Garden Update: Street Garden and Roof

This week has been a frenzy of cleaning, selecting plants and planting. As hard as I try, I’ve got perpetual dirt-under-the-nails. I should have thought to take a picture to show what I mean. I haven’t been up to much in the side/street garden (it really needs a name) so I’ll start there. Earlier in

No, Not My Precious!

A few weeks ago my beautiful blue jade corn was devastated by squirrels or baby raccoons. We’re not sure which because both have been spotted on the deck since then. I’ve been so miserable about the loss I couldn’t bring myself to write about it until today. Not only did they devour all the immature

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Garden of Weedin’

Guest post by Niki Jabbour Weeding is one of my least favourite activities and in terms of fun I would have to rate it somewhere between getting a root canal and beating my head repeatedly against a wall. That said, there is a certain amount of satisfaction derived from yanking on a dandelion and having

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Insecticides Safe Enough to Eat (if you must)

The reality of any kind of gardening is that at some point you WILL encounter pests. While there are hundreds of products lining the shelves of your local garden centre designed to erradicate bugs from the garden, you probably have ingredients in your own kitchen that will do an effective job without contaminating the foodchain

Seed Starting – Germination

Guest post by Beate Schwirtlich What Happens When A Seed Germinates? The whole purpose of starting seeds indoors is to cheat winter a little. Ironically, even as we cheat nature, we must imitate her. Light, soil, water, air, and a basic understanding of the process of germination are all you need. Once you know the

Seed Starting – Damping Off

Guest post by Beate Schwirtlich Seed Rot or ‘Damping Off’… What is damping off? This gentle term describes the death of seedlings by fungal disease, either before or after they emerge from the pod. This sudden plant death can happen for up to four weeks after seeds are started. It actually describers a few different

Weeds in Your Garden — Bite Back!

By Susun Weed I always say the gardener’s best revenge is to eat the weeds. I’ve been doing it for thirty years and can testify that my health and the health of my garden has never been better. Here are a few hints for gardeners who’d rather eat their weeds than hate them (and for

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Weed and Herbicide Free

Guest post by Nadia Gard(e)ner Prevent the pollution of our water, soil and ultimately, animals (like us). With summer our precious plants have returned, and with them the wicked weeds also arise. While some may be tempted by the seemingly simple solution, herbicides, their environmental effects outweigh any benefit. Herbicides are chemicals used to kill

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Good Bugs, Bad Bugs: Mite vs. Mite

Guest post by Arzeena Hamir Predatory Mite The predatory mite, Phytoseiulus persimilis, is a welcome insect in the garden and greenhouse. It is a fast moving insect with an orange teardrop-shaped body. The species is a specialized predator of the two-spotted spider mite and feeds on all stages of its prey, from egg to adult.

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Good Bugs, Bad Bugs: Ladybug vs. Aphid

Round 1: Lady Bugs Known by many names, ladybird, ladybug or lady beetle, ladybugs are most welcome in the garden. They are recognized as one of the most beneficial garden insects. Aphids are one of the major foods of all four thousand species of this metamorphosing insect. Ladybugs eat aphids whole as adults, and one

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