In Defense of the Paper Wasp

Paper wasp building a nest. Image: Wikimedia. I really don’t like gardening advice that divides the natural world into lists of good and bad bugs. From nature’s perspective all creatures have a role, even the much despised paper wasp. Paper Wasp Biology 101 Wasps perform important duties: some wasps eat other insects, other wasps are scavengers, acting as nature’s garbage disposers. That’s not to say that wasps don’...

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

...et-8-great-hiding-spots-in-ordinary-objects/ … 130 Square Foot Micro Apartment in Paris | Inthralld http://inthralld.com/2013/04/130-square-foot-micro-apartment-in-paris/ … Bedbugs! How a Leafy Folk Remedy Stopped Bedbugs in Their Tracks http://nyti.ms/12H9HDI Gardening 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 fro...

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Straw Bale Garden Part III: Adding Fertilizer

After watering our straw bales for three days our next step is to apply a high nitrogen fertilizer. We’re following West Virginia University Extension Service’s Straw Bale Gardening advice. They suggest a 1/2 cup of urea per bale or “bone meal, fish meal, or compost for a more organic approach.” (I think they mean blood meal as bone meal does not have much nitrogen in it.) Choosing the organic approach, we’re water...

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Saturday Linkages: $1 Homes, Compost Heated Showers and Potty Talk

New life for Old Poang! http://www.ikeahackers.net/2013/06 13 Ways To Turn Your Outdated ’90s Tech Into Truly Usable Things http://www.buzzfeed.com/leonoraepstein/13-ways-to-turn-your-outdated-90s-tech-into-truly-usable-thi … The Good Life Lab: A modern manual for living off-the-grid: http://boingboing.net/2013/06/04/the-good-life-lab-a-modern-ma.html … Compost Heated Shower http://lloydkahn-ongoing.blogspot.com/2013/06/compost-heated-shower.html...

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Cactus Thief Strikes Again

I knew this was going to happen. After the theft of the first of three barrel cacti in our front yard, I knew the perp would be back. Sure enough the second cacti disappeared the other night. Now I’m left with the smallest, and most pathetic of the three cacti. In response I considered rigging up some kind of Arduino based cacti security system that would set off an alarm and flashing strobe in the house. Attach a trip wire to the root sy...

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Watering 101

This is watering 101. Those of you who have been gardening for a while have probably learned this the hard way. Those of you just starting out may find it helpful. Soil lies. It looks wet, but it’s bone dry a fraction of an inch beneath. Or it looks dry on the surface, but it’s actually quite wet below. Or it’s wet, but only for one inch down. The only way to find out if you’ve watered your garden enough is to stick your...

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How to Deal With Cabbage Worms

It happens every year. I forget the gardening lessons of the year before. Take my many failed attempts to grow cabbage, for instance. It always gets decimated by the imported cabbage worm (Pieris rapae), a creature as abundant in Los Angeles as aspiring actors. There are several strategies I could use to deal with this pest (cabbage worms, that is–I have no problem with actors). I could spray Bacillus thuringiensis but I don’t like...

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Saturday Linkages: Let’s Make Chickens Legal in Pasadena!

Let’s really make backyard hens legal in Pasadena CA!  Gardening Preventing the heartbreak of splayage: http://ow.ly/1RN6pB Uli Westphal’s Ripening Tomatoes http://greenroofgrowers.blogspot.com/2013/01/uli-westphals-ripening-tomatoes.html#.UQxX3qqq5vY.twitter … The Wild, the Domesticated, and the Coyote-Tainted http://j.mp/14EAlz6  Design Tiny Apartment in Soho/Insanely Well Designed http://lloydkahn-ongoing.blogspot.com/2013/01/t...

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Saturday Linkages: Bus Offices and Secret Doors

...13/01/24/secret-exterior-door-with-remo.html … “Yes You Can Build Your Own Tiny House” http://lloydkahn-ongoing.blogspot.com/2013/01/yes-you-can-build-your-own-tiny-house.html#.UPtz5N_K5l8.twitter … HOWTO assemble the Powercube, hydraulic power source for the Global Village Construction set: http://boingboing.net/2013/01/18/howto-assemble-the-powercube.html … A just plain cool site: inspirationgreen.com/index  Thanks, Davis! Gardening...

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