Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Home and Garden Tips from N-Vision Farms

As a permaculture instructor I love sharing things I have learned, some the hard way. I hope one of these may help with pesky problems in your home and gardens.
In our last PDC class on Saturday I mentioned a deer and rabbit repellent I was testing. Homemade with eggs and fish emulsion. I have been using it for a week now and feel I can report it is working. All natural and organic too, plus I have some tips for dealing with bugs.
Make your own deer and rabbit repellent:
3 eggs per gallon of water
1/4 cup fish emulsion
Put the eggs (not the shell) in a blender with a little water until well mixed, pour into a pump up sprayer with 1 gallon water and fish emulsion. Spray directly on tender leaves deer anf rabbits seek. It smells and taste bad and they don't like it. The egg keep it sticking to leaves through rain and sprinkler for about a week. If you want to get really stinky let some extra eggs sit out to rot the smell will last longer.
I sprayed my beans, grapevines and pear trees all had been munched on over the days before treatment, nothing has touched them since.
Got Yellow flies?
They are eatting us up on our farm this year. They make feeding time on our farm miserable.  I found this works when applied on bare skin. It works on sand gnats too. Try it on your pets as well.
Oils can be bought locally at New Leaf or any health food store.
Light base oil or even olive oil works, I like Eugenia bath oil about 2 ounces in a small bottle, add oils and shake well.
5 drops lemongrass oil
5 drops citronella oil
5 drops patchouli
Last about an hour and I love the smell as opposed to the recipe above.
Ok one more...
Fruit flies
Do you have them too? OMG!
Last year the battle began, between warm weather and large amounts of fresh fruit, veggies, eggs, milk coming in the kitchen the tiny pesky fruit flies came too. No matter what I tried nothing seemed to eradicate them from the kitchen for long. It makes cooking, canning and processing very difficult. It was almost as if they out smarted me and everything i tried. We were bleaching down counters and sinks, cleaning everything several times a day, putting the garbage and compost outside, nothing worked for long. I even had them getting in the frig where everything was being stored. And when we thought we had them under control we found them in the livingroom or bathroom. My daughter taught me how to make fruit fly traps, I used sticky traps on the windows till wal-mart stopped carrying them. This slowed them down but they always came back. Winter helped but once the weather started to warm they were back worse than ever. Personally I think it may be my leaky gray water system which is on my to do list to fix this summer.
This year I did more internet researching,  found alcohol killed them and bought cans of Lysol with 58% alcohol.  This worked for a while and my house smelled clean, but I just hated spraying down the kitchen several times a day and knowing this was not good for me, my poor african gray parrot or the cats and dogs living in the house. And Lysol is 5 $ a can!
So I went to the dollar store, $1.50 for a quart of straight isoprol alcohol in a cosmetic spray bottle also $1.50. I ambush them with a dish of  apple cider vinegar and dish soap in a small bowl, which kills them too and wait for them to gather....and zap them.

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