Cabbage Moths – Pretty but Dastardly

They're coming. In fact, they're already here. The seemingly beautiful white butterflies that hover delicately over your kale plants might appear to be innocent, but in reality they can wreak havoc on your brassicas if left unchecked.

They'll flutter around looking for a nice place to land, then disappear underneath the leaves of your treasured broccoli and cabbages. When they emerge, they will have laid dozens of eggs on the underside of the leaves that are so tiny they are almost invisible to the human eye. Almost, but not to the trained ...

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Squash Bug Battles

A question came in last week from a concerned gardenerd:

"As we start to thaw (and possibly refreeze this coming weekend) out here in NE TX, I'm planning my garden for 2011. We will be starting seeds this weekend and a friend has offered us the use of their greenhouse, as long as we share our harvest - no problem. My question as I start planning, and remembering last year, what can be done about Squash Bugs? I lost the battle last year, due to a back injury that put me in ...

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Ladybugs – Nature’s Aphid Brigade

For some unknown reason, my Swiss chard is covered - no, make that enveloped - with aphids. I have fed the plants with worm castings and compost and worm tea. I have sprayed them off with a strong hose blast. I have squished the aphids with my bare fingers. I have pleaded and begged for them to go away, to no avail.

My next plan, as a last resort before pulling out the chard, would be to try laying down a layer of tin foil around the base of each plant, to reflect ...

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Read more about the article Harlequin Bugs – Not Funny!
Bagrada Bug

Harlequin Bugs – Not Funny!

They look kind of funny, maybe even cute, but harlequin bugs are no laughing matter. If left to their own devices, they'll mutilate a plant within an inch of its life. They like brassicas - a lot - and this year they found my kale.   

The Harlequin Bug (murgantia histrionica) is a True bug, and a stink bug - which you only find out when you squish them. They are black and orange and are often ...

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Aromatherapy for Fruit Flies

While developing the Gardenerd Hand Care Kit, I met Sue Dwiggins. She's a blender - an aromatherapy specialist with a company called Essential Three. She and her sister happened to be in town and were helping out at Soaptopia when the owners of the shop and I were working out the details of the new product. They helped create the signature scent that is in the Gardenerd Hand Care Kit.

...

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Green Beetles – What’s the Buzz?

Another question came in today:


"Metallic green beetles keep invading my garden--about 1" long. Green wings with brown edges. Friend or foe?"

Well - I know my Permaculture friends would say that there's no such thing as a bad insect, but to answer your question in a word: foe.

I've watched these little buggers make lunch out of my neighbor's roses.  They sure love 'em.  They are known as Figeater Beetles with a Latin name of Cotinis Mutabilis.  Here is a blog entry I found about them:

http://fireflyforest.net/firefly/2008/03/08/figeater-beetle/

The bugs themselves are harmless, meaning they ...

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