Saturday, March 23, 2013

Triple Threat: As Easy As 1,2,3!
1. Economical
2. Eliminates guess work and
3. Effective with the highest number of pests.


We strongly recommend that you choose beneficial nematodes based upon the target pest and level of infestation.  However, when you have multiple pest species, certain pests that have mobile and immobile stages or you have an unidentifiable combination we recommend using the Triple Threat. 

The Triple Threat includes all 3 varieties of our beneficial nematodes – Sf, Sc, and Hb. In case you are interested in knowing their full names:
  • Sf are nicknamed NemAttack but formally they are Steinernema feltiae.
  • Sc are nicknamed NemAttack but formally they are Steinernema carpocapsae.
  • Hb are nicknamed the NemaSeek but formally they are Heterorhabditis bacteriaphora.
For example, if you have fleas and ticks – the triple threat is your best option for controlling multiple stages of development that range from low mobility to high mobility.  For instance, the Sf go after the very mobile adult fleas while the Sc go after the less mobile larval and pupae stages of the flea.  The Hb and the Sf go after the various life cycles and feeding stages of ticks.

Another scenario for the Triple Threat is a vegetable garden that is limited in size or limited in options for crop rotation.  Before you plant in spring or early summer, apply the Triple Threat to eliminate the pest insects that have over-wintered in your soil before they destroy your spring and summer fruits and vegetables.

Finally, if you are a new gardener and you don’t know exactly which pests you have – applying the Triple Threat is smart.  You cannot over apply beneficial nematodes and it can be safer to apply all three varieties instead of guessing and using trial and error while your garden and lawn are being consumed by pests. 

We offer the Triple Threat in all sizes at special prices.  The SKU’s and coverage rates are: 
Remember, you cannot over-apply beneficial nematodes – so don’t worry about having too many.  For maximum effect, order enough to fully cover your area.  All varieties of the nematodes can be applied at the same time – just mix them together and look for the results!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Stinky HE Washing Machine? We May Have a Cure!


Anyone who knows me is aware that I have more than a passing interest in finding good, natural cleaning products – some friends and family think it’s a bit of an obsession.  The good news, as a collecting hobby it’s pretty inexpensive and I get some really great products to use.  For the last year I have been enjoying learning more about products produced by Biokleen.  In reality, I am over the moon about the Biokleen line of cleaning products.  So much that I convinced the folks here at Arbico to add some of their products.
   
For me, it all started with a perniciously slow drain in one of the bathroom sinks.  I have tried all of the old-fashioned homemade remedies along with every natural drain cleaner I could find and no joy.  Sometime last year I came across the Biokleen Bac-Out Drain Care – after following the directions and strictly adhering to the ‘leave it in the drain for 24 hours’ I had a clear and clean running drain.  I was sold.

BioKleen Products
The problem came in when I tried to buy more – this is a difficult product to locate here in Arizona.  The answer to that problem is to begin carrying much of the Biokleen line and making it available to our customers.  Biokleen is a great fit for us.  Just like Arbico, Biokleen is a family owned and operated business.  Their products are made in Vancouver, Washington, with a strong commitment to ensuring that the products are effective but non-toxic and safe for the environment.  

So, back to the title of this blog…I’ve tried everything recommended to keep our HE (high efficiency) washing machine clean and odor free.  I wipe down the gasket, use the HE laundry soaps, keep the door open to dry the machine, run the cleaning cycle monthly, I’ve even used both the organic and caustic machine cleaners.  Nothing seemed to work and walking through the laundry room was an increasingly odoriferous experience. 

My husband had concluded that it wasn’t the machine, but perhaps the drain pipe to which the washer was attached.  His theory was that HE washers don’t have that surge of water going through the drain that the old top-loads did and he was thinking that perhaps the drain pipe wasn’t getting ‘flushed’ properly and needed to be cleaned. Usually we don’t go ‘off-road’ and diverge from product labels but we have had such good results with the Bac-Out Drain Care that using it to clean the wall drain seemed a low risk proposition. 

We followed the instructions as for any other drain (don’t forget to pull the washing machines drain hose out of the drain and turn off the water to the machine – just in case someone tries to start the washer!).  We left the Bac-Out Drain Care in the drain for 24 hours (per the label), then ran a load of wash through the machine.  Don’t forget to put the hose back in the wall drain and turn the water back on.  WOW.  The lingering odor that we thought came from the machine is gone and the clothes smell much better coming from the wash.  I figure that I’ll do this monthly for a few months and see if it continues to mitigate that nasty odor that I was blaming on my HE washer.

