Shy and misunderstood, bats are a benefit to the gardener

Bats.  Their mere mention evokes visions of silent, blood-sucking creatures that haunt the night skies or so the scary movies would have us believe.  Centuries of superstition and misinformation have landed the furry, winged mammals with the undeserved reputation of nighttime villain.  T’aint so.  Overall, bats provide positive benefits to the environment – consuming huge …

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These pests love hot, dry and dusty conditions

Hot, dry and dusty are pretty typical outdoor conditions for this time of year. The last rains were months ago; late summer and early fall often features toasty daytime temperatures with low relative humidity. Most people, plants and animals don’t prefer it, but it’s ideal for pesky spider mites. More than 200 different plant species, …

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Mosquitos can be more than just a nuisance

As we transition from spring to summer and temperatures climb, it’s mosquito season.  Not only are these flying pests annoying, their bite can be anywhere from mildly irritating to seriously painful.  AND they can transmit disease, so it’s a good idea to start with preventing them from breeding.  Don’t let mosquitoes breed in your yard! …

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Creeping garden thugs do a lot of damage

Snails and slugs love to eat plants with tender foliage and fruit. Favorites include seedlings and plants with succulent foliage; they seriously damage basil, beans, cabbage, lettuce, and many other vegetable plants along with dahlia, delphinium, hosta and marigold.  Ripening fruits close to the ground like strawberries are easy targets. And they’ll climb trees to …

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A dastardly duo of diseases that can plague your roses

Gorgeous roses are a wonderful addition to any garden. But throw in a few days of spring rain and voila, you might end up with nearly naked plants. This dramatic effect is likely a result of infection by either blackspot or rust, the gardener’s pestilence of wet spring or fall months. Effectively managing these invaders …

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