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Outdoor High-Yield Growing, Part One Featured

Imagine your plants here! Imagine your plants here!

Outdoor growing offers you many benefits, including the blazing sun, oceans of CO2-laden fresh air, cost savings, and the potential for your plants to grow as big as trees! But you also have to fight outdoor pests and predators that want to harm your plants. So read this article and its follow-up articles so you get the most from the great outdoors this year and every year.

Each of your outdoor plants may be worth hundreds if not thousands of dollars at harvest time. One of the smartest things you can do to protect your outdoor garden is to use innovative technology remote-assist cameras, mounted in or near your garden, that are programmed to activate whenever an animal or person comes within their view. They quietly snap a picture and store it digitally so that you can take a look later.

A variety of these cameras are available online, from companies such as Brinno. You can do outdoor video motion-detecting with weatherproof video camera and recorder packages.

Check out the surveillance gear from Advance Security Products and Spy Cameras Specialists. It’s rugged stuff, and it’s great to be able to see exactly who or what is visiting your garden, especially if they are ripping you off.

You don’t want to use aerosol or ground-based poisons that damage your crops or the people who consume them.

It isn’t always humans who are robbing your garden: the outdoors is full of animals who love to eat your plants. As an ethical grower, you don’t want to go to natural areas and kill the creatures that were there first. Most humans forget that non-human animals are native to specific areas - it’s their home! But you do need to keep your crops from being eaten.

You can use a wide variety of interdiction techniques to keep animals away from your crops. These include ultrasonic sound generators, mesh fences, electric fences, traps, and netting that are light, portable, and easy to install outdoors. Liquid animal repellents are also available.

Check out online sites that provide tools and tactics for defending your plants against the predator animals that are most likely to be a problem where you grow. 

But remember, the most dangerous predator animal for you and your plants is the human animal! To protect against that, scout your outdoor site before you plant there, to ensure that the site is 99% sure not to be found by hunters, hikers, or other human interlopers.

You want to do everything possible to keep your outdoor gardening a secret. This means you might visit the garden at night. Use different paths in to avoid wearing a trail in the forest floor, and keeping your mouth shut instead of verbalizing about your garden.

What can you do about tiny predators such as caterpillars, mites, whiteflies, slugs and other insect enemies? Using sprays and foggers outdoors presents challenges, because of wind and rain.

You don’t want to use aerosol or ground-based poisons that damage your crops or the people who consume them. Fortunately, there are now relatively safe sprays and foggers that contain pyrethrum, which is a natural insecticide derived from plants.

Other insect-fighting spray formulas include neem; it’s another natural substance that repels insects. You can also use insecticidal soaps, or formulas containing capsaicin (which is sometimes referred to as hot pepper wax or pepper oil).

In general, these sprays are used to prevent or kill thrips, mites, whiteflies, beetles, and other biting or sucking insects. Some anti-pest products I’ve successfully used include Doktor Doom, Spinosad (thrip specific), and Prozap. NEVER spray your crops with anything like this during bloom phase.

For slugs and snails, you need to use specific snail-and-slug products, which are configured as ground baits and traps.  Another helpful tool is a sticky trap. Although they are typically used indoors, sticky traps are highly effective outdoors as well.

A sticky trap is a yellow-colored card that attracts insects and then the insects get stuck to the card. The card not only kills insects, it’s also a monitoring tool that lets you assess the type, frequency, and number of flying predatory insects that are visiting your garden. There’s only one problem with sticky traps- the yellow color is often too visible to human predators.

In our next article, we’ll tell you how to strengthen and fertilizer your plants so you get massive yields from your outdoor season. And be sure to check out this specially-designed outdoor fertilizer that’s guaranteed to make your plants into high-yielding trees!

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Last modified on Wednesday, 22 August 2012 14:45

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