The Urban Farmer, Issue #037 * June, 2011: Bounce those gnats! * Window Farms * Where to grow?


"A garden is a friend you can visit any time."



Several years ago, a fellow Master Gardener showed up to work in our display garden with a dryer sheet tucked in his hat brim. He said it kept away insects, specifically those incredibly annoying, tiny gnats that cluster and swirl around your head. I've tried it off and on, to mixed success.

The other day I read in the American Horticulture Society's "American Gardener" magazine that professor Raymond Cloyd and colleagues at the Kansas State University Department of Entomology had done experiments using Bounce® dryer sheets (Outdoor Fresh Scent™) to repel fungus gnats on indoor plants. Five studies were conducted and in all 5, there were fewer fungus gnats in the compartments with dryer sheets than without. According to Cloyd. "This study is the first to demonstrate that Bounce® original brand fabric softener dryer sheets repel fungus gnat adults under laboratory conditions." (As reported in the Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science).

Even more interesting is the compound they suspect is doing the repelling - linalool. It has a floral fragrance and is naturally present in plants herbs like lavender and marjoram. There were also high levels of citronella, rose geranium and lemon balm. Hmmm... try it in your hydro garden if fungus gnats rear their ugly little heads.

By Marie Iannotti, Guide

Other uses for dryer sheets:

Keep bugs away: Tuck some in your picnic basket or under lawn furniture to repel bees.You can also rub a sheet directly on your bare skin to discourage would- be buggers from leaving their mark.

Repel rodents: Use dryer sheets to keep out mice, skunks, squirrels, rats, etc from your basement, garages, boats, campers, and clubhouses.


Intrigued by the photo of the window garden above? Read on...

Maybe it's a sign of the times that home gardening is on the decline. Before, people would spend their time in the back yard. Now, they spend their time in their virtual back yard -- the Internet.

Britta Riley is merging the two by creating  The Windowfarms Project, and she appeared on "Good Morning America" to talk about her program.

On her website, Riley has a do-it-yourself manual posted that over 10,000 people have downloaded to create their very own individual vertical hydroponic window farms.

CLICK HERE to go to the website for the how-to manual.

You don't even need soil. All you do need is time, a little patience, some love, and an easy kit which you can either make yourself or buy from the website. And pretty soon you will have your own edible vertical hydroponic garden.


Hydro Tip of the Month

Where to grow?

You need to give some thought to where you're going to put your new garden. Is it going inside or outside? Consider these options for your home hydroponics garden:

  • An inside garden (with moderate to good window lighting)
  • A closet or small grow-room (few or no windows)
  • A patio garden
  • A hydroponic greenhouse

More info to help you decide can be found at:  Home Hydro .

We hope you have enjoyed this issue of The Urban Farmer Ezine. Each month, we will bring you another inspiring photo, gardening quote or idea, plus fresh new hydroponics news, techniques & products.

Insiders tips to get you growing...


~Stella and Simon from Hydroponics-Simplified.


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