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Create a Healthy Garden

Updated on August 19, 2014

Create a Healthier Garden

The warmer weather just invites the gardener in us to get outside and get busy getting ready for spring's beauty!

This year I challenge you to work with nature to create the healthiest garden and yard in your neighborhood. All it takes is a little understanding and willingness to step aside and let nature do it her way. You will not only have a healthier yard for you and your family to enjoy, but you will also save money ~ so who could argue with that?!

As a bonus, your community and, ultimately, the world, will benefit from your choice of using nature's links to a better today and tomorrow.

All pictures and writing by Bev Lemley ~ All rights reserved.

Just Checking...

How do you garden?

Do you use chemicals and fertilizers ~

See results

Birds and Bugs do it well!

Let's start at the bottom. Bottom of the plants, that is, in the springtime. When things are leafing out, a little white or green bug about 1 millionth the size of a grain of rice is sucking the sap out of your growing plants. This insect is called an aphid and is truly a nuisance! And even harder to get rid of, if you don't know about nature's secret agent ~ ladybugs, praying mantis and lacewings, that is! They will take care of these damaging pests ~ and without you having to do a thing ~ except initially introduce ladybugs, praying mantis and/or lacewings into your garden. These are all cute, so that's a bonus!

Birds are great bug zappers, eating their weight in mosquitos and spiders. Check out the insect eating birds for your area to appreciate these in your yard!

Here is a fantastic opportunity ~ check out more info on organic pest control with natural means, from one of Squidoo's very own top organic farmers. Read more at Organic Garden Pests Insects ~ you will love what you find over there!

Organic Gardening ~ Getting Started... - Recap...

  1. Let nature do it's thing!
  2. Praying mantis, ladybugs, lacewings, and birds generally work for free!
  3. No chemicals involved!
  4. Only happy bugs waiting to eat the aphids and other harmful insects!
  5. Birds are great bug zappers of mosquitoes and spiders ~ they'll even go around your window sills and hunt for a tasty morsel!

Bugs For Hire! Will Eat Cheap!

Praying Mantis Egg Cases - 3 Count
Praying Mantis Egg Cases - 3 Count

These praying mantis will work for free for years to come to take care of your aphid and other insect problems, as a vital link in nature's food chain



Yes, for as little as $0 a day, these hard working links in nature's food chain will take care of your aphid woes!

As a bonus, the birds eat the spiders outside my window sills, break down muddauber nests, and eat ants before they can trail into the house ~ oh, yes, they eat their share of "water bugs," too!

You're putting WHAT into the soil?!

I won't bore you with how much fertilizer ends up in the waterways ~ but you can bet you will end up eating it eventually! Tsk Tsk! When there's an easier way, no less!

Let's do Soil!

Here are my favorite amendments ~ use a handful of each to each good size plant

  1. Black Kow! Nature's fertilizer, completely weed and smell free ~ use freely as a top dressing, as well ~ it's nature's gift!
  2. Permatil ~ helps aeriate the soil, and helps keeps the voles from gnawing your roots
  3. Mushroom compost ~ I am not exactly sure what's in it, but it's very rich soil ~ I have never found a stray mushroom!
  4. Soil conditioner ~ this is very fine, aged pine bark. You could probably do without it, just add some aged fine organic mulch
  5. Smart Soil ~ Just some good all around soil to augment your own.
  6. Don't forget worms! Worms are great for amending the soil ~ and they work dirt cheap!

300 Red Wigglers - Red Worms are Great for Organic Gardening and Composting
300 Red Wigglers - Red Worms are Great for Organic Gardening and Composting

Red Wigglers are recommended for best composting ~ and they work dirt cheap!


Help the soil ~ don't hurt the sea!

Compost it! - Learn how with this terrific series with Alison Reynolds!

Organic and Fertile Fertilizer

Again, do it naturally!

The nature of fertilizer is the more natural, the better! Alison Reynold's series on YouTube, shows with expert how to make and manage a compost ~ will turn trash into treasure!

In addition to compost, the Espoma brand organic fertilizers won't hurt the environment or you or your neighbors ~ or birds, insects, or water sources.

Go natural, live longer and healthier!

Some Organic Fertilizers

  1. Espoma products
  2. Worm casings
  3. Fish Emulsion
  4. Compost
  5. Mulch and soil amendments from aged trees cut on your property

Amazon 3

Voluntary Purchasing Group 10611 Fertilome Concentrate Fish Emulsion Fertilizer, 16-Ounce
Voluntary Purchasing Group 10611 Fertilome Concentrate Fish Emulsion Fertilizer, 16-Ounce

Fishy? Maybe! But nothing fishy about the benefits to your garden ~ ahh, how nice to not eat chemical residue!

Unco Industries (WWSB15LB) Wiggle Worm Soil Builder Earthworm Castings Organic Fertilizer, 15-Pound
Unco Industries (WWSB15LB) Wiggle Worm Soil Builder Earthworm Castings Organic Fertilizer, 15-Pound

Earthworms that worked dirt cheap now help improve the soil for pretty cheap!


Organic and Natural Fertilizer ~ Nature's Gift to You!

Do you still want to use chemicals and fertilizers?

After understanding more about organic gardening...

See results

Oh, Deer! - And Rabbits!

The minute your garden starts to green up, here come your friends and foes ~ those oh-sooo-little-cute darlings that just want a couple of munches!

Soon enough you will wonder where your buds, blooms, leaves, stalks, and even rose thorns disappeared to. Well, those cute little critters and four-legged big critters might be a tad bit guilty with all those green leaves and stalks and flower buds gone!

