Gardening column: A gardener’s diary

Here is the recipe again how to make weeds disappear.

  • Jun. 13, 2018 7:30 a.m.

Here is the recipe again how to make weeds disappear.

This was by Shell Busey, HouseSmart: mix together 4 cups white vinegar, 1/4 cup table salt and 2 tsp liquid dish detergent. Put the mixture in a spray bottle and spray on the weeds when it is hot outside. Please remember this formula really works and is only recommended for weeds in driveways, sidewalks, patio stones etc. If you spray it onto weeds in your lawn you are going to kill the grass as well and create an ugly brown spot.

Mosquitoes: you should attack them before they attack you. The best way to control mosquitoes is to eliminate the places they breed. Remove standing water in puddles, pots, and drainage ditches. Change the water in birdbaths and wading pools every few days. Remove debris from rain gutters. Get rid of old cans, buckets and tires that might hold stagnant water.

I just purchased what is called Mosquito Dunks: biological mosquito control briquets. This is what it reads on the label: It can be used in bird baths, flower planters, discarded tires, ornamental ponds, rain barrels, containerized water near the home. They are like little doughnuts and can be broken according to the volume of water you are treating. I only used them for a couple days so I will know more later. It is active for 30 days and then you have to replace them.

The ground is very dry but mulching with grass clippings helps. Some advice from Barbara Pleasant on the internet: “The main rule for using grass clippings as mulch is to apply them in thin layers.

This happens naturally if you spread mulch as the final step after weeding. When using freshly-cut clippings or batches that have been allowed to dry in the sun, I sprinkle on just enough to barely cover the surface. I may add a little more a few days later but will wait a couple of weeks, or until the next weeding, to apply another layer. I have yet to find a garden crop that is not completely happy when mulched with three thin layers of grass clippings, spread two weeks apart. Once in a while, I will have more clippings than I need, so I spread them out on a piece of roofing metal and let them dry in the sun. Stuffed into a garbage can with a secure lid, I always have a standby supply of excellent grass clipping mulch.”

I myself have been using grass clippings as mulch for years. I put my transplants in, water very well and mulch. If the plants are heavy feeders, I might put some compost on top and then apply the grass clippings. If you use clippings for mulch, make sure the grass is not treated with chemicals. Fresh grass will start heating and smelling very shortly after it is piled up. Find an area in your garden where it can be spread to dry. If you have a lot, make sure to turn it over the next day to dry completely if not used right away.

Added fresh to your composter will get the pile working in no time.

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