If the last several posts on helpful garden residents have piqued your interest, you are now ready to stride confidently into your garden (yes, even in winter) to find and identify the wonderful creatures that await you! Here are some great resources to help you in your search for more diverse and intriguing friends A … Continue reading Beneficial of the Week 5
It's fungi season in the Pacific Northwest! Although we will be fighting mildew and other fungal invasions for the next eight months or so, the benefits of fungi are so numerous, it's hard to know where to start. Some fun facts from Ecology for Gardeners by Carroll and Salt (2004), and Life in the Soil … Continue reading Beneficial of the Week 4
Keeping you entertained and surprised by the beneficial organisms around you, this week it is: How can this be beneficial to us?? Yellowjackets are ferocious and irritating. What possible use could they be? Yellowjackets are ferocious. I was not too bothered by them until I made the mistake of approaching a nest too closely. Yikes. … Continue reading Beneficial Organism of the Week 3
This week it's a bird, and you might be surprised that it's a non-native, obnoxious one: STARLINGS! Mostly starlings are considered pests, ever since that guy that thought it was a good idea to import every animal Shakespeare mentioned into North America did, in fact, import them. But one good thing about flocks of starlings … Continue reading Beneficial Organism of the Week 2
Starting a new theme here: Garden Beneficials. I would say "beneficial insects" but so many organisms that keep us alive and healthy are from other orders. You'll see as we get further into this! Here are this week's guests of honor These two tiny millipedes are front-line shredders, so you find them in leaf litter. … Continue reading Beneficial Organism of the Week
I see this plant in so many gardens - do you know what it is? This plant is possibly the most cryptic and devious noxious weed we have in western Oregon and Washington. I looks so deceptively like it belongs wherever it happens to be - even at the base of a big tree (which … Continue reading Should I Stay or Should I Go?
The convenience and photo quality of online sources is excellent if you check the source to verify reliability. Any URL that ends in .edu is usually a college or university, and established magazines and societies also have great websites. Try Horticulture, American Horticultural Society and many other specialty groups that concentrate on bulbs, wildflowers, and … Continue reading Virtual bookshelf favorites – Browser bookmarks
Slowly but surely, the season is advancing, and Spring will soon be here. The new growing season starts with such optimism! So few weeds, new seedlings to nurture, not much watering to do…then the rude awakening of the first aphid outbreak, sometimes followed by slug devastation or other problems that are visited upon gardeners year … Continue reading Girding for pests and other thoughts on Spring