plants http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/3180/all en-US The 5 Hardest-to-Kill Houseplants http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-hardest-to-kill-houseplants <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-hardest-to-kill-houseplants" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/garden-178582440.jpg" alt="Christmas cactus" title="Christmas cactus" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Some people have thumbs so green that they can plant a dead twig in a pot of soil and watch it grow into a lush plant that's the envy of every neighbor. I am not one of those people. While I have many skills on the domestic front, gardening indoors has never been one of them. With the arrival of warmer weather heralding spring, I've started to daydream of flowers and foliage. In my tiny New York City apartment, I want to bring some nature into my living space and recently started to research houseplants that are easy to grow and maintain indoors. All of the plants highlighted below are <a href="http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/toxic-and-non-toxic-plants">non-toxic to dogs and cats</a> as well, an important point for all of us with pets. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/garden-ideas-for-small-spaces?ref=seealso">Small-Space Gardening</a>)</p> <h2>1. Lucky Bamboo</h2> <p>You may have seen a plant named <a href="http://www.organicgardening.com/learn-and-grow/growing-lucky-bamboo">Lucky Bamboo</a> in a number of stores and nurseries. It consists of a small set of what look like mini-bamboo stalks snuggled together, usually in a decorative pot with tiny stones in place of soil for good drainage. This plant isn't bamboo at all. It is a hearty houseplant with the scientific name <em>Dracaena braunii</em>. It is a snap to grow, nearly impossible to kill, and highly tolerant of indoor environments. In Chinese culture and Feng Shui, Lucky Bamboo is considered just that &mdash; lucky. It is also believed to bring peace, harmony, and health to any house where it grows. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-cheap-plants-for-improving-indoor-air-quality?ref=seealso">Best Plants for Improving Indoor Air Quality</a>)</p> <h2>2. Christmas Cactus</h2> <p>Of all the cactus varieties, the <a href="http://www.horticare.net/PDF%20Files/UsefulGardeningInfo/CHRISTMAS%20CACTUS%20CARE%20AND%20INFORMATION.pdf">Christmas cactus</a> is one of the most beautiful because of its attractive flowers that come in a variety of colors from bright fuchsia to pale yellow or white. They bloom all year and thrive in indoor settings. Christmas cactuses will be perfectly fine in dim light, although the brighter the light they have, the more they bloom. Like Lucky Bamboo, good drainage is important. It's not quite as drought tolerant as some varieties of cactus, but it needs much less water than most other houseplants.</p> <h2>3. Boston Fern</h2> <p>Many varieties of ferns make excellent houseplants because their need for light is minimal. Boston ferns are <a href="http://www.bhg.com/gardening/houseplants/ferns/9-top-ferns-to-grow-as-houseplants/#page=9">the most common of all house ferns</a>. There are a number of different types of Boston ferns that have many variations that affect the colors and shapes of their leaves. All Boston ferns can grow to be quite large. Some get as big as 5-7 feet tall and wide, though most that are grown inside reach about 2-3 feet tall and wide.</p> <h2>4. Dwarf Palm</h2> <p>While palm trees conjure images of Florida and Hawaii beaches for most of us, palms can be grown indoors and lend an exotic, dreamy look to any room. The dwarf palm, also known as the <a href="http://www.houseplantsexpert.com/pygmy-date-palm.html">Pygmy Date Palm</a>, is a smaller variety than those on beaches and typically grows to 4-6 feet tall. An average room temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit is perfect for these palms, and they prefer a good mix of sunlight and shade, making them suitable for most homes. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-a-great-container-garden-started-with-this-guide?ref=seealso">How to Start a Great Container Garden</a>)</p> <h2>5. Jasmine</h2> <p>If ever a plant could literally transport us to an exotic locale, <a href="http://www.bhg.com/gardening/plant-dictionary/vine/jasmine/">jasmine</a> is it. It's well-suited for an area that gets mixed levels of light, and its gorgeous, fragrant blossoms whisk us to the Far East with their intoxicating scent that we experience the second we step into any room where they are placed. Though many flowering plants only produce blooms once per calendar year, some varieties of jasmine will flower throughout the year. Extraordinarily easy to care for, these plants give us much in return for the little effort they need to stay healthy and strong. