I have a real problem with ants every spring when I go to re-energize my gardens. I have a lot of gardens and it seems almost every one gets taken over by ants. The only safe/organic way I know is grits and it takes so long and so many treatments. Does anyone know a better way, that is still safe for my fruit and flowers?
By Klaraine from Venus, TX
The safest, cheapest, quickest way to repel most bugs and pests in the yard & garden that I've found is diatomaceous earth. There are some companies you can get it from on the internet, but the cheapest place to first check is your local feed supply. Hope this helps you!
A friend of mine uses a tea made with hot peppers. She takes the hottest peppers she can find and choppers them very finely with the seeds and adds them to a pot of boiling water, lets them steep over night. She reheats the pot with a couple of tablespoons of vinegar, pours it hot down the holes. later in the day she takes her boot and closes the holes.
Another friend takes a slurry of baking soda and water and uses a baster to push it in the whole. A short time later she does the same with vinegar. He says the if it is a big colony the ground may puff a little. The acid and alkaline cancel each other out.
My community garden plot was infested with ants when I took it over. I tried all kinds of organic solutions. Diluted dish soap, diatomaceous earth, cinnamon, orange peels, you name it, to no permanent avail.
This went on for a few years. And then I read an article about a woman putting Avon's Skin So Soft on the pole holding her bird feeder to keep the ants off. And I got an idea. Here is a permanent solution...Mix about an inch of Skin So Soft (see an Avon Representative or get it online), an inch of Ecovar or any organic dish detergent in a gallon jug. Fill with water. Just transfer what you need into a squirt bottle and apply it wherever you see ants...in the soil, around and on plants, etc. It's perfectly safe.
You'll probably have to keep applying this mixture for awhile but in a few month's you'll see a big difference. Eventually they'll be gone. I think you can even try something like canola oil if Skin So Soft is too expensive.
I want to plant some herbs, but the ground I want to use is covered with ants. What can I use to rid the ants and keep the garden fresh enough to plant the herbs?
Try dry corn meal. Just sprinkle it around the area. I used it around my lemon tree and they up and left. You might have to respread the corn meal at some point. GG Vi