Monday, June 30, 2014

Home Grown: Saving on Beneficials


excerpted from Greenhouse Gardener's Companion

When you first peruse a bug catalog or price list, you might suffer from sticker shock. One order of bugs might run anywhere from $15 to $75. And to add insult to injury, they must usually be shipped "overnight" or "next day," which can run as much as $35 to $40.

All that may not be so bad until you realize that it might take more than a few shipments to get a good establishment of critters in your greenhouse. If you go with only one shipment, you may find that the population of good guys goes down as their food supply (bad bugs) is depleted. When this happens, it can give the pests a chance to establish beyond the capability of your beneficial bugs to ever catch up with their numbers. By doing a few releases, you can even out these population swings and gain better control.

Continued at... Saving on Beneficials

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Artwork: Live Ladybugs


Saturday, June 28, 2014

Rural Delivery: Pushing Progress

by Michael Hofferber. Copyright © 1998. All rights reserved.

Bought a new lawn mower recently, my first ever, and I'm not sure I did the right thing.  I hated to give  up on my old one, you see, since it's served me faithfully the past ten years since I bought it at a flea market for $5. It's an old (1940s?) Montgomery Ward manual reel mower with a wooden handle that's splitting. The well-worn blades chatter like crickets as I push them gainfully across the lawn.

A push mower doesn't trim grasses as readily as one of those self-propelled motorized models, nor does it cover as much ground as quickly as those riding mowers can, but it has its advantages. Starts every time, for instance.

Continued at... Pushing Progress.

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Lawn Mowers and Yard Supplies
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Artwork: Industrious Boy Mowing Lawn


Friday, June 27, 2014

Home Grown: Planning a Water Garden

Before adding a water garden to your landscape, sit down and have a long talk with yourself.

Ask yourself why you want a water garden: Do you want goldfish or koi? Or do you just want a water garden with plants and no fish? Do you want to hear the water rushing?

Fish dine on mosquitoes and adding a few fish to a water garden wil keep the mosquito larvae population down. It's a misconception that water gardens bring in more mosquitos, because the water is moving and the fish are dining.

Select a site you can enjoy from outside and inside your home. It should be elevated to avoid runoff into your pond. Runoff can introduce sediments, fertilizers and pesticides.

Continued at... Planning a Water Garden

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Pond Kits and Pond Supplies
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Artwork: Pond Kit with Lighting


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Home Grown: Nectar Plants that Attract Hummingbirds

Agave
Claret Cup Cactus
White Honeysuckle
Red Morning-glory
Bottlebrush
Western Columbine
Lantan
Indian Paintbrush
Bougainvillea

Continued at... Nectar Plants that Attract Hummingbirds 

Home Grown
Planting for Hummingbirds
Home and Garden Center
Artwork: Hummingbird


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Home Grown: Diagnosing Plant Ailments


High fever, nausea and headaches are all signs that a person is ill. If you pay attention to the signs, your landscape plants will let you know when they're sick, too.

"Plants put out symptoms just like humans do," says Todd Hurt, a landscape specialist with the University of Georgia Center for Urban Agriculture. "You have to learn to be a landscape detective and pick up on the clues your plants are leaving you."

A former Cooperative Extension agent in Florida and Georgia, Hurt has done his share of plant detective work. He finds that most plant problems "are rarely the result of a single factor."

Continued at... Diagnosing Plant Ailments

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Plant-Thinking: A Philosophy of Vegetal Life
Artwork: Beauty in Decay


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Here's How To... Use Plants from the Garden to Create Natural Colors for Fabrics and Fibers.

Home-grown botanical dyes are popular, and they're part of today's shift toward natural and organic living.  And you don't have to have a degree in chemistry to create your own natural dyes. It just takes a garden plot and a kitchen.

A Garden to Dye For shows how super-simple it is to plant and grow a dyer's garden and create beautiful dyes.

How to Use Plants from the Garden to Create Natural Colors for Fabrics and Fibers
by Chris McLaughlin
St. Lynn's Press, 2014
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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Home Grown: The Many Varieties of Tomato

For a long time, gardeners were unwilling to change tomato varieties. What worked for their grandfather still worked for them. And since that variety performed well, this wasn't a bad philosophy. Probably, though, many others would have done just as well or better.

Many old tomato varieties are still in circulation. But in recent years, many gardeners have adopted hybrid varieties that have better disease resistance and better yields.

Even more recently, tomato growers have been faced with the ever-increasing presence of tomato spotted wilt virus. Transmitted by thrips, this virus is not only the plague of commercial growers but is actually even worse for home gardeners.

Continued at... The Many Varieties of Tomato

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Tomatoes and Tomato Plants and Seeds 
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Artwork: Mortgage Lifter

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Corrugated Garden Beds from Austin, Texas

Now available in Home and Garden Center:
Corrugated Garden Beds from Carrier Security Corporation in Austin, Texas

Easy to assemble, installs in minutes, these corrugated garden beds are perfect for growing organic vegetables, herbs and fruits.

Strength and long life are two well known features of galvanized  steel.  The retro look offers a modern and versatile way to grow plants.

These raised garden beds add color to your garden and allow complete control over soil and drainage.

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