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-easiest-plants-to-grow-indoors-and-outdoors?ref=seealso">Easiest Plants to Grow</a>)</p> <p>While I'll always envy people who are born gardeners, my limited gardening abilities and tiny apartment don't limit my opportunity to bring the outdoors into my indoor space. With some careful selections of easy-tomaintain plants that require little care and thrive in areas where light levels aren't always consistent, I'm able to green up my home without any additional burden.</p> <p><em>Have you had success growing plants indoors? What are your favorite, easy-to-care-for plants? </em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-hardest-to-kill-houseplants" class="sharethis-link" title="The 5 Hardest-to-Kill Houseplants" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-hardest-to-kill-houseplants">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-cheap-ways-to-lower-your-blood-sugar">13 Natural and Easy Ways to Lower Your Blood Sugar</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-cheap-and-easy-formulas-for-homemade-windshield-de-icer-plus-bonus-tips">3 Cheap and Easy Formulas for Homemade Windshield De-Icer (Plus Bonus Tips)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-things-car-salesmen-dont-want-you-to-know">17 Things Car Salesmen Don&#039;t Want You to Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/51-uses-for-coca-cola-the-ultimate-list">51 Uses for Coca-Cola – the Ultimate List</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-diy-dog-toys-you-can-make-for-pennies">10 DIY Dog Toys You Can Make for Pennies</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Life Hacks easy gardening house plants plants Sat, 05 Apr 2014 03:55:45 +0000 Christa Avampato 1134183 at http://www.wisebread.com The 7 Easiest Plants to Grow Indoors and Outdoors http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-easiest-plants-to-grow-indoors-and-outdoors <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-7-easiest-plants-to-grow-indoors-and-outdoors" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/plant-180195230.jpg" alt="spider plant" title="spider plant" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The benefits of growing plants, whether inside or out, are numerous. Plants freshen and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-cheap-plants-for-improving-indoor-air-quality">detoxify the air inside your home</a> while offering the added benefit of improving the decor of a room. Gardening outside, meanwhile, can provide therapeutic benefits to the grower. The time spent working in the outdoors with the dirt and in the sunshine can rejuvenate the body and clear the mind. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-gardening-lessons-learned-the-hard-way?ref=seealso">10 Gardening Lessons</a>)</p> <p>For those of us who would like to experience the wonderful benefits of growing plants but feel intimidated to start, here&#39;s a list of seven easy-to-care for plants for your inside your home and out.</p> <h2>Outdoor Plants</h2> <p>Spruce up your backyard or add a little color to your entryway with these no-fuss outdoor plants.</p> <h3>Petunia</h3> <p>Petunias come in a variety of colors including white, pink, purple, and many colors in between. They spread quickly on the ground and fill a container beautifully, as well. They can go more than a day without water unless it is excessively dry, and they flower throughout the growing season without needing extra fertilizer. Deadheading (plucking off dead blooms from their stems) does not need to be done for them to re-flower, making this a very easy plant to grow through the spring and summer. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-easy-veggies-to-plant-this-spring?ref=seealso">Easy Veggies to Plant in Spring</a>)</p> <h3>Coneflower</h3> <p>Like the petunia, coneflowers come in a wide variety of colors. This tough plant is native to the prairie, so they are hardy in the heat and the wind. They require regular watering and deadheading to encourage reblooming. They have the added benefit of attracting butterflies to the garden, as well. Coneflowers are a perennial plant and will return the following year if you cut them back to the base just before spring arrives.