Creeping Garden Thugs do a lot of Damage

It’s likely you don’t need an introduction to snails and slugs, the bane to most gardeners. Loosely related to octopi and oysters, they glide along on their muscular foot, secreting mucus to facilitate movement, leaving their trademark glistening trail behind.  With similar biology, the snail carries an external shell while slugs have evolved without one. …

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The Ants Come Marching In

Ants on your artichoke plant? Your leafy vegetables?  Your house plants? They’re a prime indicator that sucking insects are feasting on your plants.  There’s a group of soft-bodied insects — aphids, mealybugs, soft scale and whiteflies that feed by sucking juices from plants. The direct damage they inflict on the plant can cause spotted, bleached, …

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Bats get a Bad Rap!

October is Bat Appreciation Month.  So, why would a whole month be devoted to these odd-looking creatures?  It has nothing to do with Halloween or vampires.  It’s more about getting to know these mysterious flying superheroes that help our environment, and aren’t as scary as you might think. Often having the undeserved reputation of nighttime …

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Autumnal Equinox is Time for Fall Cleanup

Thursday, September 22 is the autumnal equinox, astronomically the day when the sun crosses the celestial equator heading south. From this point until the first day of winter, days will get shorter. The time of the year usually ushers in cooler weather, which is a good reminder to start cleaning up the garden. Referred to …

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Good or Bad Guy Chomping Your Tomatoes?

If you notice a quarter of a tomato plant missing overnight, but you can’t figure out what’s causing it, look closer!  A master of disguise, the tomato hornworm may be the culprit! These are enormous caterpillars – up to four inches long!  Their striping pattern makes them hard to spot despite their size. One tell-tale …

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