More Bugs That Suck!

True bugs. Forewings cover half of the abdomen (aka backs) of true bugs. They are in the order Hemiptera, which means half wing. Many other insects are often called bugs, the lady bug for example, which is actually a beetle (a lady beetle). But the only actual bugs are insects in the order Hemiptera.  All of the true bugs have piercing-sucking mouthparts like hypodermic needles.

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Insects that Suck!

Most of these “bugs” have mouthparts like a hypodermic needle. They stick their needle-like mouth parts into the veins of plants and suck out the nutrient rich sap. As their populations build they can seriously impact the energy budget of your vegetable plants and limit your crops. Also, just like a mosquito sucking the blood from your arm to give you malaria, these insects can

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Vegetable Gardens and Beetles

It’s officially summertime. The solstice came and went. We’re tending our gardens, nurturing our vegetables and flowers. We all look forward to an abundant harvest of fantastic, home-grown, organic vegetables.  Along the way we might run into beetles. Some beetles, like ladybugs (aka lady beetles), are good partners. Beneficial insects such as these help you achieve your goals by eating insects that damage to your

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Secret Gardens of Santa Fe

On a tour of secret gardens in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Kathryn and I peek behind adobe walls for tantalizing glimpses of hidden treasures. Organized by the Santa Fe Botanical Gardens, the tour provides access to several small urban gardens not normally visible to passersby. A beautifully sophisticated yet rustic fence made of reddish twigs defines the boundary between the garden and the natural environment

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New York Times Review

Our book “What’s Wrong With My Plant? (And How Do I Fix It?)” has just been reviewed by Dominique Browning at the New York Times, May 27, 2010. And it’s a really good review too. Her topic for the reviews is “Gardening Books.” She reviews several good gardening books and our book is among them. Here’s what she has to say: “Many gardeners find it

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Tomato Memories

Today we pay tribute to David’s father, Lawrence Edwin Deardorff, who passed away on May 11 at the age of 97. Larry first took David into the garden when he was 6 years old, and he learned about the world of plants at his father’s side. Larry was an avid gardener his entire life, and became our partner when David and I owned Island Biotropix,

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The Lifecycle of Book Publicity

Our blog post for today is a guest blog written by Olivia Dunn, Publicist at Timber Press. Book publicity is a little bit like a junior high dance. If both the author and the publicist are ready to dance, it can be a ton of fun and really successful. If one party decides to stay on their side of the gym and leave everything up

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Garden Art

Garden Art means different things to different people. In the vegetable garden it can take the form of a screen to mask the compost bin, or a painting on the side of the tool shed. Some of us – and by us I mean gardeners – take care to lay out our herb gardens to create patterns that please the eye. Then we add decorative

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From Acorn to Zucchini

Every spring I’m frequently asked two questions by gardeners in northern states. The first is, “Why doesn’t my zucchini grow? It just sits there. What’s wrong with it?”  The second common question I get is, “What’s wrong with my zucchini (or cucumber, or melon)? It has lots and lots of flowers but no fruit. What’s up with that?” Home gardeners love to grow members of

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Birds and their Trees

As many of you may realize by now, while David and I are avid gardeners, our passion is the gateway to nature that the garden provides. As we arrive in New Mexico, so does spring, with all its chaotic and unpredictable weather. Red buds bloom along with plums, lilacs, and cottonwood. And then it snows, and gardeners and farmers worry about their incipient apricots, cherries,

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