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The Practical Gardener

Archive for July, 2010

Should you let your lawn go dormant? 0

Posted on July 29, 2010 by Paige

Missoula, MT - brown hill, green trees - it's summer!

I went to graduate school in Montana. Before that, I’d never been west of Georgia where the grass grows green all summer. I still vividly remember how perplexed I was, upon arriving in Missoula in August,  to see that the grass on the hill behind the campus was brown.

“Aha,” I thought, “they recently had a fire, that must be it.”  Read the rest of this entry →

What a tomato needs 0

Posted on July 21, 2010 by Paige

My father grew tomatoes, nothing else, just tomatoes; it’s one of my most lasting memories of him. When he lived in a condo with no sunny area, he grew them outside his office door. He grew up during the Depression, dirt poor, share-cropping in Georgia and said he never wanted to farm again but that didn’t include giving up home-grown tomatoes. Read the rest of this entry →

Basil experiment update 0

Posted on July 11, 2010 by Paige

Photo 1 - Basil from cloche - See it hiding down there?

Oh those poor little basils that I sent out into the cold last month, how they’ve suffered. Summer only started here in Seattle on 7/6 going from coat weather to 90° heat in the space of a day. I’m not kidding about the coat weather; the kids came home from watching fireworks on the 4th wearing heavy coats with the hoods on and that is what the poor tropical basils had been out in. Read the rest of this entry →

Will bought ladybugs eat your aphids? 0

Posted on July 05, 2010 by Paige

“A ladybug can consume 50 aphids per day,” says the Ladybug Lady.  Whohoo, aphids watch out.

This assertion is supported by the folks at Cornell University.  Each day a convergent lady beetle larvae may eat its weight in aphids while an adult can take out 50.  Since this is the kind of beetle typically sold for biological control,  it sounds like our aphid problem can be solved for an investment of  $13.95 (give or take) plus shipping. Right?

Wrong. Well probably not. Here’s why. Read the rest of this entry →

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