1:5:10:365 EcoTip Blog

October 12, 2008

:286 Beneficial Nematodes

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.

1:5:10:286 EcoTip: Beneficial nematodes are microscopic roundworms that are used as an organic grub control for soil in lawns and gardens. The nematode enters the grub’s body releasing a bacteria that attacks and kills the grub. The nematodes then use their host to feed and breed. The fall is a great time to use beneficial nematodes while grubs are active and preparing for winter. Two applications 7 spaced days apart is best for breaking the cycle.

Credit: ARBICO-Organics

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 Additional Information:

Suggested Review:

It is important to use the right nematode for the job. Some nematodes work best for mobile pests (see :241 about flea control) For soil grubs, beetles, weevils and borers you want to use a stationary nematode like Heterohabditis bacteriophora. They are available from ARBICO Organics.

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August 25, 2008

:238 Soil Pesticide Residues

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.
1:5:10:226 EcoTip: There are a number of chlorinated hydrocarbons such as DDT, and chlordane that have been outlawed, but still have residues present in soil which can find its way into buildings.
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Before purchasing land previously used for agriculture – it makes sense to have it tested. Organic labeled produce only requires no pesticide use for a period of 3 to 5 years, but some of these chemical pesticides have a half-life of 50 to 100 years. This means they will still be detectable for generations. 
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 Additional Information:
According to a May 2001 article by the National Association of Home Builders in Builder Magazine titled “Sins of the Farmer “:

50 to 70% of land developed for homes between 1992 and 1997 was former farm land. DDT, arsnic and other pesticides may have been used.

The New Jersey Deptartment of Environmental Protection found 5% of the New Jersey land mass is contaminated with pesticides from farm use.

You can arrange for telephone consultantion and on-site inspection and testing of soil and structures through my office at RestCon Environmental  – (888)-617-3266.
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June 8, 2008

:160 Vinegar Weed Control

Filed under: :160 Vinegar Weed Control — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — John Banta @ 12:59 am

1:5:10:160 EcoTip: Today’s tip comes from the Butterfly Garden at the Norfolk, Virginia Botanical Gardens. They use vinegar as an herbicide. This non-toxic form of weed control is suitable for organic gardens (especially if you use organic vinegar from your health food store) and  doesn’t harm the butterflies or the environment, but controls most types of weeds.

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 Additional Information:

Spray the weeds foliage with the undiluted vinegar while they are young – especially before they go to seed. Vinegar is approximately 5% acetic acid. Be careful not to spray plants that you don’t want damaged. If you accidentally get some on the leaves of other plants, you can rinse them with water.

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