Garden Pests

What’s Wrong With My Fern? Brown Leaves on Ferns

November 1, 2011 4 comments
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Does your fern have shriveled, brown fronds or a bleached, discolored appearance? We know that people are susceptible to sunburn, but we don’t think of plants as being able to get sunburned as well. It’s a common problem. When shade-loving plants like ferns are put into a sunny situation, their fronds shrivel around the edges, […]

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The Slug Shield Copper Snail and Slug Repellent

April 15, 2011 20 comments
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***Giveaway below! Comment to win one of SIX sets of slug shields!*** EDIT: Winners have been chosen and contacted. Thanks everyone for entering! I’ve written before about how nasty the usual snail and slug baits are. In fact, here in California, metaldehyde snail bait is the #1 poisoning agent of dogs. Hmmm…. Fido or slug-free […]

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The Snail Martyrs

August 20, 2010 6 comments
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I often see statues of Buddha in people’s gardens, and every time I do, I have a small secret smile, because I know an old story about the Buddha that most people haven’t yet heard. It involves one of our most-hated garden pests and the sacrifice they made to further the cause of enlightened thought. […]

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Honeybee Love: Keeping Honeybees Safe While Using Pesticides

May 16, 2010 29 comments
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We’ve all heard about the plight of the honeybees by now – pesticides, hive infections, and other causes are combining to make it a very hard time to be a honeybee. If you’re thinking to yourself that it’s not the worst thing in the world to have one less type of stinging insect around – […]

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How to Treat Rose and Flower Pests Naturally: Organic Control of Black Spot/ Powdery Mildew, Aphids, and Caterpillars

July 14, 2009 5 comments
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If you’ve tried to prevent rose problems with the tips in this article, but still ended up with some pests (it happens!), here are the methods I recommend to get rid of pests on roses the organic way. (Obviously, before spraying anything, read the instructions on the bottle and be sure to suit up appropriately […]

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How to Treat Rose and Flower Pests Naturally: Prevention

July 12, 2009 2 comments
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The introduction to this series is here. Preventing pests with good gardening habits is the first step towards having healthy roses and flowers. Healthy plants are a lot less likely to get diseases, while sickly plants become overrun by problems very quickly. Not only that, attending to the basics of a healthy garden will get […]

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How to Treat Rose and Flower Pests Naturally: Intro

July 12, 2009 2 comments
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Roses can be tough to grow organically, because they’ve been so over-bred for their honking big flowers that often, breeders paid little attention to disease-resistance. So you end up with these great frankenflowers that look fantastic – until midsummer when the black spot, caterpillars, and aphids move in. But – I admit it – I […]

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How to Kill Thrips Organically on Rhododendrons and Other Plants

June 27, 2009 10 comments
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Thrips are a tiny sucking insect that pester Rhododendrons (particularly many older varieties) and Azaleas, some evergreen Viburnums, Photinia, and occasionally other plants in the coastal Pacific Northwest. You can tell you have them because your ordinarily green leaves will develop a silvery sheen on them, while the undersides of the leaves will get little […]

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Organic Snail and Slug Control: How to Kill Snails and Slugs Naturally

June 5, 2009 44 comments
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Snails and slugs are one of the most common pests in the garden, and the traditional pesticide treatment for them is particularly nasty. If you are transitioning to an organic garden, treating snails and slugs differently is an easy (and still highly effective) change that will have a great impact on your family’s health and […]

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Organic Gardening 101: How to Begin Gardening Naturally and Have Happier Plants

May 31, 2009 6 comments
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I’ve been asked a lot lately about organics in the garden. “How do I kill snails around my vegetable starts?” is a common question. “Does anything organic really work on roses?” I even spoke with one gardener who felt chained to her Miracle-Gro routine – having to laboriously water it in every two weeks. It […]

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