|June 5, 2006 15:03 - ... and Puppy Dog's Tails
"From the last frost of spring to the colder days of autumn they're quietly munching away at many of your favorite plants." No prizes for guessing the identity of these common garden pests. Nearly all gardeners wage continual war on slugs and snails using all the weapons at their disposal. We all know that you are not supposed to use the Metaldehyde pellets because of the harmful effects on other wildlife but until recently these were the most efficient slug killers. Luckily we now have pellets that contain iron phosphate which are both effective and harmless to other critters. Read more..
Of course slug pellets are not the only way of dealing with slugs and snails. Handpicking, beer traps and barriers composed of everything from copper rings to crushed eggshells are just a few of the alternative remedies. One that I had not heard of before was comfrey leaves. Apparently slugs find comfrey highly attractive so a few leaves placed near your precious plants will act like a magnet. I have not tried this myself but perhaps it is one of those homespun garden remedies, like crushed eggshells, that don't live up to their promise. Jeff Gillman, the associate professor of horticultural science at the University of Minnesota, has tested many of these ideas and recorded the results in his new book. Read more..
When you keep a weather eye open for items of gardening news it is often surprising to see what turns up. No practical advice here, just a story about a business man who was caught out after overstaying his visa. His penalty - fifteen days community service mowing the grass and tending flowers outside the immigration department. Source
garden gardening slugs
June 12, 2006 11:37 - Container Gardening and Landscaping the Front Entry
If your backyard is the size of a pocket hankerchief or you live in an apartment with a small balcony, you can still grow your own flowers and vegetables. "Flowers and veggies can thrive in the smallest of spaces" according to Olivia Canfield of Manchester, a Carroll County master gardener. "It's all a matter of having quality potting soil, plenty of water and a monthly fertilizing regiment." It seems that container gardening is becoming more popular than ever. "People plant flowers in old boots and shoes, rusting farm implements and decorative watering cans, all of which can enliven a standard apartment balcony." If you are looking for some new ideas for your "small space", read more..
You will need more than a container if you try to beat Eljo Garza's cabbage record. "Big as a beach ball" it was said to be and weighing in at 16.02 pounds you can well believe it. And she used no fertilizer! Just a pity that the photographer was a little slow off the mark. By the time he arrived she had already finished off about 10 pounds of it. Read more..
According to Jonathan Bardzik, of the American Nursery and Landscape Association, effective landscaping adds 8 to 15 percent to the value of your home. "A well-landscaped front entryway beautifies your yard, inspiring neighbors to do the same," he says. The article goes on to suggest various ways that you can spruce up your entryway. But beware. There is one mistake that can undo all your good work. A study carried out in England in 2003 into matters to be considered when selling your home found that having a yard gnome in your front garden reduced the value of your house by $840. Read more (Sorry - link no longer live).
garden gardening gnome
June 23, 2006 14:36 - Butterflies, Mosquitoes and Solar Spots.
Butterfly gardening is always a popular topic at this time of year. "Butterflies love herbs." says Teri Kramer. "So, if you are excited about attracting butterflies to your garden, be sure to include a few herbs in your plantings." He goes on to explain the difference between plants valued for their nectar and those that act as hosts. He also lists a number of common herbs that are attractive to butterflies. Good solid advice that is well worth a read. more..
If you're anything like my wife one of your pet hates will be mosquitoes. For some reason whenever she ventures outside in the evening the insects immediately attack her and she ends up with numerous bites. Of course there are many devices that are supposed to repel the beasts, some of which are more effective than others. Now there is a new range of insect-repellent clothing from Mumz which is the subject of this article. Read more..
Once you've solved the mosquito problem, then you can think about enjoying your garden after dark. Naturally you will need some landscape lighting and Gardner's Supply Company has a wide range. They are currently featuring the "World's Best Solar Spotlight". "Our new Ultra-Bright Solar Spotlight is not only brighter than any other solar light on the market, it rivals most low-voltage wired lights." Read more..
June 30, 2006 10:22 - Niche Gardening, Grass and Armadillos
Recently I have seen more and more articles about gardening in small spaces. A "Niche Garden" is recommended if you are "too time-crunched to tend a large garden or can't afford a landscaping company to maintain your yard". Apart from saving you time and money, it will also "prevent sore muscles", so you will miss out on one of the great benefits of gardening, namely regular exercise. For a compact look at how to create your niche garden, read more..
Continuing the small space theme Dean Fosdick interviews a plant breeder who is developing varieties suitable for containers and window boxes. He makes several interesting suggestions for plant groupings and also gives some tips on how to make the most of gardening with containers. Read more..
Finally here are two stories from the Tallahassee Democrat. Both concern grass but for different reasons. Pam Sawyer moved to Tallassee in 1994 and, after completing a Master Gardener's course has been creating what she describes as a "Florida friendly garden". Pam Sawyer does not like grass and to find out why, read more..
On the other hand a reader who signs himself as "Todd in Quincy" does take pride in his lawn but appears to be fighting a losing battle with armadillos. "In the 40 years I've lived here, I have never had problems with these animals, then suddenly, 3 1/2 months ago, my lawn began to be dug up by these pests literally every night in the form of 25 - 40 holes a visit, most of them golf ball to tennis ball-sized. The damage was horrific to say the least." Read more..
gardening garden niche armadillo