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Script 32.8

Script

Network participants find the following techniques work well. Although these articles have been edited, they have not been verified by DCFRN.

Natural pest control

Virgilio Quitorio
Radio Broadcaster, Agriculture Communications Foundation of the Diocese of Borongan Radio DYVW-AM Borongan, Philippines

There are natural ways of controlling yard and garden insects without resorting to dangerous chemicals and poisons. Manufacturers would like us to believe that pests can be controlled only by using their poisonous sprays, which need not be so, as any organic gardener would say.

You can control and repel harmful insects with a number of home-made repellents and intoxicants, and the use of predator insects, birds, poultry, reptiles, and small animals.

For example, you can use companion planting. The idea is to alternately arrange some plants. If, for example, you have melons and cucumbers in the yard and there are beetles that feast on them, try rearranging the plant rows by planting radishes in between melon and cucumber. Beetles simply cannot stomach radishes. The cabbage butterfly, on the other hand, finds tomatoes repulsive, so you could probably plant some tomatoes in your yard.

A good, natural spray is a mixture of 2 cups of flour, 4 ounces of buttermilk and 2 1/2 gallons of water. The mixture is guaranteed to repel spider mites. Milk, either whole or dried, can also control tomato virus in a greenhouse.

The easiest way to get rid of snails and slugs is by getting them drunk. Snails and slugs love beer and if you bury a few saucers flush in the ground and fill them with beer in the evening, you’ll find those same saucers full of happily drowned slugs and snails the next day.

Some insects are actually friends and allies. The mantis, for one, relishes lice, flies, and grasshoppers. Ladybugs, on the other hand, steadily munch their way through scales, harmful insect eggs and larvae, white flies, and spider mites.

Some animals can also be “bug catchers”. Ducks, geese, chickens, toads,birds, and other small, feathered, scaled, and furry friends can steadily patrol the garden if we only let them.


Produce your own onion seed

Agnes Anim
Home Economics Organiser , Fanteakwa District Education Services Begoro, Ghana

Many vegetable farmers buy costly onion seeds for their gardens. You can produce your own true-to-type seed with this simple method:

Step 1

Select a disease-free, good-size onion bulb.

Step 2

Cut the bulb in half horizontally. Leave the bottom half in the open air for about two hours to dry the surface and to prevent fungus attack and rot.

Step 3

Prepare a seed bed or box. Plant the bottom root portion of the onion in soil. Leave at least one millimetre of the onion showing above the soil surface. Water occasionally. The half bulb will start growing into several plants after one week. Uproot plants at three or four weeks and break into individual plants with a pen knife, then plant as recommended for onion.

Seeds obtained from these plants are true-to-type. Remember, the top halves can be used in the kitchen as they don’t grow roots. Produce your own onion seed and save money for other seeds.