By G. Bosley a.k.a. “groundhog”
Tips and tricks I would like to share that hopefully will help you in your gardening adventures.
I welcome your comments or you can contact me at


Applied in early spring  as a barrier, to prevent pests that have overwintered on or under the bark of trees and shrubs, from emerging in the spring.  The oil spray smothers them.  Needs to be applied in early spring while the plant is still dormant, the buds are still closed tight.  Should be applied early in the morning when the wind is calm and temperatures are above freezing and will remain above freezing for at least 24 hours.
Mix together:  12 TBSP. Canola Oil
                              1    Tsp. Ivory Dish Soap
                              1    Gallon Water
Shake well.  Spray onto plant thoroughly covering all surfaces.  Protect any nearby surfaces such as patios or walls to prevent staining.  Use caution when applying any product in the garden and always clearly label any containers used. 
Sprinkle Epsom Salts around the base of plants affected, but not on the plant.
This acts as a barrier, they don’t like crossing the sharp crystals. Epsom Salts are also a source of magnesium.
Thinly rub Vaseline in a band around the stem  if you notice ants climbing your plants.  This will act as a barrier and prevent them from climbing, however you have to make the band wide enough so they can’t create a bridge.  Ants are actually Aphid farmers, so if you notice them climbing your plants they are likely placing the aphids out to feed.  Ants love the sweet honeydew produced by aphids.
Sprinkle cornmeal around the base of affected plants, but not on the plant.
Cutworms find cornmeal irresistible, but it is fatal as they are unable to properly digest it.  The cutworm feeds near the soil surface on plants, cutting the stems just below or above soil level.  There can be 5 generations per year so repeat applications may be necessary.
Attract Ladybugs to your garden and encourage them to stay by planting Dill, Fennel, Yarrow, Tansy, White Cosmos and have a few Dandelions around for them as well.

Achillea 'Anthea' Yarrow in October

Use silver or grey foliage plants for drought tolerance. Most plants with this coloured foliage are drought tolerant and thrive in full sun and well-drained soil.

Woolly coats are cool.  Many plants which originate from hot, dry areas have soft hairs that cover their stems and leaves.  The hair forms a barrier layer that traps moisture and keeps the plants cool.

Achillea 'Anthea' Yarrow in July

This is Achillea “Anthea’ (Yarrow) 

Great plant.  Looks good all year.  Needs some deadheading in summer to keep tidy.  Blooms June – Oct.  Deer resistant.  Attracts butterflies.  Full sun.  Drought tolerant.


These are one of the toughest plants you can add to your garden.  Because they have thick, fleshy roots they can store great amounts of nutrients and moisture.  As a result they are able to survive extreme climatic conditions.

Daylilies(Hemerocallis) bloom best in full sun, but are equally rewarding in shade.  They are available in a range of heights, bloom colour, bloom time and growth habits. These are an easy care plant that are drought tolerant and adaptable to most soils.

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