Before Your First Seed Is Planted

This is going to be the year I actually start my real homestead garden. I had all kinds of ideas, of which fruits and vegetables I wanted to grow. I fantasied about apple trees and rows of corn. Oh I was so naive.

My original list of items I wanted was so long. It had every fruit and vegetable I could think of. I was so ready to harvest all these things, I was so excited to start canning and dehydrating. I couldn’t wait for the snow to melt so I get get these seeds in the ground and be on my way to self sufficiency.

It was at this point that I started watching Youtube videos and reading blogs on how to start a garden. Did you know that it could take up to 10 years for apple trees to produce fruit!!! I couldn’t believe, it by the time I planted the trees and waited for the apples to form I will be ready to retire. So, I am still going to plant my apple trees it will just be a few years before I can enjoy the fruits of my labor. Notice I said apple trees, because you need to plant two different varieties because they need to cross pollinate. I had no idea!

Reality set in and I took a hard look at my wish list and made a few adjustments. I realized that I needed to scale this projected way back. I need to start off small and get use to even having a garden before I jump in with both feet. I am going to start off with a small 10 x 12 foot garden.

This is the final list of vegetables that I am going to attempt to grow this first year:

  1. Tomatoes
  2. Carrots
  3. Green Peppers
  4. Cucumbers
  5. Garlic
  6. Broccoli
  7. Potatoes

I was talking with my husband the other night about what I wanted to grow and how I wanted it to be organic and all natural. Then he turned to me and said, “how to you plan on keeping the bugs out of your garden”? I was taken back by the question. I was actually a little perturbed that he thought of this and I didn’t. I had no idea and I was pissed about that. So, I gave him and attitude and told him I didn’t know. He went on to explain that I needed some kind of bug prevention in the garden or we wouldn’t have anything left to eat. Yeah, yeah!! I had to more research I needed to do.

I googled natural pesticides and of course some biosafe products came up and some all natural sprays. I just didn’t think that was a good option for me. I mean how do I really know that these are chemical free and all natural. Yes, they said it on the package, but I just wanted to find another option.

I found a website that offered 10 Homemade Organic Pesticides. I also found a few other websites, but must of them required dish soap as one of the ingredients. How is dish soap all natural? This lead me to more research. I was learning so much and reading all kinds of articles and blogs on the subject. I did find that there are a few all natural dish soaps including Mrs. Meyer’s and Dr. Bronner’s. There are also a lot of recipes out there to make our own dish soap

Through all this reading and research I also discovered that you can also grow certain plants and herbs to deter bugs from entering your garden. A good resource I found is this list. Here is what plants and herbs I decided to grow in my garden:

  1. Marigolds-repel mosquitoes and aphids
  2. Lavender-repels flies, moths and mosquitoes
  3. Lemongrass/Citronella repels mosquitoes, ticks, moths, mice, fleas and black flies
  4. Garlic-repels root maggots, slugs, flies, worms (but can attack moths)
  5. Basil-repels mosquitoes and flies
  6. Peppermint-repels aphids, cabbage looper, flea beetles, squash bugs and white flies.
  7. Crown Imperial-repels rabbits, mice, moles, voles and grounds squirrels

Now that I am prepared with my garden lay out, produce selections, pest repellents and natural pesticides, I am ready to start planting. There is only one problem left. SNOW! I need it to stop snowing so I can actually plant!

What are you growing in your garden this year? Do you have any other suggestions for bug and/or pest repellents?

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