On the Many Frustrations of Gardening: Pierce’s Disease

...rous borders it’s bound to show up someday. Might as well get ready. Gardening is a humbling lesson in evolutionary biology. It’s all about survival of the fittest. Work with evolution by selecting for immunity to pests and disease and you’ll harvest the rewards. Resistance is futile. More info at piercesdisease.org. If any of you readers know of a comprehensive list of resistant varieites for California please leave a link in t...

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Saturday Linkages: Hiding Spots, Bedbugs and Rodents of Unusual Size

...ardening All About Gabions : Cheap Retaining and Other Garden Features http://shar.es/JHCQS  New killer compost problem–Imprelis: http://ow.ly/1UWcBj How to protect plants from frost: http://ow.ly/1UMWLG Farmers tackle pests with colas: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/3977351.stm … Rodents of Unusual Size – a documentary about 20-lb rats in Louisiana – Boing Boing http://boingboing.net/2013/04/09/rodents-of-unusual-size-a...

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Hens in the Orchard for Pest Control

Photo: hencam.com Author Terry Golson, who blogs at HenCam.com, sent along a great pest control tip in response to our thrip post–chickens, of course! Chickens and orchards go together like gin and tonic. The hens take care of pests, clean up rotten fruit, add nitrogen to the soil and the canopy of the orchard protects the hens from hawks and heat. Plus you get eggs and meat. Permaculture in action. The 1920s era photo you see above comes...

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Top Ten Vegetable Gardening Mistakes

...to put it politely, is non-linear. If I were to overcome that cognitive flaw and plan out how much and where things should be planted I’d have both a steady supply of produce as well as a more attractive garden. 5. Not labeling plants What kind of okra is that? I have no damned idea. Too bad when I want to plant it again next year. All it takes is a sharpie and a plastic knife to fix this problem. 6. Not keeping a garden diary The two mo...

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Book Review: The Urban Bestiary

...Squirrel (and Rat) • Black Bear • Cougar • Birds  • Starling, House Sparrow, Pigeon • Chickadee • Crow • Hawk and Owl • Chicken • Tree • Human The truth is we think we know all we need to know about these animals–these pests which overturn our garbage cans, scare off the native birds, eat our cats or scare the bejeezus out of us on the porch late at night–but we don’t, not really. We see what we want to see and understand very...

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Butterfly Barrier Failure

...sity in the garden I’m liking the biodiversity option the best. Planting a bunch of brassicas is like opening an all you can eat buffet for cabbage leaf worms. Our backyard has more biodiversity and fewer problems with pests. I used better (homemade) compost  in the raised beds in the backyard, thus the soil in these beds also has greater microbial biodiversity...

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A Bustle In Your Hedgerow: California Natives for your Vegetable Garden

...n a lot of the relationships these sorts of books tout. What makes intuitive sense to me, however, is that biodiversity in in a garden can create habitat for beneficial insects and birds that can help keep our edibles free of pests. For thousands of years in Northern Europe that biodiversity was maintained through the use of hedgerows. Now, thanks to a study conducted by UC Santa Cruz researchers Tara Pisani Gareau and Carol Shennan, we’ve...

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We Grow Houses

...make it seem like something is being done. Meanwhile we invite future agricultural catastrophes through our world economy which allows us the luxury of out of season, mediocre fruit year round all the while inviting in exotic pests. Whether or not Naled poses a toxicity problem for our neighborhood (it certainly poses a health risk for the workers as that inflatable hand demonstrates), we at Homegrown Revolution have a more basic solution–l...

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Nopales Season

...ke with the boiled chopped nopales. Fry up in a pan and you’ve got a delicious side dish. One of the charms of the prickly pear cactus, in addition to the food it provides, is its ability to survive drought and fend off pests. Sadly, it’s not as indestructible as it seems. The cactus moth, Cactoblastis cactorum was introduced into the Caribbean in the 1950s and has slowly worked its way to Florida and Mexico. It may soon reach Texas a...

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Whiteflies

The upside to garden pests and diseases is getting to do a little amateur backyard science. Any excuse to mix up a martini, pull out the microscope and take a close look at things and we’re all over it. This week’s happy hour entomology comes thanks to a infestation of white flies living on the underside of our tree collards. I believe the specific culprit pictured above is the greenhouse whitefly, Trialeurodes vaporariorum which, de...

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