Japanese Beetles Are Back!

I’m in North Central Alabama, and it’s the middle of June. Leaves on my tomato plants looked like grandmother’s lace curtains, all frilly and full of holes. Got a container of soapy water and started searching, it didn’t take long to find and dump the culprits in their last ‘flight…

What If We Didn’t Garden?

Recent events, mostly those associated with the notorious coronavirus, have impacted life styles from ‘little effect’ to ‘life-altering.’ On either end of the scale, from little to a lot, gardening for many of us has increased in significance. Talking to a range of gardening friends and associates, a few observations…

Gold on the Ground – Ginkgo biloba

Was there ever a maiden with hair the gold of this extremely ancient tree, known as a “maidenhair” tree? Many years ago this tree with the notable fan-shapes leaves was found everywhere across the planet. Due to several unfortunate circumstances, the Ginkgo is now native to a couple of small…

What Is a Caterpillar—Really?

You don’t have to be a gardener to experience caterpillars. In fact, from Absolem, the pipe-smoking caterpillar Alice found in Wonderland to more real world curious characters, we’ve grown up with these critters. Officially a caterpillar is the larva of a butterfly or moth, consisting of a segmented, wormlike body…

Controlling Whiteflies – More Than a Little White Fly

Brush up against a plant in your garden, maybe a tomato, eggplant, pepper or okra. If a small cloud of tiny white insects erupt from the plant where you’ve noticed a slight stickiness when running your hands over the leaves, you may be dealing with one of our more ubiquitous…

Using Fireplace Ashes in the Garden

Winter is officially here, with weather forecast encouraging us to take “Old Man” seriously. And won’t hot soup on the stove and a fire in the fireplace be so good?! Not every living space can accommodate a fireplace though, so for those who don’t have one read on anyway –…

Along Came the Spiders…

Several gardeners have commented on what seems to be very healthy spider populations this fall. Is it weather patterns? Abundant food sources? They really like ‘hanging out’ around our houses, creating those ‘I didn’t see that web!’ moments? As gardeners, we know the vast majority of spiders are categorized as…

Another Kind of Pet–Consider a Houseplant!

You have very little space for a dog, cat, or even parakeet. Or you travel frequently during the week. Or you have allergies that fire up like crazy in the presence of our furry friends. But you don’t like coming home to an empty space, where the only thing alive…

Tips for Watering Backyard Vegetables

Nothing says summer like the bounty of your backyard vegetable garden. However, that bounty can be greatly reduced if you are not watering properly. First, we should talk about the why’s of watering. I know, I know–the main reason is obvious, right? Plants need water to survive. Yes, that is…