QUESTION: We have a berm in front of our house, and last year a dead spot appeared in the grass growing there. This year, the dead area covers most of the berm. When I dug into the berm, I found white grub worms. How can I get rid of them? Iíve tried a recommended poison, but so far it hasnít worked. D.S., Hillsboro
ANSWER: Use beneficial nematodes, and follow the label directions. Later, apply dry molasses at a rate of 20 pounds per 1,000 square feet. One of the main reasons I donít recommend chemicals is that they donít work. Follow an organic program and you wonít have a problem with grub worms.
QUESTION: I recently bought a beautiful leather chair at an outdoor auction. I did not detect an odor until I got the chair home. Indoors, I noticed a mildew or mold odor in the chair. How can I remove the smell? S.J., Cisco
ANSWER: Try X-O Odor Neutralizer (www.xocorp.com). It should be available at some organic garden centers, at feed stores and at hardware stores.
QUESTION: I tried your recommendations for controlling mosquitoes in rain barrels with lemon juice, Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti) in the form of Mosquito Dunks and even bleach, with no luck. Any other ideas? R.F., Richardson
ANSWER: I donít use bleach for anything. The other products usually work. Are you sure the mosquitoes arenít coming from somewhere else?
QUESTION: If sugar is bad for us, what about for hummingbirds? Is there a healthier formula to put in bird feeders? R.L., Celina
ANSWER: Bird experts have not given me an alternative. This summer, we omitted the feeders and concentrated on plants that attract hummingbirds. We had plenty of hummingbirds.
QUESTION: Could wiping cabinet shelves with orange oil help to control weevils? Is it safe around food? J.S., Cisco
ANSWER: Yes to both questions. Just be careful not to use so much orange oil that the paint is damaged. Diluted solutions sprayed on the shelves and wiped off should work well. Try 1 tablespoon of orange oil per quart of water.
QUESTION: I want to plant several hundred acres of corn organically as a crop to feed dairy cows. I have good access to turkey, chicken and horse manure. What is the best way to start? And would foliar feeding with liquid seaweed work? B.W., China Spring
ANSWER: Liquid seaweed is excellent for foliar feeding and is even better when added to compost tea, vinegar, molasses and liquid fish to create Garrett Juice. (See Resources to obtain free instructions.)
The best use of the manure is to compost it first and then apply it to the soil at a rate of 1 to 2 tons per acre.
The next best approach is to apply the manure at the same rate in raw form. This method is second best because the raw material is harsher and probably will contain viable weed seeds.