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Garden Chemicals | Spokane
Garden Chemicals

What You Can Do
  • Weeds and Pests.  Try to find alternatives to chemicals in controlling weeds and pests in your garden (and share them with others).  
    • Pesticides kill all bugs, good and bad.  Purchase natural predators like lady bugs, lacewings, and preying mantis.  
    • Aphids may be white, black, pink or pale green.  You will find them on the lower side of leaves.  To control, purchase natural predators at a garden store, or hose aphids off with a lot of water.  
    • Herbicides and pesticides are best applied in the morning of a day with no wind.
    • Use organic methods for killing weeds.  Dig them up, pour boiling water on them, or spray them with undiluted white household vinegar (5% acetic acid).  Vinegar will kill many weeds when applied during the first 2 weeks of the weedís life.  Destroy the weeds before they go to seed.  If the weeds donít have time to mature, they canít propagate the species.  In addition, the Master Gardner program teaches that if you can get your whole garden (vegetable or flower) all weeded one time before the 4th of July, you wonít have many weeds after that.  
  • Crop rotation helps prevent pests and diseases.  
  • If you canít keep up with weeding or spraying, at least pull off the flowers or seed heads to reduce seed production.

  • Test your garden soil.  Spokane Conservation District has a soil testing lab for basic soil testing for nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K), percentage of organic matter, and soil pH.  
  • Plant a tree(s) at your home or in a park.  Trees clean the air by absorbing carbon dioxide, prevent soil erosion, and provide shelter for wildlife.  
  • Volunteer to help with local conservation.  Plant a tree from their annual tree sale, or create a backyard wildlife sanctuary.  Learn how to reduce water and energy consumption.  To learn more, visit the Spokane County Conservation District at http://www.sccd.org/.   
  • Plant a Row for the Hungry Campaign invites gardeners to add a row to their gardens and donate the vegetables from it to local food banks.  (see "Gardening" under the Food and Hunger topic)

  • Start a Seed Lending Library.  There are at least 60 seed lending libraries in 23 states, as of 2013.  It is simple, and free.  If you have seeds, you can grow your own healthy food and feed yourself. 

    The basic is idea is that you plant heirloom seeds.  Let some of the plants go to seed and harvest those seeds to plant the following season.  Home gardeners can save seeds from their tomatoes, lettuce, beans, peas and peppers plants.  Then, return some of these saved seeds to the library for others to borrow the next season, for free. 

    Inquire about placing a seed lending library in our public libraries.   The seeds can be stored inside the drawers of an old-fashioned library card catalog. 

  • Find master gardeners to teach free classes on organic gardening and seed saving.   Of course, you can also borrow books from the public library on these topics.   http://www.richmondgrowsseeds.org/  ďSeed Libraries Help Future Crops,Ē Diana Alvear, NBC Nightly News, by Brian Williams, March 22, 2013
Local Organizations
Additional Resources
Spokane County Conservation District
210 N. Havana
Spokane, WA
(509) 535-7274
Email:  Jim-armstrong@sccd.org
Email:  Eeric Choker, Soil Scientist, at eric-choker@sccd.org (509) 535-7274 x 18
This office has a soil testing lab for basic soil testing for nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K), percentage of organic matter, and soil pH.  The cost for the basic test is $30. 
Spokane County Extension Office
They will analyze your samples of garden problems and give you environmentally-safe solutions. 
(509) 477-2048

10 Homemade Weed Killers.