Never Buy Ladybugs!

Never buy Lady Bugs!! Seriously. For those of us who know ‘bugs’, and know biological pest control, there is one great reason for commercially available and lab-produced ladybugs: They are the “gateway bug.” An insect that people regularly see, generally like, and view as the poster-icon for beneficial insects. If shopping for “ladybugs” and even... Continue Reading →

Grow Hard

It was a windy day. I wasn’t far from the ocean, although I couldn’t see it. The valley was cold for June and I could smell the salt in the air. I don’t often get to visit growers, especially ones who aren’t already clients. But there I was, on a “cold-call” to an ornamental grower.... Continue Reading →

Photos – Year over Year

Typically, I write something then illustrate with photos. Here, I just decided to show each crop and how it looks compared to last year. My annuals rotate and some of the varieties and arrangements have changed, but you'll get the idea. First photo of each will be last year.   Perennial 1. Blueberries. Not much... Continue Reading →

The Wasp, the Slug and the Fava Bean

I haven’t been writing much this season. Honestly, I have been more often frustrated than not with the garden. This season started so promising. Rye and wheat exploded and filled winter beds with greenery, the green houses were filled with plugs of plants grown to schedule and my over-wintered cauliflower produced heads before most things... Continue Reading →

Fruit Tree Pest Control

Fruit Tree Pest Control Pests in trees usually come and go. Seldom will a tree die from regular pest pressure. When they do, there is a reason: An introduced pest with no natural enemies, or a stressed tree suffering from something else. In fact, when someone has shown me a tree dying of a normal... Continue Reading →

The Winterized Garden

The winterized garden: November, 2019. The rains have come. It was actually a wet September, which for us, is unusual. For the trees and my garden, it was welcomed - besides splitting my tomatoes and abruptly putting an end to the season for some more sensitive crops. October had been relatively nice, and we have... Continue Reading →

Know Your Bugs: Phytoseiulus persimilis

Since the popularization of the modern greenhouse in Victorian England, non-chemical, greenhouse pest-control, as we know it, has been practiced. It was before modern chemical pesticides were available, and it was at this same time that Phytoseiulus persimilis (common name: Persimilis) became cosmopolitan and the standard for two spotted spider mite control.  Without the sophistication... Continue Reading →

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