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Know and Control Garden Pests

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In any garden, harmful pest is ever present and can be found chewing on plants even in the healthiest garden. To come up with an effective control, we need to identify these pests and some of top garden pest you should know are:
Aphids. These are tiny pear shaped pest with long antennae and tubes projecting rearward from the abdomen. Although small they are very visible as they congregate underneath the leaves of the plant they are infecting. They come in a variety of sizes, colors and shape. They are not choosey and will attack fruit crops, roses, ornamentals and different sorts of vegetables. All aphids are female born with babies already inside their body. That is how they multiply overnight. One way to control them is by washing the infected leaves with strong spray of water or spray them with neem solution.
Scales. The adult female looks like a bump on leaves, stems or fruit and the male flies around. There are two types of scales, the armored scales with hard outer shell that targets fruit trees like citrus and the soft scales with soft bodies. They don’t usually kill the host plants. Scales feed by sucking plant juices. To get rid of scales the natural way, introduce beneficial predators like lady bugs and lacewings or you may spray them with insecticidal soap.
Whiteflies. They are tiny flying insects and swarms up in clouds when their host plant is disturbed. Whiteflies are related to aphids and feed the same way by sucking plant juices. Their target plants are tomato, sweet potato, citrus and ornamental plants. Whiteflies on their immature stage is the best time to spray them with insecticidal soap which are on the underside of leaves. Easy on the spray as it can burn the leaves and make sure that there are no friendly bugs around. Another way is to pull take away infected leaves and burn them. Treat whiteflies early to prevent them from spreading.
Japanese Beetles. Adult beetles have a metallic blue-green color and are about an inch long. They have long legs with large claws. The beetle larvae are fat with C shaped grubs and with brown heads. Very damaging plant pest and can be very hard to control. They attack just about any plant, both edible and ornamental. You can control the adult beetle by hand-picking them in the morning and drowning them in soapy water. As for the larvae, you may spray them with insecticidal soap.
Grasshoppers. These are incredible insects that can catapult themselves using their hind legs to a distance 20 times the length of their body. Grasshoppers come in shades of green and brown. They are herbivorous and have very effective chewing jaws. These insects are not picky and will eat weeds, ornamental plants. During drought seasons, they will target garden plants. To control them, inviting their natural enemies can do the job, but the best way is to control them on their nymph stage.
Pest such as these can cause serious damage to your garden, but by being vigilant and smart, you can put them on check. Most garden plants are tough and can tolerate pest damage to some degree and spraying insecticide is not really the only way to get rid of them, there is always a natural way.
Happy gardening!

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RAIN GARDEN: Preventing Flash Flood

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The ground does not absorb water overflow from house and building roofs including pavements and roads resulting to stress on the stormwater system, flash flooding and erosion. It also causes a long term loss of stream flow and lowering of groundwater tables. Garden and lawn are not getting the benefits of rain water.
One solution is by creating a rain garden. This garden system imitates water retention the natural way. The idea was conceived in the 1990s by a land developer who was working on a housing subdivision at Prince George’s county, Maryland. The process is to dig a surface depression in order to capture and soak up stormwater overflow from the roof, walkways, driveway. It is then planted with suitable shrubs, flowers, trees and other wetland vegetation which will absorb and saturate water into the ground. This will also protect water quality and add beauty to the community.
Rain Garden also offers other benefits like filtering of pollutants, reducing the need for irrigation, providing homes for wildlife. The plants will attract an assortment of butterflies and birds. It also gives an alternative to traditional gardening and it is very easy to maintain once properly set up.
When creating a rain garden, one should take time to assess the area as it is important to pick the right location. The garden must not be near a water supply or the septic system. It should not be very close to your house so that the water will not leach into the foundation. The garden should be built directly under the sun and not in covered areas or under a large tree. Remember that evaporation also plays an important role in this system. Pooling of water in the rain garden should only last for several hours right after the rainfall so as not to attract mosquitos and turn it into a breeding ground.
Equally important is selecting the right kind of plant. It should be able to tolerate both short period dry and soaking soil. To make the rain garden effective, use plants with large roots. The plant should also be non-invasive. It is best to use plants that already have a developed root system to keep the soil from eroding. The native species are the best choice which is very adaptable to such conditions. For the first year, regular watering may be needed during the dry period as the plants start to develop and establish itself.

