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How Do I Keep Ticks off of My Lawn?


What is the best way of getting rid of ticks? My yard is infested and I have gotten Lyme disease. Question from Kathy of West Rutland, Vermont
Answer: Ticks are the worst and a real worry for people living where Lyme and other tick-borne diseases are a problem. Of course, tiny deer ticks are the carriers of Lyme disease, and they contribute to over 99% of […]

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My Heirloom Tomatoes Rot on the Vine Before Ripening!


“I have planted heirloom tomatoes and they rot on the vine before they turn red. Why?” Question from Susan of Lexington, Kentucky
Answer: There are several reasons why this can happen, but the most common is a physiological disorder called blossom end rot. This is most likely your problem, especially if your plants look fine. You can see an example of this disorder in the photo. […]

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My Tomatoes Developed Spots After Chilling. Why?


I have tomato seedlings that have tiny dark spots on the top of the leaves after it got down to 40 degrees the other night. I live in South Florida. Could this be cold damage? Question from Susan of Pembroke Pines, Florida.
Answer: The most common physical tomato leaf response to chilling is physiological leaf roll, which your tomatoes don’t seem to have. Unfortunately, cold […]

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How Do I Get Rid of Squash Bugs?


“How do you get rid of squash bugs?” Question from Judy of Louisville, Mississippi
Answer: Surely these are some of the most annoying and destructive of all summer vegetable garden pests. To manage squash bugs (Anasa tristis), you need to understand their life cycle.
Squash Bug Life Cycle
These true bugs attack squash and relatives, like cucumbers, pumpkins, and zucchini. They spend their winters sheltering under garden debris, […]

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How Do I Rid My Garden Soil of Tomato Blight?


“How do I get rid of blight (early and late) spores in my tomato garden soil?” Question from Thomas of Maineville, Ohio
Answer: Tomato early blight and late blight are terrible soil-borne diseases that all tomato growers fear. Thankfully, you can manage them once they get into your soil. I’ll provide an overview of each disease and its management.
Tomato Early Blight
Early blight (Alternaria tomatophila and Alternaria […]

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How Do I Keep Fire Ants Out of My Raised Beds?


“How do I keep fire ants OUT of my raised beds? I’m in Texas, and those buggers are devastating! I hate to poison my food … any advice would be appreciated.” Question from Amy of Terrell, Texas
Answer: The red fire ant (Solenopsis invicta) is an introduced species that’s a painful problem down South, and gardeners with fire ant problems really pay the price. Thankfully, there […]

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How Do I Stop Tomato Hornworms?


“Tomato killer caterpillars are a problem in my garden. How do I prevent and catch them before they kill my plant?” Question from Karen of West Des Moines, Iowa.
Answer: The key to stopping these destructive pests is knowing their life cycle and how to stop them at the egg stage. Not only do these large hawkmoth caterpillars attack tomatoes, but they will also dine on […]

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How do Remove Pests from My Indoor Plants?


“How can I keep the bugs from eating my plants inside?” Question from Wanda of Franklin Furnace, Ohio.
Answer: To make sure your houseplants are pest free, start by washing their leaves and then spray them with an insecticidal soap. This will take care of common foliar pests like spider mites, white flies, and aphids. It also helps to remove and replenish the top two inches […]

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How Do You Get Rid of Nutsedge?


“How can you get rid of nutgrass (aka. yellow nutsedge)? Question from Michael of California.

Answer: What a pain of a weed! Huh? You pull it up, and it just seems to return again and again and again. Here’s why. Nutgrass or yellow nutsedge (Cyperus esculentus) is given its name for the little “nutlet” tubers it produces underground. These nutlets are kind of like little weed […]

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Help! I Have Fungus Gnats


I’ve been using your organic potting soil for both outdoor and indoor planting for the past 8 months.  Over the past 3 months, my house has been inundated by fungus gnats.  I have tried everything written in the literature to get rid of them.  Yesterday, I ran out of your potting soil and began researching potting soil on the web.  While still recommended, I read […]

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