Barnett Farm and Dairy


Grass Fed Beef - Rockwood, Tennessee

Organic Gardening

Methods to keep your home garden clean

Not long ago, a friend of mine wanted me to help him get started with beekeeping which I did. Then a couple of months later I stopped by his house and noticed that his garden was covered in Sevin dust. I was shocked, and when I asked him about it, he carelessly replied, "the bees don't go there".

If you really care about chemicals in your food, and you should, you should NOT use them in your garden.

So, how can you control pests in your garden? I made a couple of intersting discoveries by accident several years ago. First, I liked to see the birds in my yard, so I began to feed them. What I noticed is that by feeding the grain eating birds, and thereby creating a friendly environment, the insect eating birds also came around in droves which resulted in a much cleaner garden. Then some years later I bought the farm and noticed that it wasn't to long and the crows took over which resulted in a decrease in the other birds that were good for the garden. The good thing is that crows are easy to train, you kill one or two (which you can do with a BB gun) and they decide to go somewhere else.

Secondly, I had bought a bug zapper which I wanted to kill the wax moths that seek out bee hives and destory your honey crop if not the entire hive. Wax moths are very small, but as with all moths, you can kill them at night with a zapper. I plant my garden near my bee hives mostly because the bees love corn pollen. Bees don't generally work to much in a garden for nectar because there are many better sources, however they will be on the corn pollen like white on rice. What I noticed the very first year was that I had no corn worms because the bug zapper got those to.

I did two other things for my garden. I ordered some Preying Mantis eggs and placed those about my farm which created a noticeable presence. I was reluctant at first because they will also eat bees, but it proved to be a good decision. I also have created a Bat friendly environment by building a nice housing complex for them. Bats freak some people out, but they don't hurt a thing and they are great for your garden because they love insects including moths. It is really cool to watch bats swarm out of their dwelling in the evening just as the sun sets.

We noticed that we had a particularly bad problem with the stink bugs that will destroy an entire Zucchini patch in a day or two. We decided to cover the Zucchini with nets which does work however we noticed that by trapping the stink bugs in the winter and feeding them to the chickens worked much better. All you have to do is to make a box with a small opening as they will seek that out to hibernate in the dark space, literally hundreds of them. Your next year will be noticeably better.