</p> <h3>Hosta</h3> <p>Hostas are the perfect plant for shaded areas of your garden. These hardy plants come in many varieties with many different shades of green, white, and even purple on their leaves. These plants can be split and replanted, cut back to deter overgrowth, and even neglected. They can tolerate heat if they are at least partially shaded and watered regularly.</p> <h3>Peony</h3> <p>Peonies thrive if left alone. These perennials are a great addition to a flower bed that receives full sun. Peonies may need to be staked if they get top heavy (and that should be done early in the spring), but otherwise, they can be left alone to grow. Regular watering when the weather dries will ensure that you have blooms well into the heat of the summer. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-on-summer-garden-flowers?ref=seealso">Saving on Summer Garden Flowers</a>)</p> <h2>Indoor Plants</h2> <p>If outdoor gardening space is at a premium where you live or you want to freshen up the inside of your home, adding these low-maintenance indoor plants are sure to brighten your day. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-a-great-container-garden-started-with-this-guide?ref=seealso">The Container Garden Guide</a>)</p> <h3>Chinese Evergreen</h3> <p>Don&#39;t let the name fool you; this isn&#39;t a small Christmas tree. The Chinese Evergreen is a plant with varying shades of green, white, and silver leaves. This plant likes low to medium light, which makes it perfect for apartments and rooms without direct sunlight. It can grow to three feet high and wide. This beautiful indoor plant should be kept moist. Like many other indoor plants, it does have poisonous leaves, so care should be taken to keep it away from children and pets.</p> <h3>Spider Plant</h3> <p>Spider plants are probably the plant you think of most when you picture an indoor plant. This easy-to-grow plant thrives inside in medium to bright light. It trails and shoots off new growth, called &quot;plantlets&quot; at the ends that root well in water to make new plants. The Spider Plant works well as a hanging plant and is not toxic to cats. It also has the added benefit of cleaning the air in your home by removing formaldehyde. (This harmful chemical is found in particle board, wood furniture, and insulation.)</p> <h3>Dracaena</h3> <p>There are many varieties of Dracaena that work well indoors. The &quot;Janet Craig&quot; has bright green leaves while the &quot;Warneckii&quot; has green and white leaves. In addition, the &quot;Massangean&quot; has yellow and green leaves that resemble a corn stalk. Regardless of the variety, dracaena grows well in medium to bright light making it a great addition to a bright room in your home. (If you are fortunate, these blossom once in a while. We had one blossom just once, and they were among the most amazingly fragrant and beautiful flowers we had ever seen!)</p> <p>Whether you are looking to beautify the landscape of your home, the decor of your rooms, or filter the air inside, growing plants need not be intimidating. Many plants are easy to grow, require very little maintenance and will return year after year!</p> <p><em>What are your favorite low maintenance plants? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-easiest-plants-to-grow-indoors-and-outdoors" class="sharethis-link" title="The 7 Easiest Plants to Grow Indoors and Outdoors" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-easiest-plants-to-grow-indoors-and-outdoors">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-mosquito-repellent-plants-with-a-dual-purpose">6 Mosquito-Repellent Plants With a Dual Purpose</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/xeriscaping-to-promote-water-conservation">Xeriscaping to Promote Water Conservation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/snail-free-gardening">Snail Free Gardening</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/going-native-landscaping-for-your-climate">Going Native: Landscaping for Your Climate</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-turn-your-black-thumb-green">How to Turn Your Black Thumb Green</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Green Living Home easy to grow plants gardening indoor plants plants Wed, 05 Feb 2014 11:24:26 +0000 Linsey Knerl 1122571 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Mosquito-Repellent Plants With a Dual Purpose http://www.wisebread.com/6-mosquito-repellent-plants-with-a-dual-purpose <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-mosquito-repellent-plants-with-a-dual-purpose" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/catnip_0.jpg" alt="Cat