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Gardening tips, Pest Mangement -

Cabbage white butterfly, Pieris rapae, is one of the most visible insects, pest or otherwise, in our garden.  It looks lovely and innocuous, dozens of white yellow butterflies floating around the garden on a warm summer day.  But watch them closely and find that what they're really doing is laying their eggs on host plants, which are those in the brassicacea family.  For us, the larva are mostly a problem in cabbage, as the leaves they feed on are also the part we eat.  They're frass fills the crevices of the growing cabbage, making it a disgusting mess.  Their feeding can stunt broccoli,...

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Gardening tips -

Some people want to grow a garden, but only have shade in their yards.  Shade is a blessing in almost every other way-  it often means trees are present, it keeps the soil from drying out, and keeps the house cool in the heat of the summer.  But for growing a vegetable garden, shade is tricky.  Most vegetables require 7-10 hours of full sun to thrive, flower, and set fruit.  However, if you only have shade and still want to grow at least some of your own food, you can!  As a general rule, many crops that we only eat...

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Gardening tips -

When I first started gardening, I grew my onions from small bulbs called onion sets.  Onion sets are large and easy to plant directly into the garden.  But what is an onion set and why can you grow from sets or seeds seemingly interchangeably?  An onion set is an onion that has been started from seed and allowed to form a small bulb the previous fall.  Sets are dug and stored, and sold to be replanted in spring.  So an onion set is really a second year onion.  Being a second year onion, most of your onion sets will flower...

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Gardening tips -

This week Homero Gomez, a leading activist for monarch butterflies in Mexico, was found dead in a well in Michoacan.  Homero was an outspoken advocate for the monarch and fought for the protection of their vital overwintering habitat in Michoacan state, where millions of butterflies journey each year from Canada seeking the shelter and warmth of old-growth trees.  Though cause of death is still not known, Gomez disappearance one week prior to his death led to speculation of his being a target of illegal logging operations in the area.   Michoacan state is home to Mexico's largest butterfly reserve, El Rosario...

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