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Organic Solutions To Control Pests in the Garden

Organic Solutions To Control Pests in the Garden

Controlling pests in the garden with organic solutions is a safer option than opting to purchase those chemically laced products that are sold in supermarkets. Of course, there will always be some pests in the garden with either option you opt to utilize, but that’s fine because at the end of the day you need the good guys to have something to eat.

Keep in mind, though, there are those pests that are very lethal to human health, thus they need to be dealt with immediately. They carry out adverse effects to humans such as skin irritations and blisters. Some other insect pests, such as blacklegged ticks, carry Lyme disease that can take months or years to completely recover from, just like one blogger who went to Sierra Integrative Medical Center last 2014.

What Types of Plants Should You Opt For?

To control pests, the first step to undertake takes place in the winter when you are planning your garden for the approaching year. Which plants are you planning to grow to keep your garden healthy? Plants fall into two categories:

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  • Plants that repel the pests
  • Plants that attract beneficial insects

Any plant with blue flowers will attract wasps and bees. Contrary to popular belief, wasps are not that bad. Most kinds of wasps are predatory. The things that they end up eating will eat your crops. Growing marigolds and calendula around your vegetable plot can be useful, too. The orange flowers of these plants attract bees almost as well as the lavender which has the benefit of repelling snails and slugs away from your garden. Your vegetable plot doesn’t have to be ugly. Yes, you can plant colorful flowers near your vegetables.

Near your precious crops, you can opt to grow catch crops. If you plant something that pests prefer more than vegetables, they will more than likely be persuaded to go there.

Garlic is hated by aphids, snails, slugs, and carrot flies; therefore, it is often suggested that you grow it amongst your roses and outside of the vegetable garden. The big plus of garlic is that you can attain a crop from it. Nothing seems to eat chard (silver beet). Plants like this one are resistant to infestation.

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Mulching

Mulching has a handful of benefits. It conserves water, adds organic material to the soil, and keeps the weeds down. There are some mulches that can keep the pests away.

When it comes to strawberries, pine needles are a great fertilizer, as snails and slugs hate walking on it just as much as they hate eggshells. There are some gardeners who opt to cover the paths between their plots with a couple of pine needles. This seems to stop the snails sprinting on patches.

For citrus, coffee grounds make an ideal fertilizer. They are very good for your leafy plants, as they are very high in nitrogen. Coffee grounds are toxic to snails and slugs.

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Homemade Sprays to Control Garden Pests

1. Garlic

Place a whole clove of garlic into a pot that contains hot water. After performing that step, leave it overnight or longer if you can. The final step is to place the liquid into a sprayer so that you can begin spraying it over your plants. You can also opt to mix a bit of washing detergent in the mixture in order to improve this spray’s sticking power.

2. Milk

When your milk bottle has a little bit of milk left in it, don’t throw it out. Mix it with five times the volume of water and then spray it over the plants in your garden that are infested with aphids. You can also opt to mix a bit of washing detergent in the mixture in order to improve this spray’s sticking power.

3. Seaweed

Seaweed is a great way to control pets. Get some seaweed from the beach, and soak it in a bucket of water for a week. Pour the water out and dilute to about the color of weak tea. Utilize it as spray for your plants to witness less infestation on them.

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It is important to not let pests have somewhere to hide in your garden. Hence, it is important to keep your garden as tidy as possible. When you find bugs in your garden, place them in salt water or crush them. If you are squeamish, wear gloves and then integrate their remains to the compost pile. It is only fair, since they have taken something from your garden.

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Junie Rutkevich

Lifestyle writer and author of "Healthy Eating Habits: A Get-Healthy Guide To Tweak And Balance Your Daily Diet"

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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