with plants" title="Cat with plants" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="153" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Mosquitoes are incredibly common in my home state of Minnesota. Perhaps it's all the lakes and ponds &mdash; which make for great mosquito breeding grounds. Every summer it's another battle to keep these pests away. I've previously written about <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-cheap-and-easy-homemade-mosquito-repellents">homemade mosquito repellent recipes</a>, but I've recently discovered something even easier &mdash; mosquito repellent plants. There are plants that you can grow in your background that naturally repel mosquitoes. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/pesky-pests-easy-homemade-mosquito-and-insect-traps-and-repellent">Pesky Pests: Easy Homemade Mosquito and Insect Traps and Repellent</a>)</p> <p>There is a full list of <a href="http://gogreentravelgreen.com/mosquito-repellent-plants-that-repel-mosquitoes/">plants that repel mosquitoes here</a> here, but below I've compiled the top plants based on price and what I call &quot;dual purpose.&quot; That is, besides just repelling mosquitoes, these plants also either look especially nice or serve some more functional purpose. For example, planting citronella is great, but you can't do much else with it. In contrast, marigolds are beautiful flowers and several of the herbs below can also be used to cook with.</p> <h2>Marigolds</h2> <p>Marigold flowers are not only relatively easy to grow, they also look nice and repel mosquitoes. They look great potted, which gives the added benefit of being able to move them closer to where you are sitting. You can buy <a href="http://www.amazon.com/French-Marigold-Flower-Seeds-Packet/dp/B000Q81V86">1,000 seeds on Amazon for $4.50</a>.</p> <h2>Rosemary</h2> <p>As someone lacking a green thumb, I appreciate plants that don't require much work. Thankfully, rosemary is one of those plants that I've grown in my backyard every summer for years. If you plant it in a pot, you can also bring it inside in the winter to keep your herb garden up. Rosemary is a great dual-purpose mosquito repelling plant because you can also use it to cook. (I like it with potatoes or in bread.) <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Ferry-Morse-Rosemary-Seeds-Milligram-Packet/dp/B003V1WVVQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=lawn-garden&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1344265438&amp;sr=1-1&amp;keywords=rosemary">100 Rosemary seeds cost just $1.79 on Amazon</a>.</p> <h2>Catnip</h2> <p>Catnip <a href="http://www.ag.iastate.edu/aginfo/news/catnip.html">has been found by researchers</a> to be even more effective than DEET (a neurotoxin found in most bug sprays). Like marigolds and rosemary, catnip can be planted in a pot for easy portability. But it's also a perennial, so you may prefer to plant it in your garden so it will grow year after year. And, if you have a cat, you have a treat for your pet as well as protection from mosquitoes. You can buy <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Catnip-Nepeta-cataria-Seed-Needs/dp/B003TILJDW/ref=pd_sim_lg_1">200 seeds on Amazon for $1.85</a>.</p> <h2>Garlic</h2> <p>Garlic repels mosquitoes and is used in almost all of my favorite Italian recipes. I recommend waiting until the spring to plant garlic, as the weather is better for growing it then, and it takes awhile to harvest. <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Georgian-Fire-Heirloom-Bulbils-Hardneck/dp/B005OOUHUK/ref=sr_1_19?s=lawn-garden&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1344265881&amp;sr=1-19&amp;keywords=garlic">50 bulbils on Amazon cost $5.79</a>.</p> <h2>Ageratum</h2> <p>Ageratum is another flowering plant that produces small purple/blue flowers. The plant emits a smell that repels mosquitoes. I've never grown this plant before, but you can buy <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Davids-Ageratum-Horizon-houstonianum-Seeds/dp/B0042OTDRG/ref=sr_1_2?s=lawn-garden&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1344266137&amp;sr=1-2&amp;keywords=Ageratum">45 seeds for $5.95</a> and see for yourself how well it works.</p> <h2>Peppermint</h2> <p>Like rosemary, I found peppermint exceptionally easy to grow. During the summer I use the leaves to flavor water and at the end of the summer I dry the peppermint leaves to make peppermint tea. And <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Peppermint-Mentha-piperita-Seed-Needs/dp/B004FXWZ42/ref=sr_1_1?s=lawn-garden&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1344266315&amp;sr=1-1&amp;keywords=peppermint">200 Peppermint seeds cost $2.15</a>.