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How Do You Manage Whiteflies Organically?


“What is the best organic way to get rid of whiteflies?” Question from Shawn of Kenosha, Wisconsin
Answer: Whiteflies can become awful pests to manage if the populations become large, but they are relatively easy to kill. Here is a little more information about these pests and some organic methods for handing them.
What Are Whiteflies?
Whiteflies sucking insects that remove the juices from plant leaves and […]

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How Do You Get Rid of Canada Thistle?


“How does one get rid of [Canada] thistle?” Question from J Marsh of Fenton, Michigan
Answer: I am so sorry that you have this plant in your garden. Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense) is by far one of the worst of all garden weeds. It has painfully prickly foliage and produces lots of early summer flowers that produce copious puffy seeds that are distributed by wind and […]

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What Garden Companion Plants Control Insect Pests?


“What’s the best flower to control unwanted bugs in your veggie garden?” Question from Sylvia of Belle Plaine, Minnesota
Answer: Some commonly recommended companion plantings are ineffective, while others are supported by research. Most of the research surrounds vegetable crops and companion plants that reduce the number of insect pests that attack these crops. Companions fall under two categories:

Trap crops: These plantings attract insect pests, luring […]

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Do Old Coffee Grounds And Tea Leaves Help Gardens?

 

“Are sprinkling used coffee grounds around flowerbeds or tree and shrubs a good idea?  We have our neighbor dogs and cats issues. Thanks!” Misty from South Carolina
Answer: It’s a question that I asked myself some time ago because my grandmother’s favorite amendments for roses were old tea leaves and coffee grounds. Both organic materials, derived from plant leaves and seeds, are slightly acidic and […]

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Is This Tomato Mosaic Virus?


“Hi! Doing good? Please, can you tell me if this is tomatoes mosaic virus or others, or simply burn from the heat lamp? How can I send you pictures, please? Thank you for caring! Anne ;-)))” Question from Anne of San Diego, California
Answer: It is hard to tell at this stage. There are points where physical damage, such as foliage burn or herbicide damage, […]

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How Do You Stop Asparagus Beetles?


“How can I prevent asparagus beetles from attacking and how can I get rid of them?” Question from Carol of Drums, Pennsylvania
Answer: There are several cultural things that you can do to manage asparagus beetles. There are two types with similar habits and damage, the black and white adult common asparagus beetle (Crioceris asparagi) and orangish-red spotted asparagus beetle (Crioceris duodecimpunctata). First, it is important to […]

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My Mix Has Slime Mold! Is It Dangerous?

Here a yellow slime mold is growing on a fallen tree in nature.
“I bought 8qt of Black Gold Cactus Mix and started repotting my plants. The first bag looked fine, but the second one was covered in orange/rusty colored powder and some fuzzy white blooms. I haven’t used it, but will this happen to the other one as well? What should I do with it?” […]

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What Bulbs Do Voles Dislike?


“What bulbs do voles not like to eat?” Question from Nancy of Columbia, Pennsylvania
Answer: There are a variety of bulbs that they will not eat. All daffodils and narcissus are unpalatable to rodents. Their bulbs contain toxins that repel any that might predate on them. Voles also dislike beautiful and fragrant hyacinths and grape hyacinths. Delicate, white, early-blooming snowdrops are another bulb that they […]

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Does Corn Gluten Really Prevent Weeds?


“What is your opinion of using Cornmeal Gluten to prevent weeds starting from seeds?” Question from Kathy of Loomis, California
Answer: Corn gluten is a popular all-natural pre-emergent herbicide that will stop the germination of certain seedlings when properly applied. That means that it keeps weed seeds from sprouting. For this reason, it is important to apply it well before cool-season weed seeds get going […]

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Why Are My Pine Trees Dropping New Growth?

Why Are My Pine Trees Dropping New Growth?
“I have a number of pine trees in my yard. Last year I had a number of trees that dropped new growth, this happened in the fall and winter.  This year a larger number of the trees dropped the new growth.  It looked like a green carpet. under the trees.  The weather was dry warm and the winter […]

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