Fall Gardening

Friday, September 04, 2009

I burned 179 calories in an hour yesterday working in the garden! Talk about a win-win, I get a workout in and my reward is virtually-free, organic, fresh picked veggies and herbs!

I dug under some of the summer crops that were spent. Added compost from my compost bin (which just amazed my son how his leftovers became dirt!) and my homemade fertilizer to the reworked area plus gave a little to my thriving plants too. Then I planted cold weather hardy broccoli transplants, cilantro (which got scorched in my full-sun garden over summer so I'm trying again now that things are cooler), rosemary transplants from dividing existing overgrowth, and sowed seeds for kale (a new veggie for me to try but loved by Spark nutritionists!) Everything got doused in my homemade organic pesticide to keep bugs, bunnies and my dogs away, but I will need to reapply in a day or two after these thunderstorms stop.

Since I got Thank You's for my laundry soap recipe, here are my fertilizer and pesticide recipes:


¼ c. Dr. Bonners Castile Liquid Soap- Peppermint (I buy at Sprouts)
4 Tbs used coffee grounds
Bunch of fresh Thyme or 1 tbs. dried Thyme
½ bulb garlic- slightly crushed

In a 2 qt saucepan combine garlic, thyme and coffee grounds. Add 1.5 quarts water to cover. Bring to a boil for 10 minutes. Turn off burner, cover and allow to steep overnight.

Pour mixture through a strainer into a garden sprayer (2 gal size or larger) Add Castile Soap. Add enough water to make 1 ½ gallons of pesticide.

This is completely safe for edible plants. The garlic and mint scents will deter deer, bunnies and the like. The soap causes dehydration (& slow death) in insects. You will notice less chew holes right away. Reapply twice a month , more often if pest issues are still noticeable.

HOMEMADE ORGANIC FERTILIZER (buy ingredients at the Farm & Feed store)

Mix in desired parts depending on garden size. For me 1 part = a 4 c. measuring cup filled twice or 8 cups.


4 parts organic seed meal (6% protein = 1% nitrogen, buy highest nitrogen for the money)
¼ part agricultural lime
¼ part gypsum
½ part dolomitic lime
1 part bone meal
1 part rock phosphate or high phosphate guano
1 part kelp meal

Thoroughly combine all ingredients in a 5 gallon bucket.

To fertilize garden mix 4 quarts fertilizer mix per 100 sq ft with enough compost for a ½ inch layer over garden

Apply before planting a new bed- once (for spring) or twice (for spring and fall plantings)yearly. Will keep in a cool, dry location for years.

I learned from my friend Lynn, that gave me the laundry soap recipe, if you go to a grocery store bakery and ask for an "Icing Bucket" they will be happy to give you the pail for free and it has a nice, tight fitting lid! Otherwise I buy the 5 gal buckets at Home Depot that have a rubber gasket around the lid. The buckets at Lowes do not.
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    You should also think about posting this to the Living on a Shoestring team page.
    Good information!
    3825 days ago
    Great info thanks!
    3825 days ago
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