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The Advantages of Foliar Nutrition in Propagating Organic Farming

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Organic gardening is the most beneficial method that most farmers follow today. It has been an alternative practice for farmers who want to practice the natural way of propagating food crops without the use of synthetic fertilizers and chemical aids. There are a lot of processes that can be followed in setting up an organic farm – one of these is the foliar nutrition.

The basics of foliar nutrition
The foliar nutrition is the process of providing the plant crop with a liquid organic fertilizer via its leaves. Basically, there are times that some of the nutrients from the soil are not absorbed by the plants due to several factors like weather or the pH content of the soil. Without the process of chelation, these minerals will be turned into waste and washed out in water during rain or flood. Fortunately, foliar nutrition fosters effective supplementation as highly concentrated ground fertilizer for improved plant growth.

Soil analysis and its importance will not be further reiterated in ensuring precise crop nutrition. Before the application of the nutrients, farmers should learn the exact micro-blogging component of the soil in order to know any deficiencies. For instance, a tissue sample of the plant can be essential to learn accurate determination of the nutrient deficiency. Unfortunately, not all plants don’t show any kind of deficiency when the conditions at their optimum levels.

Why organic farming needs foliar application?
Soil analysis facilitates planning for foliar application of nutrients. However, farmers should exactly know how to apply. There are some of the general guidelines to follow when performing foliar application. Application of foliar nutrition is only feasible:

When soil analysis reveals poor aeration or the presence of nutrients and minerals in the soil;
When there is a disturbance in the root uptake, especially during the reproductive phase;
When there are presence of damage spot in the road, thereby affecting its capacity in absorbing minerals; and
When the vascular system sustained certain damage during nematode attacks.

Moreover, some plants need direct feeding on the leaves during the fruiting season. This is essential to enhance yield during harvest. For instance, organic farming in South Africa is quite sophisticated in terms of their application of foliar nutrition technology, including the accurate application of organic-based soil inputs. Minerals are not only absorbed by the roots, but also through the stem, leaves or even the flower. Finally, amino acid chelation is effective in maximizing the potential of the nutrients in the soil.

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The Importance of Farm Animals in Organic Agriculture

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Farm animals are an essential part of a lot of organic farms from different parts of the globe. They contribute greatly to the production and sustainability of different organic agricultural systems. Moreover, it also fosters a moral bond between humans and animals while farming. With this, it imposes a responsibility on humans regarding the welfare of the farm animals. However, the use of animals in organic agriculture has been slower compared to the plain organic plant production due to various reasons. Nevertheless, organic animal research has been considerably increased in some countries at present.
Organic agriculture is sometimes referred to as an Agra-ecosystem, which is a community of plants and animals interacting with their physical and chemical environments that have been modified by people to provide feed, fiber and other food selection for human consumption and processing. The main goal of organic farming is to plan a blanket of agroecosystems within a landscape unit, every one mimicking the function and structure of local and natural ecosystems. This will acquire their resilience and sustainability. Usually, organic farmer influences the natural ecosystem in achieving sustainable production with the use of an understanding of ecological relationships while trying to lessen the use of external inputs while harming the environment.
Although it is feasible to make an Agra-ecosystem without the use of farm animals, the use of these friends can provide essential advantages for organic productivity and sustainability. Organic farming with herbivores is more productive than those without them. To have a sustainable agro-ecosystem, the animals should meet certain requirements:

Selection of animals should be adapted to crop production that is suitable in the area (adequate resources and favorable climatic conditions).
The number of animals should be balanced according to the possible crop production and available resources.
The rearing systems should be created to prevent harming the environment and lessen the use of fossil energy.

