Natural Mosquito Control, Newspaper Mulch, and Other Country Lore

Goldfish as a method of natural mosquito control and newspaper mulch in the garden are two of more than a dozen tips submitted by readers in this installment of a regular feature.

| May/June 1981

069 natural mosquito control

Goldfish love to eat mosquito larvae and thus are an outstanding form of natural mosquito control.


The following  housekeeping tips and other bits of country lore were submitted by readers. 

Natural Mosquito Control

 "If you have a puddle, a pond, or a stock tank on your property where mosquitoes breed each year, invest a few dollars in some goldfish," suggests Jo Ann Sisson of Caston, Oregon. "In some stores you can purchase them for only a dime a piece. The little swimmers will thrive on mosquitoes and their larvae and keep water virtually free of algae as well.

"Furthermore, since our stock tank freezes solid in the winter, we dip up the little fellows when bug season Is over, and keep them Indoors in a fishbowl. They're a cheerful addition to our home during the cold months."

Newspaper Mulch

A reader from Westville, New Jersey has yet another mulch idea. Fred Marz discourages garden weeds and keeps the soil moist for long periods of time by placing plain newsprint between his planted rows and piling grass clippings over that. Fred says he can buy end rolls of the biodegradable, ink-free soil cover, from his local newspaper, for about 50¢ a 150-foot roll. One application lasts all through the growing season.

Grass Dryer

"Cold frames can be put to good summertime use as solar grass dryers," writes Robert Lovell of Martinsville, Virginia. "I place a layer of fresh clippings 8 to 10 inches deep in my 3' X 5' cold frame and close the top. On the following afternoon I open the little hothouse and turn the partially dried clippings over with a spade. By the second afternoon the clippings are completely dried and ready to be used as mulch for the garden."

Gunnysack Ground Cover

Rynda Christensen has discovered that gunnysacks (cut open to lie flat) can be real handy around the lawn and garden both at seeding time. The resident of Farmington, New Mexico spreads the bags over grass seed in the yard and over carrot seed in the garden. By keeping the corners weighted and the sacks wet, she is able to get the plants to come up faster than ever before!

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