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Pests & Diseases

The Best Organic DIY Insecticide for Indoor and Hydroponic Food Gardens

I love my indoor garden for several reasons, but mostly because I don’t love outdoor garden pests. Well, maybe except for those cute rabbits that I always plant a little extra for in my outdoor garden. I also don’t love using harsh chemicals on my vegetables. It’s beyond me how they can kill insects yet be perfectly benign otherwise. Granted, I’m not a chemist, and maybe I’ve watched a few too many episodes of X-Files, but I prefer the DIY insecticide approach. 

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Pests & Diseases

How to Stop the Japanese Flying Beetle From Destroying Your Garden

The Japanese flying beetle is quite the looker. The metallic green head and shiny copper wings make it look more like a jewel than a garden-destroying invader. Since the beetle’s accidental introduction to the United States in 1916, it has spread and flourished across most of the country.

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Pests & Diseases

How to Prevent Indoor Garden Pests During the Winter

My most eventful experience with indoor garden pests happened a few winters ago. One of my neighbors handed over a gorgeous basil plant that had spent the summer outside in the sunshine. She didn’t have room for it in her home, so I was the lucky recipient.  Thinking how awesome it would be to have […]

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Pests & Diseases

What is Eating My Cilantro Leaves?

If you love good guacamole, you probably already know who is eating your cilantro – everybody! Cilantro is thought to be one of the first herbs enjoyed by humans, going back at least as far as 5000 BC. Well, except for the 25% of people who think it tastes like soap, but for the rest of us, cilantro is a staple in good cuisine! Then you have the bonus: their seeds—also known as the spice called coriander. 

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Pests & Diseases

How to Handle Cedar-Apple Rust and Save Your Harvest

It’s a beautiful, early-fall day. You got ambitious a couple of years ago, and you now have three gorgeous apple trees around your garden. As you get closer, though, you notice something that had escaped you before: the tell-tale signs of cedar-apple rust!

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Pests & Diseases

The Best Garden Decoys That Actually Work to Deter Pests

I love a garden gnome as much as the next person. They’re a fun way to add some personality around the peas or some cool kitsch to the cucumbers. But when it comes to garden decoys that deter pests, they aren’t all that effective. As a matter of fact, I’m pretty sure the rabbits around my house have been taking selfies with the gnomes.

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Pests & Diseases

How to Avoid Tomato Blossom End Rot

The end of summer signals the beginning of tomato season! So many delicious tomato recipes. And consider canning tomatoes if you have an abundance. But for now, celebrate the fruits (yes fruits) of your labor and the fact that you’ve made it to harvest season. You can’t wait to get your hands on some heirloom tomatoes. Or maybe you’re like me and enjoy a post-gardening snack on homegrown cherry tomatoes. But something is wrong with your harvest this year. What are those splotches on the bottom of your tomatoes? Is it a pest? Is it a fungus? No, it’s tomato blossom end rot!

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Pests & Diseases

How to Treat Anthracnose Fungus in Strawberries

I love strawberries. They’re the perfect little fruit, too. You can cool off on a hot day with a glass of strawberry lemonade. They make a wonderfully sweet addition to yogurt at breakfast. Strawberries work well in a salad with a splash of balsamic vinaigrette. And, of course, you can never go wrong with a strawberry and rhubarb pie!

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Pests & Diseases

How Does Lettuce Get E. coli and How to Prevent it in a Home Garden

I love lettuce. It’s so easy to grow, it’s ready to harvest pretty quickly, and the multitude of varieties have so many different qualities. Who can deny the appeal of crunchy, slightly sweet lettuce on a sandwich? I also admit there’s something that bugs me: How does lettuce get E. coli?

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Pests & Diseases

Prevent Food-borne Pathogens When Using Manure in Vegetable Gardens

As a kid, the thought of using manure in vegetable gardens turned my stomach. I think it’s because my opinions on manure were initially shaped by the Back to the Future trilogy. In each of the films, there’s a scene when either Biff or Buford crash into a pile of manure, then are publicly shamed while onlookers are understandably grossed out.