At present, the local protocols and guidelines for organic animal farming sought to be originally considered and developed from certain existing animal husbandry and production practices. The continued development of certain standards will be a continuous process based on the practical experiences obtained from the processing, production and marketing of the resulted organic animal products.
In the end, the success of the Agra-ecosystem as the new organic farming practice at national level will greatly depend on various factors like government policies and legislative supports, farm training, socioeconomic infrastructure and other technical supports on farming.

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Why Organic Farming Offers The Best?

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Organic food is the one setting up the standard for quality including freshness, flavor, texture and its variety. These foods are being produced without the involvement of using modern toxic standards and persistent chemicals which are commonly done on conventional food products.
Conventional type of farming practices use synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, organisms that are genetically engineered and enhancers to promote growth on soil and crops. The main focus on conventional farming is the short-term goal of producing crops rather than selecting a long term which helps the health of soil. Synthetic fertilizers affect the health situation of soil found to be lacking in various nutrients. Utilization of pesticides and fungicides are being managed to control harmful insects in storage of crops as well as to its transportation procedure. On the other hand, the promotion of organic farming uses an alternative to the use of synthetic fertilizers. Farmers take the holistic, safe, principled approach that harness and respect the power of the natural procedures to build a positive process across the whole ecosystem.
Organic farming methods offer the best compared to the conventional one because it is available and considered to be a practical model in the solution of an economically friendly food production around the world nowadays. The reason behind such is being less dependent to an oil-based type of fertilizers which can mainly harm the ecology of the farm as well as confers to the extreme climatic change.
Organic farmers manage crops by preventing problems that may occur in using proactive practices. It offers the best solution in maintaining and replenishing soil fertility without damaging the normal process. In addition, it also eliminates the usage of fertilizers and pesticides that could damage the soil fertility in the long run. It restores, maintain and enhances the equilibrium of the ecosystem. Thus, supporting and building biologically diverse type of agriculture. Farmers picked the most environmentally friendly methods that address the problems with pests and diseases that could harm and affect their crops.
Organic farming uses strategies to be considered as the best through the maximization of crop rotation which means the alternation of crops that are growing in each field. The procedure of covering crops can help in protecting the soil, adding nutrients and preventing the growth of weeds. Studying the methods on how to release beneficial insects and how they could add compost and plant wastes through their crops were basically could help the crops to be healthy.

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Almonds: Immune Booster

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The human immune response is the way of how it recognizes and defends itself against viruses, bacteria and substances that appears to be of great harm and foreign. The one that protects the body from them is called the immune system. It does all the work of protecting the body from possible harmful substances present by recognizing them and responding by producing antigen which act as our body’s barrier against such.
Our body has many components that may add to the overall health package including the alkalinity of the systems. Almonds are the great sources for alkali materials our body needs thus, also known to boost our immune system to fight harmful foreign substances invading our bodies. It also helps in reducing inflammation and had an impact on the treatment of chronic and infectious diseases that may weaken us. The skin of almonds can trigger an immunological response and could positively be the antiviral immune booster of the system. Aside from its alkaline level contribution, it also contains high amount of Vitamin E, categorized as the powerful antioxidant of the human body. It identifies all the free radicals that can damage the body and eliminates them out of the system for they can promote chronic diseases and can be of great destruction to the body’s organ system. The antioxidants like Vitamin E found in the nut could possibly affect all major diseases that are chronic to health including cancer and heart disease. One of the experiments also proved the effect of natural and blanched almond skins on the immunological compounds release in cells either it is infected or not with the HSV-2 genital herpes virus which showed significant decreased and others were not significantly influence the replication of the said virus. The study gives people the ultimate idea of how the nut influences the ability of our immune system to boost more and more fighting its enemy.
Ingesting almonds are truly of great help to improve our body’s immune booster. It is not only that the nut is of great taste whether a sweet or bitter one, but still they had a major effect on health which can avoid us from immediate danger.
Many people all around the world dies of heart attacks which known to be a silent killer. We must be more aware of what we are eating. Indeed, this nut could be of great help to our immune worries.