Use forethought and spray with an organic spray as soon as you plant something or as soon as it starts popping up. If you see green, so do the deer and rabbits! The most effective deer repellent product, that is completely organic and doesn't smell offensive at all, doesn't kill things as you spray is "I Must Garden" brand Deer Repellent. They do not sell their product at the Big Box stores, only to local garden shops. Ask your local garden centers to stock some for you ~ they will have happy customers! To be honest, I am surprised it's on Amazon...

Deer Me!

  1. Deer are just trying to survive!
  2. They love your garden!
  3. You will think they are the cutest thing yet!
  4. That is, until every last thing in your garden is GONE!
  5. I wonder why there are starving people in the world with the deer population!

I Must Garden Deer Repellent 32oz CONCENTRATE: Mint Scent Deer Spray for Gardens, Plants, and Trees – Makes 2.5 Gallons
I Must Garden Deer Repellent 32oz CONCENTRATE: Mint Scent Deer Spray for Gardens, Plants, and Trees – Makes 2.5 Gallons

In mint, a natural deer repellent flavor, this concentrate is what I use for my bigger garden.


For best results spray once a month and mist lightly every week ~ without fail!

A dog is the best deterrent to keep deer away.

Please see my follow up lens How to Create a Lovely Spring Garden for info that will have you springing back to life with spring garden fever in no time!

Please sign our guestbook and leave your thoughts for others...

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    • BLemley profile imageAUTHOR

      Beverly Lemley 

      5 years ago from Raleigh, NC

      @Lakegirl LM: I would love to start a worm farm! Thanks for the idea ~ I have to check and see if you have suggestions for starting one up! Thank you for visiting! And I'm glad you've got a natural way to get rid of the ants, too ~ that's a great link to hear about! Thanks for sharing! B : )

    • Lakegirl LM profile image

      Lakegirl LM 

      5 years ago from Australia

      Living in the country, we have learnt to "share" our garden with the wildlife. The best is an echidna that digs holes everywhere looking for ants. I do not mind tidying up after him/her as he/she gets rid of the ants for me. Our worm farm supplies good "tea" for fertilizing. The rabbits do drive me crazy!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      This is wonderful information and thanks for sharing it.

    • BLemley profile imageAUTHOR

      Beverly Lemley 

      5 years ago from Raleigh, NC

      @vegetablegardenh: SOOO glad to hear you are an organic gardener! I know you help spread the word wherever you can ~ Squidoo is a perfect place, isn't it! Thank you for your comments and for helping Mother Earth out! That's got to "grow" us the right way! Thank you for stopping by! B : )

    • vegetablegardenh profile image


      5 years ago

      Great lens, and more people need to pay attention to what you say here, otherwise we'll poison Mother Earth to the point where she won't be able to support us anymore. I've been gardening organically as long as I can remember, and using chemicals just doesn't make sense to me. And my organic garden veggies taste so much better and richer than store-bought conventional produce, there's just no comparison.

      And thanks for the advice on deer repellents too!

    • BLemley profile imageAUTHOR

      Beverly Lemley 

      5 years ago from Raleigh, NC

      @drcarl: Your kind response is great encouragement to me! I love to hear that there are many who are getting on this organic bandwagon. We're the kind that detest the destruction man has done to the environment and certainly are sickened by the rampant use of chemicals for everything. Where has our common sense gone? I keep getting this vision of the world devoid of birds and bugs and there is no more healthy links any more ~ and it's too late. I would rather have a bit of real nature, that is, some weeds and bugs, and things chasing them and eating them, than live in a world with no birds to sing and no frogs to croak, no dragonflies to whiz by looking for mosquitoes ~ oh, I have to stop. Surely we will get our message out and people will enjoy the world as it is, enjoy the healthy links that nature has provided to keep things balanced before it's too late. Thank you so much for your comments ~ and for helping to spread the word! B : )

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I looked for my answer on your poll, yet there was no button for "NO! NO POISONS FOR ME, MY BUGS, BIRDS AND PETS!" lol...keep it up! The more people who join this growing trend (organics) the better-off we'll ALL be. BTW - it's not about politics, it's about doing the right thing. Kudos!

    • GardenIdeasHub LM profile image

      GardenIdeasHub LM 

      5 years ago

      Lots of useful information here. I really enjoyed your lens about creating a healthy garden and thanks for the tips!

    • BLemley profile imageAUTHOR

      Beverly Lemley 

      5 years ago from Raleigh, NC

      @MarcellaCarlton: Believe it or not, my folks live very near a busy large city, and they have deer worries, too! It is unbelievable! Thanks for your kind words ~ and thanks so much for stopping by! B : )

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Love your ideas. I don't need the deer repellent though. I live in town. Nice lens with good products!

    • BLemley profile imageAUTHOR

      Beverly Lemley 

      5 years ago from Raleigh, NC

      @anonymous: I was so excited to check out your blog and find all that wonderful organic information for everyone to access and learn from ~ Wow! I've put a link to your blog on my lens, and FB liked it as well. The videos on your featured lens are terrific! I love the cartoon one and I'm so glad to learn to what degree going organic is getting to ~ what a blessing! I thought I was lone man out and here it's all around, where folks are becoming more aware of how we are borrowing the earth from our kids ~ That's a quote from Phoenix's Endangered Bird Series, which is excellent, too, and something you would probably enjoy. Thank you! B : )

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I love your approach to informing people about organic gardening and the way you persuade them :) I agree, organic is the only way! (BTW, thanks for featuring my organic gardening lens here! :)


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