Thursday, May 16, 2013

Ants! Ants! Ants!

I've noticed quite a few ants in the garden- more than I am comfortable with.  We have such great organic soil and with all the moisture, it's tough to avoid ants all together.  However, after some extensive research, I have determined that making an ant bomb may be the best thing to do.  It's natural enough to use in your garden - or your kitchen for that matter.  Side note - even though Borax is a fairly safe way to kill ants, I would still recommend keeping it away from pets and children.

Put 4 oz of water in the jar
Add 1 tbls of Borax
Add 1 tbls of Powdered Sugar
Mix well
Add cotton balls and mix it up again making sure to cover cotton balls with the mixture
When you are done, poke holes in the lid and place in your garden (I used a hammer and nail)

It's important to keep equal parts Borax and Powdered Sugar - you can't have more Borax than powdered sugar, or the ants will avoid it completely.

You'll want to mix a new solution 2-3 days later if you still see a lot of ants.  You shouldn't have to repeat this more than once or twice before you notice a major decrease - or eradication -in the ant population.

Within 10 minutes of putting it in my garden, ants were all over it!

Take a look for yourself:

So how exactly does this work?  The ants will feed off of the mixture (because they love sugar) and they will take it back to their colony.  The entire colony starts eating the mixture and it wipes them out.  I hate the thought of killing anything, but I also hate having ants in my garden!

I have also placed one of these jars on my kitchen counter as ants have seemed to take a liking to that area.  From what I've read, it should only take a couple of days and the ants should be gone!

And if you have to buy a big container of Borax, don't worry!  You can use the rest for laundry and cleaning.

Borax is much safer than other pest control and I encourage you to research it on your own.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Garden Beds

We made it all of last year without garden beds.  The only reason we did that was so we could use the entire backyard for our wedding.  This year we decided we had to have our garden back!  Only this year it's much better!

Raised beds are so convenient and I recommend them to everyone.   If you're in Portland and looking for someone to build them, I recommend Griffons Gardens. They were very responsive, easy to work with and professional.  Not to mention the beds are very sturdy and will last for years to come.

Here is the before picture:

And the after: 
The boxes are 4x12 and 4x8.  Perfect size for lots of veggies. 

This is only 3 weeks of growth! Clearly we used starts.  We do have a few things starting from seed and they are sprouting!  Thank you Portland for the great weather we have been having!  Counting down the days until we can enjoy fresh salsa!