Tips & Remedies
For the Home & Garden
September through November is the idea time to plant trees and shrubs — please consider a native keystone plant. Keystone plants provide a critical source of food and/or shelter for a large number of other species.
Autumn Sustainable Gardening Tips:
We most likely need to rethink “putting our garden to bed” for the winter.
Many of us are in the habit of trimming our flowers and cleaning up the leaves. We need to embrace the idea of a “messy” winter garden. Insects, birds and wildlife rely on our plants and leaves during the winter months as food, shelter and to complete their life cycle. For example caterpillars eat leaves during the summer, then they wrap themselves into a tight cocoon, the cocoons drop to the ground along with the leaves. If we rake, mow or burn the leaves we destroy their winter state and don’t allow them to complete their life cycle. Thus we loose pollinators and food source for wildlife.
Turn off exterior decorative lights at night.
If you use exterior lights, make sure your outdoor lights are down-shielded and use a light with a lower color temperature. Also try to prevent indoor lights from spilling outdoors. Artificial light at night can affect billions of birds migrating south this fall (and north in the Spring). Let’s participate in Audubon’s light out program. Exterior lights impact insects, fireflies, frogs, monarch butterflies and other wildlife as well.
Recycling and Using Less Plastic:
If you use plastic bottles, please try to up-cycle them. An idea is to use plastic bottles as little greenhouses over new seedlings.
Tick Repellent for Your Pets:
For pets, add 1 cup of water to a spray bottle, followed by 2 cups of distilled white vinegar. Ticks hate the smell and taste of vinegar, and will be easily be repelled by this ingredient alone. Then, add two spoonfuls of vegetable or almond oil, which both contain sulfur (another natural tick repellent).
To make a repellent that will also deter fleas, mix in a few spoonfuls of lemon juice, citrus oil, or any other safe essence oil for that may also repel ticks and fleas while also creating a nicely scented repellent but not be toxic to your dog. Spray onto the pet's dry coat, staying away from sensitive areas including eyes, nose, mouth, and genitals. When outdoors for an extended period, spray this solution on two to three times per day.
Tick Repellent for You and Your Family:
In a spray bottle, mix 2 cups of distilled white vinegar and 1 cup of water. To make a scented solution so you do not smell like bitter vinegar all day, add 20 drops of your favorite essential oil.
Eucalyptus oil is a calm, soothing scent that also works as a tick repellent, while peppermint and citrus oils give off a strong crisp scent that also repel ticks.
After mixing the solution, spray onto clothing, skin, and hair before going outdoors. Reapply every four hours to keep ticks at bay, and examine your skin and hair when back inside to make sure no ticks are on the body.