It’s time to weed, clean, feed, trim, save egg shells for slugs, make different “sauces”, buy seeds, check garden equipment.

However it’s also time to investigate the new tools at the garden centers, Home Depot, Menards, Wojo’s, Campbell’s, American Tree, and don’t forget the green houses we visited last year. Worth mentioning are: Jusko’s on Armada Ridge Rd. and Gaier Farms & Greenhouses on Irwin Road in Armada, and don’t forget our own Day Farms out on Brown City Road.

That said, you should have a plan on what you need to get, note how many hours of sun an area gets before you buy.

But before the bugs come and take you away you may want to have on hand a big bottle of mosquito and bug spray that is safe for kids and pets, so here is the recipe. You will need a big blue bottle of cheap mouthwash, 3 cups of epsom salt, 3 stale 12 oz. beers. mix this all together until the salt melts, then pour into a spray bottle or bottles, keep unused spray in cool place like basement or garage. You can now spray heavily anyplace you sit—pool side, porches, patios, garages, window sills, door jambs. The mouthwash bottle is usually 1 quart, 3 beers is 36 ounces so you need a large container to mix it all up. This spray will work for about 80 days. It will not harm plants or flowers and has a nice smell.

If you are worried about ticks you need to get a product with 20-30 % deet which will last for about 8 hours. Fortunately ticks can’t fly or jump. They crawl, right onto you. wearing long pants tucked into socks helps, a long sleeve shirt is great. Once home take off the clothes you had on and run them in a hot dryer for 10 minutes, and of course showering asap is preferred. You can also spray the repellent PERMETHRIN, on your shoes, socks and clothing.

So we got the bugs taken care of, now for the weeds. I have a recipe for you. You will need 1/2 gallon of apple cider, 1/4 cup salt, 1/2 teaspoon Dawn dish soap. Stir well until salt is melted, this can be doubled exactly. The soap strips oil off the leaves and the hot sun does the rest. Of course you can also Google about 50 different ways to kill weeds.

I just want to mention SOS here. Avon Skin So Soft, is a great deterrent to all kinds of bugs and mosquitoes while working outside. Plus when you come in and take a shower, your skin is so soft. Just put some in a spray bottle, add about 1/2 the amount of water, shake and spray and rub in….it works, if you work it.

HOW TO KILL POISON IVY…..1 cup salt, 1 gallon white vinegar. Put in a large pot and heat to dissolve salt (not boil) let cool, add 8 drops of dish soap, stir well, put in a spray bottle, and spray ivy well– results in a day or two.

Plants that repel mosquitoes are catnip, lemongrass, eucalyptus, rose and citronella geraniums. All do a nice job and smell great. DON’T FORGET TO STAY HYDRATED…take care and enjoy the great MICHIGAN outdoors.

Contact Diane at tct@pageone-inc.com