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Go Organic Meal Planning

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The increasingly growing variety of available processed foods and the genetically modified substances in the market pose great threats in health for individuals and families concerning the substances contained on the inorganic foods. Foods that are grown via organic farming cannot be genetically modified, thus containing all-natural content and is considered to be safest to consume.
The word “organic” simply refers on the process by which farmers conducts the growth of their agricultural products such as their fruits, vegetables, dairy products etc. Practices in organic farming have been orchestrated so that it will naturally encourage a healthy conservation of water and the soil and its nutrients, thus ultimately reducing pollution towards the environment. By making use of the natural way of growing the produce, farmers don’t use the conventional or commercialized way of fertilizing, controlling pests and preventing livestock diseases instead the farmers make use of natural ways to eliminate the use of harmful chemical substances such as pesticides.
With this particular concern in mind, it is important to include organic foods into your weekly menu plans at home. The growing availability of organic raw materials in the market will provide more reasons for taking up organic meals into your menu at home and making healthy food choices a habit. You can benefit from your local farmers’ market supply of organic raw materials.
Breakfast
For a healthy way to start off your day, include fruits and vegetables into your pancake mixes. Add a variety of options to your breakfast by choosing organic versions of cereals, grains and dairy products. Instead of using sugar to add taste to your meals try using honey instead to make it more pleasing for your taste buds.
Lunch
Keep mid-day meals packed with energy filling foods with vegetables and a seafood options. Try making a variety of versions of salads for your lunch time and include breads to make it heavier. Touch it up and finish your lunch meals with a piece of fruit for a complete energy filling meal.
Dinner
Dinner time with the family is the best way of sealing up your day, wrapping up your day with a healthy meal and great family bonding time is essential for a happier and healthier body. Try making pasta with vegetarian twist, include corns, and other vegetables into your mix. The great thing about pasta is that you can experiment it in any way you want. Add a few chicken, tuna or beef from time to time to suit your taste.

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How Organic Farming Influence People Today

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Many people today are becoming conscious about their health, which prompt them to consume organic farming products. In the recent years, the market that switched into organic produce has tripled its profit in 2009. However, the figure is relatively small considering that different parts of the globe are following the trend today.
This method of farming doesn’t only cater to organic food crops like fruits and vegetables. In fact, organic farming reaches out to all kinds of form. It makes a small ecosystem that allows other living entities from livestock to be raised organically as well. It has been continuously practiced since the beginning, and it influenced the people with these following advantages:

There will be increased profits. A huge mark of difference is seen when it comes to variable and overhead costs among products made between traditional and organic farming. The amount spent for herbicides, pesticides and fertilizers in organic farming is minimized to zero unlike the cost obtained with inorganic farming. However, the price range of organic products is still competitive compared to inorganic farming, especially in the local marketplaces. Thus, organic farmers are given privilege to enhance their profit because they have already gotten the profit from selling their products, without deducting any expenses.
Promote a healthy lifestyle to all. With the increase demand of genetically modified organisms (GMO), a lot of consumers were alarmed by its negative effects to the health of the people. Nevertheless, there are still studies conducted regarding the matter. In fact, various studies claim that consuming too much GMO may result in the development of cancer cells. With this, the creation of same impression of the processed foods such as canned fruits and vegetables is very evident. Consuming organic produce becomes the choice of many individuals who want to live a healthy lifestyle.
Enhance and uphold natural landscapes. Applying inorganic fertilizers to the food crops will likely provide quick results, but it might absorb too much toxins when used inappropriately. It is a known fact that synthetic and chemically-treated fertilizers pose negative effects on the soil health. The soil will likely become unhealthy when chemicals are applied to it regularly, which results in soil erosion and nutrient loss. This has become a serious issue among landowners who fail to earn profit from unhealthy soil.

To sum it all, the practice of organic farming prevents the use of artificial fertilizers. Thus, the soil health is well-maintained, along with the natural landscapes it provides. Moreover, groundwater is also protected from various chemicals and toxins produced by chemically treated fertilizers.