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The Dirt for June 9 2012

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Helpful tip from The Garden Geeks: Trouble with ants?? Ants DO help gardeners by cleaning dead material and by eating other insects, but they can be a pain in the... So, how do we handle them? First know that there are a few plants ants don't like...peppermint, spearmint, and pennyroyal in the mint family as well as southernwood, wormwood or chives, sage and catnip (not catmint). All are repellants. Also, if you plant tansy next to your peonies or near the house where sugar ants get in-they stay away (and NO-Peonies do not need ants to bloom-a huge myth). You can even grow these plants in containers, shred them and then sprinkle them where you don't want ants.

If ants are inside your house, cinnamon, cream of tarter, dried paprika, ground cloves or red pepper sprinkled where they enter will do the trick-as well as anycrushed chalk or talcum powder like baby powder. 
My grandma used to grind up left over candycanes and sprinkle it around. Ants hate peppermint, worked like a charm. Drop a peppermint or use peppermint oil on an ant hill-They quickly move house. Or, for a bigger area mix up a teaspoon of peppermint extract in a quart of water and spray to your heats content. Finally, a very good remedy is orange spray. Steep the peels from one orange in 2 cups of hot water for about 24 hours, strain and add a few drops of liquid dishsoap and use it as a spray. There are so many more remedies for ants! If anyone has a suggestion, please post it!!

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