Do you Really Need that Fertilizer?

Your garden is growing like crazy as we head into summer. Is it time to feed the lawn, the tomatoes and veggies, roses, and other flowers? Before you haul out bags, boxes, or bottles of plant food and sprinkle, spread, or pour them on, consider whether you really need to.  Are the products beneficial to …

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Traps are the Most Reliable Way to Manage Gophers

Grrrrr – while merrily tending my roses, I’ve come across another victim of the dreaded beast – the gopher.  If this is not one of the gardening challenges you face, you can stop reading now.  Since I live in gopher heaven, each season I have to deal with the damage from this voracious pest.  And …

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It’s not just Aphids

One of the unwanted visitors to the spring garden arrives just about now.  That pulsating mass of tiny pests that cloak the new growth on your roses, viburnums, or peach trees are at best an unsightly nuisance and at worst, creatures that can damage tender new growth on plants and spread disease.  Welcome to the …

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Could it be Fire Blight?

Noticed any branches of your pear or apple trees that look like they’ve been torched or scorched? Might be a case of fire blight, a nasty bacterial disease. It most frequently affects pome fruit trees (apples and pears) and related plants – crabapple, ornamental pear, pyracantha, and quince.  Infections may appear scattered throughout the crown …

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Prevent getting Worms in your Apples

If your last crop of apples featured a worm inside that big, juicy fruit, it likely was the larvae of the codling moth, a serious pest of apples that also attacks pears, large-fruited hawthorns, and walnuts. This insect pest can be a bane in the home orchard.  The moth larvae tunnel into the fruit and …

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Curly foliage is not what you want on your peach tree!

You don’t need a calendar to know that it’s spring. Signs of the season abound as bulbs pierce the ground with vibrant bouquets and trees and shrubs begin to flower. New foliage erupts from the bare branches and slender stems of prized fruit trees creating visions of bountiful crops, fresh peach pie, baked pears, or …

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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 plague of wet spring or fall months. Effectively managing these invaders …

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Make Plant Choices to Prevent Pests and Disease

Spring is around the corner, and there’s a whole lot of planting going on.  One of the features of the winter nursery is the availability of bare root plants.  Bare root plants are not actively growing plants. They’re usually dug when they’re dormant and then refrigerated until it is time to ship to the nursery …

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Unintended Consequences

Herbicide phytotoxicity – whew!  That’s a mouthful!  What is it? Phytotoxicity is injury to plants caused by chemicals like air pollutants, fertilizers, and pesticides.  Herbicides aka weed killers, are designed specifically to kill plants, posing a significant risk of damaging desirable plants that are exposed these weed killers.  Landscapes can be injured as a result …

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