Category Archives: pests and pesticides

Nourishing Native Pollinators

Nectar is not the only attraction in a well stocked garden, so don’t get bugged by bugs. Having a haze of insects hovering over your beds will just about guarantee you a host of birds (even hummers need protein as well as sweet desserts) as well as butterflies. Housing helps too; many grasses (especially stipas) are butterfly friendly host plants, while roses offer building material to leaf cutter bees along with their pollen and nectar. That’s a large part of why I tidy the garden in late winter and early spring rather than in autumn; putting off the work protect and supports native pollinators and when I finally get around to it, there’s a lot less to do, since so much as self-composted in place. Continue reading

Posted in Garden Design, Native Plants, pests and pesticides, Pollinators | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Rise Up & Draw Down

Print PDF How Gardeners Can Help Mitigate Climate Change A new year lies open before us, its pages largely unwritten. Oh sure, many of us have calendars already jammed with work and play, events and appointments, vacations and expectations. Some … Continue reading

Posted in Climate Change, composting, Drainage, Garden Prep, Health & Wellbeing, pests and pesticides, Soil, Sustainable Gardening, Sustainable Living | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Healing The Planet Together

Last week I visited several gardens where soils were powder dry after the long baking summer. Watching desiccated soil puff off a shovel like dust in the wind, I was reminded of the dustbowl days when foolish and ignorant farming practices destroyed native plants and soils. One highly productive thing we can do to help repair the ecological damage to our precious world is to amend impoverished soil. Healing treatments include deep mulching with aged compost and/or digested dairy manures, both of which help to renew soil tilth and texture as well as the nutrient balance. This fall, heap weary beds high with fallen foliage, shredding the larger leaves by running over them with a mower. A foot of leaves isn’t too much for empty or new beds, and it’s not too much for empty bays between larger shrubs or areas around trees. Do not till in these amendments; tilling is now considered an ultimately destructive practice. Just layer them on, autumn and spring. Every. Single. Year. Continue reading

Posted in composting, Garden Prep, Health & Wellbeing, pests and pesticides, Soil, Sustainable Gardening, Sustainable Living, Weed Control | Tagged , | 8 Comments

When Ladybugs Might Bug You

When spring arrives and the air warms up, Korean ladybugs awaken and try to get back outside. For some folks, finding what might feel like an invading army of redcoats on the windows can trigger attempts to get rid of them. However, hungry ladybugs eat their weight daily in pests like aphids and whitefly eggs, and these little ladybirds can be terrific garden helpers. Put outside too soon, they’ll simply die for the lack of edible insects. Instead, tuck these beneficials away until spring is truly here. Continue reading

Posted in Gardening With Children, Moss, pests and pesticides, Pollinators, Sustainable Gardening, Sustainable Living | 4 Comments