Creatures

Fleas and ticks are nasty critters for both people and pets. Many of the available spot-on treatments contain some powerful insecticides. If you need to use these dangerous chemicals, be careful, follow the directions closely, and save the container in case there is an emergency with you or your pet. The FDA has listed some new advisories and warnings on their Web site linked below.

More natural and organic methods for being a responsible pet owner include brushing the cat or dog with a flea comb, herbal collars and bedding and daily household vacuuming.
No Fleas and Ticks without toxic chemicals makes for happy pets and people, like Yaw and Mike (photo - try to find the hidden beer - hint-in the flowers.) Yaw's real name is Yahataw, a Sioux word meaning "coyote".

More information can be found at the EPA Web site, Humane Society and the Center for Public Integrity. These sites can be a real eye opener for some people who don't get much of a chance to follow some of these issues.

Consumer Note:

While researching material about fleas and ticks, I happened on a natural fly repellent. The flies yesterday were flat out nasty o I went with this. In a spray bottle. Add a couple drops of dish soap and fill with water. Dang it work. Amazing. It kills these pests. Now to my quart spray bottle I have added a little baking soda (½ teaspoon) and ½ teaspoon of cooking oil. Now I've been spraying Yaw before and after using the flea comb and getting flies in between. It seems to help.

For the Heck of It:
There are two kinds of people in this world. There are those who walk into a room and say, “There you are.” and others who say: “Here I am.”

The Lemon Queen Sunflowers, photo above, should bloom this week....finally.

Blogs I like to read and recommend:

Vincent di Fondi- Vincent just published his first novel, Blessed Abduction, available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Check his blog to learn more about the novel and his new home in Costa Rica.

On Your Way to the Top – Kathleen always has good insights

New York's Southern Tier – A travel destination in nearby New York by Richardson

Urban Veggie Blog – Dan is located in nearby Ontario and is a good gardener.

Other articles I have written for Helium can be found by clicking the title; others can be found below in the box at HubPages.

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