PRFCT Tips

Tagged with "Gardening"

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Spare the Scary Webs

September 07, 2018

If you have noticed some scary looking webs all over your trees, don't worry, it's just a late summer meal for fall webworms and they don't harm your trees. Put down the spray… their webbing will actually protect them from it.
 


Webworms are the harmless caterpillar form of native moths and only eat leaves that are nearing the end of their life-cycle, not new growth or buds. Because they are native, webworms have over 50 natural predators and many parasites that keep their populations in check so that you don't have to.
 


If you really do not want them, the best approach to control webworms is the “10-year-old boy biological control” -- poke a stick into the webbing, and pull the web and inhabitants out and jump up and down on them. Or even better, you can poke a hole leave the exposed web to become food for birds and other beneficial insects.

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Wilt Weeds, Wilt

August 10, 2018

A DIY Update

Wilt Weeds,Wilt! A DIY Update.

This spring we shared a recipe for a weed-killing alternative to using harmful synthetic chemicals on driveways, patios, and walkways. This recipe is meant for use on spaces you don't intend to plant:

1 gallon of horticultural or industrial strength vinegar (20-30% concentration)
1 cup of epsom salts (purchase at your local garden center for a good price!)
Optional: 1 tsp natural soap

Here are our results on this easy, DIY mix, sans soap. Take a look at the amazing before and after photos just a few hours after application – not bad! Repeated use on an area will eventually acidify the soil and increase its effectiveness.

This weed-killing mixture did leave a little discoloration to our driveway gravel so patch testing is recommended, especially before using on sensitive paving or your expensive pool patio.

Give it a try – we would love to see your results! Share with us by tagging your results on Instagram or sharing to our Facebook @perfectearthproject

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The Buzz on Biochar

August 03, 2018

The Buzz on Biochar

Biomass charcoal (biochar) has become a soil health buzz word, but what is it exactly? Biochar is a carbon-rich solid material left over when organic matter (like wood, dry leaves or grasses) are burned at an extremely high temperature in the absence of oxygen – a process called pyrolysis. 

For use in gardens and landscapes, biochar should be added and mixed with your compost or potting soil before it is applied. The porous surface of biochar provides habitat for beneficial microbes that thrive in compost, protecting them from predation and drying while providing carbon for their energy needs. It also helps to retain soil moisture, minerals and nutrients for plant health and adds structure to sandy soils.

One great feature of biochar is that it remains in soil for hundreds and potentially thousands of years. Go ahead and add some biochar to your compost and soil mixes – it even helps sequester atmospheric carbon, PRFCT all around!

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Organic Weed Control Recipe

Looking to control weeds in spaces you don't intend to plant? We have a recipe to keep weeds in check in driveways and walkways. Mix up a solution of the following:

1 gallon of horticultural or industrial strength vinegar (5-20% concentration)
1 cup of epsom salts (purchase at your local garden center for a good price!)
1 tsp of natural soap

Apply with a sprayer or watering can. Applying early on a hot day will help with the effectiveness.  Remember this is only for use in spaces where you don't intend to grow any plants or grass as essentially you are salting the earth. Wear gloves! Vinegar can burn your skin at higher concentrations.

Have a large space to conquer? Lay a tarp down. Not only will it block sun but will deprive weeds of water as well for quick elimination.

Do you have an organic weed control recipe or method you would like to share with us? Send us your recipes and photos of your results!

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Willow Water

After some early spring pruning here at PRFCT HQ, we have an abundance of pussy willow (salix discolor) that we placed in water for rooting. We have heard that you can use newer growth from willow cuttings to create a natural plant rooting hormone so we decided to put it to the test and invite you to join our willow water experiment! 

Plant rooting hormones are substances that stimulate root growth in plants. Some plants naturally produce their own rooting hormones and of those plants, willow species are considered the best providers of natural, organic rooting stimulators available. This is because of the presence of indole butyric acid (IBA) and salicylic acid (SA) in their species.

IBA is a plant hormone that stimulates root growth and is present in high concentrations in the growing tips of willow plants. By soaking, you can get significant quantities of IBA to infuse into the water. SA is a plant hormone involved in signaling the plants defenses and works to fight off infection and threats giving cuttings a better chance to thrive.

Below, follow the steps to brew your own natural plant root hormone from your spring clippings of any Salix species of willow. We'll share with you how our experiment is progressing and send us your results!

How to Make Willow Water

Gather a handful of willow twigs, cut early in the spring. Use the newest, greenest twigs you can get because these have the highest acidic properties. These are the supple green new-growth portions of our willow cuttings.

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Remove all of the leaves (and compost them, or throw them in the garden as mulch)

Cut your twigs into short pieces 

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Place your twig pieces into a pot or a mason jar, and cover with boiling water, just as if you were making tea. Let it stand overnight.

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When finished, pour the liqui d though a strainer or sieve and store in glass container with a tight lid.

If you keep your willow water in the refrigerator you can use for up to two months.

To use, just pour some of your willow water into a small jar and place the cuttings there like you would flowers in a vase. Or you can use it to water whatever propagating medium you have used for your cutting.


We will test our willow water on this Jade plant propagation. So far we have waited 2 weeks for roots and they are just starting to appear. Stay tuned for results!

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