If I was sold before, I’m kind of in love now.  I urge you to try some of the Biokleen products; I think that you will be very happy with the results!    

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Veganic Growing in a Nutshell


It’s been a few years since I first learned about growing veganically, recently I’ve observed that it is becoming a more common practice.  For those who are new to the idea, Veganic is a contraction of the words Vegan and Organic and it identifies a methodology of growing where the use of animal products and by-products are avoided. 

In a way, Veganic takes Organic a step further.  Organic growers eschew the use of synthetic or chemical pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, and genetically modified crops. Veganic growers abstain from all of the above, as well as animal products.  Many commonly used organic animal-based products are excluded from Veganic growing.  These include:
  • Manures
  • Blood and Blood Meal
  • Bone Meal
  • Fish Meal
  • Liquid Fish Fertilizers
  • Crab Shell
What is in Veganic fertilizers? 
Veganic fertilizers are plant and mineral based using ingredients that come from land and sea.  Common ingredients are alfalfa meal, soybean meal, cottonseed meal, grain solids, kelp meal, and rock phosphate.

Why are people moving to Veganic growing?
There are several reasons that people grow veganically: 
  • Reduce ones carbon footprint by reducing the use of animal based products.
  • Religious beliefs and tenets that require a vegetable based diet and lifestyle.
  • Philosophical choice to produce crops with minimal exploitation or harm to any animal.
  • Concern that animal manures contain contaminants that are harmful to soil health and the health of consumers. These include listeria, E.coli 0157, Salmonella, Giardia, Cryptosporidiosis.
Whatever your reason for moving to Veganic growing we are delighted to provide you with a new choice in fertilizers – Organics Rx.   Organics Rx comes in several N-P-K ratios that are designed for any and all of the plant varieties that you grow. 
OrganicsRx Sea-Kelp 100

Organics Rx consists of approximately 100% plant and mineral based nutrients.  The dry Organics Rx products contain ingredients such as soybean meal, alfalfa meal, rock phosphate, calcium sulfate, and sea kelp.  The Organics Rx LiquidSea Kelp is comprised of Ascophyllum, a sea kelp that is rich in both macro and micro nutrients, cytokinins, gibberellins and a host of other valuable resources for your plants and soil.  

For those of you who live in Southern and Central Arizona, we can also introduce you to a local food grower who is Certified Veganic – Sunizona Family Farms.  Sunizona has a flexible CSA program – the FarmBox - as well as an increasing local presence in grocery stores.  Arbico Organics is proud to be a supplier to Sunizona as well as a pick-up location for their CSA FarmBoxes.   Follow this link for more information about Sunizona Farms:  http://www.sunizonafamilyfarms.com/         


Friday, March 1, 2013

Weeds are Interesting Storytellers

By now you know that I don’t have a lot of weeds (it’s the soil baby) – but a weed free environment is still a dream.  Weeds happen, they can’t be avoided.

However, weeds are interesting storytellers.  When weeds occur they can tell us quite a bit about what the garden needs or has too much of.  Weeds tell us specifically what is happening in the soil.  Here are some things that weeds tell us:
  • Whether we are watering correctly - weeds occur when we over - or under - water.
  • If we've planted too closely together or left too much space between plants.
  • They communicate when there is too much or too little fertilizer - they can indicate if we need to add more of a specific nutrient.
  • A new crop of weeds can tell us whether we are planting good, clean seed (or not).
  • Weeds tell us a lot about the quality of the soil or tilth - whether it's sandy, clay, compacted, too fertile, not fertile enough.
So before you reach for a weed spray, take a look around and follow some other sage advice I’ve picked up along the way – know your weeds and learn what they are trying to tell you about your garden.  Get started, one weed at a time and here is a game plan to help you:
  1. Identify the weed you have – your local County Extension office can help you with plant identification.
  2. Once you have correctly identified the weed, investigate the optimal conditions for the weed.
  3.  Use your new knowledge to formulate your strategy for fixing the problem – focus on the root cause of the problem. For instance, if the weed likes moist, poorly draining areas develop a plan to fix the drainage.  
To help get you started, here are some common weeds and what might be encouraging them:

If you don’t know what to do about the weeds you have, give us a call and we’ll be happy to help you get started on managing weeds.  Just remember that after you get rid of the weeds – we’ll help you focus on improving your soil