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Organic Gardening & Living Advice

How to Fertigate
June 24, 2015
By Howard Garrett

Question: I just finished putting an irrigation system in place for my vegetable beds. I have a system that allows me to fertigate. I donít want to use anything that is not organic and I am looking to be cost-effective. Can you recommend a way to create a solution that I can use for fertilizing my vegetables? S.L., Carrollton

Answer: Garrett Juice is perfect for use in a fertigation system. Fertigation is fertilizing and irrigating at the same time, by adding liquid fertilizers or amendments to the water supply.Liquid humate is better than compost tea in this case because it has less particulate matter.

Hereís how to make your own:

Garrett Juice, ready to spray

To a gallon of water, add:

1 cup compost tea or liquid humate

1 ounce molasses

1 ounce apple cider vinegar

1 ounce liquid seaweed

For Garrett Juice Plus and more fertilizer value add:

1 to 2 ounces of liquid fish (fish hydrolysate) per gallon of spray

For disease and insect control add:

1/4 cup garlic tea or

1/4 cup garlic-pepper tea or

1 to 2 ounces of orange oil

Question: Is it mold Iím seeing on a grassless area on our property? All this rain and the ground canít dry out! On a bare area there is green and black stuff on the mud. Is it mold or dirt? How should I treat to rid the ground of this stuff? A.S., Keller

Answer: It could be mold but itís probably algae. It can easily be killed with the hydrogen peroxide spray. Dilute grocery store hydrogen peroxide with water in a 50-50 mix and spray the problem areas.

Question: My house is 4 years old and along the whole east side, water gathers against the foundation when it rains. I am on a tight budget and have asked two different landscaping companies to come out, but they said it wasnít a big enough job. I have tried to build up the dirt in that area myself, but I think I made it worse. Any help would be appreciated. R.G., Dallas

Answer: The only thing that will solve this for sure is to dig a trench from the water-holding areas to a lower point on the site where the water can run out. You donít have to put a pipe in the trench. Just fill the trench all the way to the surface with some kind of crushed rock. That way it serves as an inlet all along the trench.

Question: Yesterday my young peach tree, 4 years old, had a lot of peaches, looking good. Today the leaves are drooping, and all of the peaches are shriveling up. We have had about 10 inches of rain so far. What is causing this? G.G., Joshua

Answer: If havenít done so already, begin the organic fruit and pecan tree program. Stimulating the life in the soil is the only workable solution to the problems being created by the rain and supersaturated soils.

Question: Something that we cannot see has eaten the leaves off all of our roses this wet spring. Any ideas to solve the problem?R.L., Quitman

Answer: Look for slugs, snails and pillbugs. They have been prolific with all the recent rain. Sluggo and Sluggo Plus might help solve the problem.

Question: I have a shumard oak or red oak. Last year I noticed that the leaves on the west side of the tree were sort a of lime green color, with the rest of the tree somewhat light green. This year I have the same issue, and some of the western leaves are curly brown. I am sure the roots run under my neighborís somewhat pathetic lawn. I have thrown some fertilizer on his lawn to keep it greener and ward off the weeds. I also added some coffee grounds to my whole lawn, which sure made my St. Augustine look nicer. I do not use a weed and feed, ever.M.K., Flower Mound

Answer: Your trees appear to be pin oak crossbreeds, but your soil is pretty good there in Flower Mound. If thatís the case, the pin oak genes shouldnít be a big problem. That brings us to your neighbor. The foliage is definitely worse on his side of the tree. Heís probably using toxic pesticides and cheap salt fertilizer, if he applies anything at all. Apply the Sick Tree Treatment, especially on his side ó in his yard if possible ó and use a double dose of greensand.

Question: I identified a tree in my front yard as river birch, according to your book, Texas Gardening the Natural Way. It has multiple trunks and different bark in the new and old parts. Itís not a good-looking tree and has some dead branches. I want to have this tree cut down to the ground and replace it with a bigtooth maple. Is this a good idea?S.S., Dallas

Answer: That would be a great improvement. Bigtooth maple is one of my favorite trees.

I would like to know a lotion or cream you can buy for repelling mosquitoes. Also, who do you recommend for foundation repair?
B.H., North Richland Hills

Answer: Mosquito Steve is my preferred on-skin mosquito repellent. I donít have a recommendation for foundation repair. All I can suggest is to interview some local companies and try to find one that doesnít list tree removal as the first recommendation.


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