</p> <h2>How to Use the Plants</h2> <p>The best thing to do is to place these plants around your garden patio or the area you are most likely to sit outside. Then, when you are grilling, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/back-yard-barbecues-that-wont-break-the-bank">hosting a barbeque</a>, or just enjoying a book outside, crush the leaves. Crushing a few leaves will emit the odor that most effectively drives the mosquitoes away.</p> <p>Personally, as much as I hate mosquitoes, I would never plant plants just for the sake of repelling the pests. That's why I think these dual mosquito repelling plants are better choices to incorporate into your garden.</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-mosquito-repellent-plants-with-a-dual-purpose" class="sharethis-link" title="6 Mosquito-Repellent Plants With a Dual Purpose" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/elizabeth-lang">Elizabeth Lang</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-mosquito-repellent-plants-with-a-dual-purpose">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-easiest-plants-to-grow-indoors-and-outdoors">The 7 Easiest Plants to Grow Indoors and Outdoors</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/snail-free-gardening">Snail Free Gardening</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-cheap-and-easy-homemade-mosquito-repellents">4 Cheap and Easy Homemade Mosquito Repellents</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-helpful-and-weird-uses-for-hair-and-excess-pet-fur">9 Helpful (and Weird) Uses for Hair and Excess Pet Fur</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/getting-by-without-a-job-part-4-get-free-stuff">Getting by without a job, part 4--get free stuff</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Green Living gardening herbs mosquitos plants Wed, 08 Aug 2012 09:48:42 +0000 Elizabeth Lang 948714 at http://www.wisebread.com Snail Free Gardening http://www.wisebread.com/snail-free-gardening <p><img src="/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/snail.jpg" alt="Photo by mozzercork" width="224" height="146" /></p> <p>Green gardening should be cheap. Organic gardening was the way of the world before chemical companies found ways to create compounds that could destroy pests quickly and effectively. The thing that makes organic gardening less-favored than, say, using pesticides, is that it&#39;s not as efficient. You have to put more effort into organic gardening.</p> <p>But it&#39;s worth it. It&#39;s cheap, it&#39;s fun, and you can protect your water supply. Remember, whatever <a href="/secret-lawn-tonic-recipe-from-golf-course-groundskeeper">we spray on our lawns</a> and gardens ends up in our drinking water.</p> <p>I haven&#39;t had too much luck with critter control where I live. Seattle is a very snail and slug-heavy area, and I have one very serious problem:</p> <p><a href="http://www.flickr.com/groups/snails/">I love snails</a>.</p> <p>I think snails are beautiful. I grew up in an area where there simply aren&#39;t any snails, and I was so taken with the little guys when we used to visit my grandmother in Pasadena. I was heartbroken when my father announced the ingredients to the escargot that I had just sampled while dining at my very first French restaurant. When I take my dogs out for their last walk at night here in the Pacific Northwest, I often have to tiptoe through the streets because the snails come out in droves and line the sidewalks - I can&#39;t bear to step on one.</p> <p>Thus, I can&#39;t stand the idea of drowning them in beer or setting traps and then throwing them in the garbage (although I don&#39;t suppose I would object to some one actually trapping and eating them - I wouldn&#39;t do it, but I can see why someone would).</p> <p>My mom used to drip some weird, sludgey black poison to protect her roses from slugs. I never liked this, and snail bait can be very <a href="http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&amp;A=1423&amp;S=1&amp;SourceID=42">dangerous to household pets</a>. But I&#39;m happy to report that there are plenty of ways to reduce the damage that slugs and snails do to your garden that don&#39;t involve pesticides. Sure, it take a bit more elbow grease than plain ol&#39; poison, but it&#39;s worth the effort.</p> <p>I should stress that there&#39;s probably <em>no such thing as a snail-free garden</em>, just a garden that snails don&#39;t really like to visit that much.