Bugs

Mosquito Repelling Plants – Keep Those Bugs Away!

Mosquito on a leaf

With summer comes lots of outdoor living.  Sadly, that can mean lots of mosquitoes. I don’t like to use chemical products but, thankfully, Mother Nature has the perfect answer – Mosquito Repelling Plants! We can grow annuals and perennials that will keep the bugs away naturally. With all the hype about West Nile Virus, it…

How to Keep Ants Out of the House

It is ant season again! As soon as the weather starts to heat up, and particularly after a warm rainy day, ants decide that indoors is a good place to be. Sure, you can kill ants with various home remedies, but are there are lots of other things that you can do to keep ants…

Growing Sunflowers – How to Grow and Care for Sunflower Plants

Sunflowers come in many colors

Growing Sunflowers is one of the really fun parts of summer time gardening.  These big annuals are very easy to grow, which makes them a very popular plant to introduce children to gardening.  Sunflowers (Helianthus annuus) are a member of the Aster family. The sunflower is the state flower of Kansas.  It is native to…

Natural Ant Killer Remedies

Effective, Natural Ant Killer Remedies

I am so looking forward to the return of warm weather. With the sunny days come flowers, gardening and time spent outdoors.  Unfortunately, with the warm weather also come ants!  These natural ant killer remedies will help to control the ants in your home in a non toxic way. It is fun for kids to…

Tips for Dealing with Invasive Pests

Do your share to help fight invasive pests

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of the United States Department of Agriculture – Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. The opinions and text are all mine.  It is time for some tips for dealing with invasive pests. Anyone who spends time in the garden knows how disheartening it can be…

The Importance of Bees in Nature

How important are bees?

Bees Help us Feed the World With all the talk of GMOs, pesticides and large scale farming, one has to ask the question “How important are bees to our Food Supply and to nature in general?”  I, for one, and many of my gardening friends have noted how few bees came into our yards this…

50+ Tried and Tested Uses for Vinegar

50+ Creative, reader tested uses for household vineagar: thegardeningcook.com/

I recently had to deal with ants in my kitchen and tested some home made ant killers. All of them worked to some degree, but what I ended up being most impressed with was the way that vinegar and water repelled the ants (at least temporarily) when used as a cleaner for my counters. Vinegar…

My Garden In June

My Garden in June is a fabulous display of perennials, annuals, bulbs and vegetables. See all the photos at thegardeningcook.com/garden-june

It’s been a long spring with a ton of work put into my gardens.  So many of them were overgrown, and neglected last year when I spent most of my energy on my vegetable garden. Months of tilling, planting and transplanting have gone into my garden beds this year.  I enlarged my test garden by…

Testing 5 Borax Ant Killer Remedies – Which ones Work?

I recently test five ant killers. Find out which one works best.

Do you have a problem with ants in your home as soon as the warm weather arrives?  I know that I do and I don’t like it at all. I decided to test 5 different Borax Ant Killers against the more toxic retail version of Terro. Every so often, my kitchen gets a trail of…

The Garden Charmers Share their Favorite Facebook Pages

The Garden Charmers Favorite Facebook pages

Facebook has so many great pages devoted to gardening, but the way the site now shows the content of pages, it is sometimes hard for them to get seen on news feeds. I thought it would be fun for the Garden Charmers (a GREAT Facebook page) to each share their own favorite Gardening page on…

Today’s Featured Fan – Tamara Martin

Pretties and Uglies in the Garden

Gardening Cook Fan Tamara Martin’s Photos The fans of my Facebook page are always submitting photos of their gardens and projects for me to consider for this website and The Facebook page – The Gardening Cook. Normally, I include a photo or two in specific articles, such as vegetable harvests, or garden flowers. But every…

Butterflies, Bugs, Bees and Other Garden Critters

It's lunch time!

Garden Critters add to the appeal of any garden. There is nothing like wandering around in my garden and seeing the wildlife in the form of insects buzzing around.  We all know that gardens need bees for pollination but so many other critters will find their way into a garden too.  Just provide them with…

Tobacco Hornworm (Manduca sexta)

Tobacco hornworm caterpillar

The tobacco hornworm is a voracious eater that can do a great deal of damage in a flower or vegetable garden. I decided to prune the dead flowers from my Buddleia (Butterfly Bush) the other day.  It is attracting butterflies like crazy, but most of the flowers were long dead.  I thought pruning it would…

Control Squash Bugs by Following These Tips.

How to control squash bugs

Trying to control squash bugs can seem an insurmountable task when you find them in your vegetable garden. Last week I had a huge zucchini and squash patch. This week I have a squash bug infestation.  I am so dismayed.  I noticed them first with the distinctive eggs on the top of the leaves.  Normally…