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South Central Gardening: Garden Tips

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Advice on aphids, easier weeding, and the true value of quality tools.

aphids

Watch for Insects
Aphids are yellow to green or red, and you'll find them on the underside of leaves and emerging leaves and buds. They suck plant juices and spread viruses. Dislodge them with a heavy spray of water. Or, spray insecticidal soap to smother aphids while not harming natural predators such as ladybug larvae.

Stop Weeds Before They Start
Use a compostable weed barrier such as cardboard between plant rows in the vegetable garden, and then cover it with mulch - grass clippings, shredded leaves, pine needles, or straw. An organic weed preventer such as Preen Vegetable Garden Weed Preventer can also be used to stop weed seeds from sprouting. The active ingredient in this product is corn gluten, and it is safe for the garden.

watering plants

Buy Quality Tools
They may cost you more in the short term, but good tools can last a lifetime. Gardeners need a variety of tools, but essentials include: leaf rake, garden rake, trowel, garden scissors, bypass pruners, loppers, shovel or spade, long-handled hoe, and short-handled cultivator.

 

See more South Central gardening articles.