</p> <p>Here are some tips from discouraging those mollusky visitors, courtesy of <a href="http://www.thegardenhelper.com/slugs.html">The Garden Helper</a>:</p> <ul> <li>Pulling the weeds from your garden is something you need to do anyway. As you pull each weed, you remove a potential slug outpost. </li> <li>Keep all decaying matter cleaned out of your garden beds. While leaves make a good mulch, once they begin to compost they become food and shelter for slugs and snails. </li> <li>Prune the branches of any shrubs which are laying on the ground. Keep the old leaves and such cleaned out. By doing this you will have destroyed yet another slug haven! </li> <li>Cultivate your soil regularly to keep the dirt clods broken up, and unearth any slugs which may have burrowed under the surface. </li> <li>The shaded areas beneath decks can be a slug arena: keep them weed and litter free. </li> <li>Keep the lawn edges trimmed. Slugs will congregate under the umbrella of unkept grass. </li> <li>Cedar bark or gravel chips spread around your plant will irritate and dehydrate slugs.</li> <li>Rosemary, lemon balm, wormwood, mints, tansy, oak leaves, needles from conifers and seaweed will repel slugs.</li> <li>Enlist allies... snakes, ducks, geese, toads, and [chickens] would enjoy helping you out as they dine on your slugs. </li> </ul> <p>Here are some other ideas that I&#39;ve gathered over the years:</p> <p><strong>Create as sunny a garden as possible</strong>. Now, this is tough, especially for those of us who live in the Land of Perpetual Rain, but put all of your snail-prone plants in a sunny area. If you have lots of shady areas in your garden, try to keep it free of ground cover like ivy, where the slugs and snails like to sleep during the day. I have a long strip of skinny yard that is VERY shady, and I&#39;m making it into a rock garden with some moss and a couple of tiny Japanese maples. It&#39;s low-maintenance and pretty, and snails just aren&#39;t interested in it.</p> <p><strong>Protect prone plants with copper barriers</strong>. For some reason, slugs and snails won&#39;t cross copper. You can <a href="http://www.glassmart.com/regular_foil.asp">buy copper foil online</a> for pretty cheap. I have a teeny courtyard that I use to grow tomatoes, so I put copper around the base and around the lip of the huge ceramic pots that I use. It looks pretty as an accent if you put it on right. You can also put a loop around the base of a plant.</p> <p>If you are a great big meanie, <strong>traps are easy to construct</strong>. Spray some beer on a board and place it, beer-side down, 1/2 inch off of the soil in a shady area of your garden. The snails that collect under there can be eaten, or thrown into your <a href="/is-this-job-worth-it">evil coworkers yard</a>. You can go out at night and collect them, as well. They are nocturnal, so day time collection is harder.</p> <p>Also, take note: <a href="/254-uses-for-vinegar-and-counting">another use for vinegar</a>!</p> <p>&quot;As you wage your war on slugs and snails, you are almost certain to be &#39;slimed&#39; at least once. YUK! Mix up a little warm water and vinegar, and use this formula to remove the slime from your hands like magic!&quot;</p> <p>Photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/mozzercork/146787892/">mozzercork</a>.</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/snail-free-gardening" class="sharethis-link" title="Snail Free Gardening" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/snail-free-gardening">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-mosquito-repellent-plants-with-a-dual-purpose">6 Mosquito-Repellent Plants With a Dual Purpose</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-easiest-plants-to-grow-indoors-and-outdoors">The 7 Easiest Plants to Grow Indoors and Outdoors</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-the-tomatoes-autumn-tips-to-prolong-the-growing-season">Save the Tomatoes! Autumn Tips to Prolong the Growing Season</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-only-4-things-a-vegetable-garden-needs">The Only 4 Things a Vegetable Garden Needs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-your-apple-dangerous-how-to-eat-fewer-pesticides-and-save-money">Is Your Apple Dangerous? How to Eat Fewer Pesticides (and Save Money)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Green Living bugs compost flowers garden gardening organic pesticides pests plants slugs snail-proof snails soap top soil water Tue, 03 Apr 2007 20:17:27 +0000 Andrea Karim 446 at http://www.wisebread.com