Archive for the How To Category

Slugs and Snails in the Vegetable Garden

It’s August and everybody’s vegetable gardens crank out delicious organic food. Yum-oh! But sometimes gardeners find holes in the middle of the leaves of their vegetable crops. Large holes. Many of them. Who’s the culprit? Caterpillars? Grasshoppers? Beetles?  Or maybe snails! Snails and slugs both glide through your garden on a ribbon of slime, the shiny, sparkly stuff the snail in the photo above is more »

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Squash Bugs in the Vegetable Garden

Tiz the season . . .  for squash bugs to attack. They’ll torment any member of the squash family, especially winter squash, summer squash, and pumpkins. But they also go after cucumbers, cantaloupe (including other melons like honeydew), and watermelon. Like all true bugs (see our blog More Bugs That Suck) squash bugs have needle-like mouth parts. They stick their sharp little beaks directly into more »

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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. more »

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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 more »

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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 more »

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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 more »

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Philadelphia Flower Show Orchids

We went to the Philadelphia Flower Show last week, the biggest flower and garden show in the country. It was our first time and we were amazed by the crowds of people thronging into the show. We attended the show as part of our book tour. We presented a seminar and autographed books for people and we had an opportunity to view all the spectacular more »

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A Vegetable Garden Checklist

It’s time to get started on the vegetable garden for the coming season so you can grow your own healthy, organic food again this year. Many of us have already started seedlings indoors to transplant out to the garden or the cold frames as soon as weather permits. Kathryn and I have come up with a checklist of ten things to consider before you plant. more »

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Orchids: the Northwest Flower and Garden Show 2010

In my blog last week I wrote about visiting the Northwest Flower and Garden Show many years ago with my mom and dad and several siblings. We all spent a lot of time viewing the fabulous orchid displays. Last week Kathryn and I spent a wonderful time at the 2010 show. We presented a seminar on Sunday afternoon, we went to hear other experts speak, more »

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Northwest Flower Show Orchids

We’ve been coming to the Northwest Flower and Garden show in Seattle for years and it’s always exciting to see what’s new, see the extravagant displays, and hear experts speaking on various subjects. We’re really looking forward to coming back to this lavish display of the latest and greatest in the gardening world. This year, the show starts on Wednesday, Feb. 3 and Kathryn and more »

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