Insects

InsectsPodcast

How to Grow: Asian Ladybugs

Listen to this podcast about Asian ladybugs that overwinter in our homes. It includes information on why they do it and how to stop them. With colder weather upon us, everyone is looking for a warm place to spend the winter, including some insects. Asian ladybugs have been in Connecticut since 1994. This species of ladybug hitchhiked a ride on cargo ships to enter the U.S. and has spread around the country. The Asian ladybug is beneficial, eating aphids on a multitude of crops. It looks like the native ladybug, but has a different...

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Insects

How to Grow: Control Slugs and Snails

Learn how to control these slimy gastropods in your garden. Learn how to control slugs and care for your vegetable and flower garden. Controls include non toxic, organic baits, traps, and some unusual techniques. Listen to the podcast and watch my video. Listen to podcast: Start any conversation about gardening during a spell of wet weather and sooner or later the talk will turn to slugs and snails.  Vermont slugs and snails are not as large as the foot long banana slugs my friends in Seattle deal with, but they can be just as numerous....

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Diseases FruitInsects

How to Grow: Controlling Apple Pests

Learn how to control common apple pests including diseases and insects. Listen to podcast: Apples are the quintessential Vermont tree fruit because they grow so well in our climate. Unfortunately, even after watering, fertilizing, protecting and generally pampering your trees, sometimes for years to get fruit, you only end up with misshapen, small fruits with black spots on the skin. While apples grow well here, so do their pests. The first step to growing apples without cursing or resorting to harmful chemicals is to plant disease...

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Insects

How to Grow: Controlling Big Bad Beetles

Learn about beetles in the garden and how to control them. Listen to podcast: The beetles have arrived. This is a different fab 4 than who I grew up with. Flea, cucumber, potato, and asparagus are all beetles that love your veggies. Here are some organic controls. If you have the time, handpicking all these adult beetles in the morning while they're sluggish helps reduce the population. If you can't do it, pay the neighborhood kids. It's a great summer job! The larval forms of beetles are the easiest to control. The red asparagus beetle...

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InsectsVegetable

How to Grow: Controlling Cabbageworm

Listen to this podcast on how to control cabbageworm caterpillars in your garden   If you've ever grown broccoli, cabbage, kale, or cauliflower you know this insect. We've all experienced this. You're happily washing your head of broccoli or kale leaves when you come across a green caterpillar. Worse yet, if you miss them you end up having a little protein in your veggie dish. The cabbageworm, and related cabbage looper, are common insects that attack all the Brassica or broccoli-family crops. They start in early summer as a harmless...

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InsectsVegetable

How to Grow: Controlling Cucumber Beetles

Listen to this podcast on how to control cucumber beetles in the vegetable garden.   They're small, black and yellow and seem like they shouldn't be a problem in a vegetable garden. But they are! The cucumber beetle comes in two versions. The black and yellow striped or spotted species. Both cause damage to cucumbers, melons, and squashes by feeding on young transplants and seedlings and flowers and transmitting bacterial wilt disease to plants. For such a small insect, they can pack a wallop. To control them you should know a little...

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Insects

How to Grow: Controlling Emerald Ash Borers

Learn about the emerald ash borer insect and why it's a concern on trees. Listen to podcast: Hey, has there been a run on purple box kites? Am I missing the latest hobby trend? Nope, those purple boxes hanging in trees throughout Vermont have a more important role to play. They're insect traps. The emerald ash borer is a bright metallic green, 1/2-inch long Asian insect that invaded our shores in 2002, probably as a hitch hiker on some wooden packing boxes. It has been causing a path of destruction to ash trees killing millions of these...

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AnnualsInsectsVegetable

How to Grow: Controlling Flea Beetles

Listen to this podcast on how to identify and control spring weeds organically. There's nothing more discouraging than working hard prepping your vegetable garden soil, making beds and sowing seeds, only to find as soon as the little plants emerge they get eaten by insects. One of the worst culprits this time of year is flea beetles. These small, black beetles literally hop when disturbed, hence the common name. This also makes it hard to catch and kill them. You'll notice their activity on radishes, kale, and arugula seedlings as they...

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Insects

How to Grow: Controlling Japanese Beetles

Watch this video to learn about the life cycle of Japanese beetles and how to control them organically using sprays, hand picking and traps. Control Japanese beetles, including how to trap and spray for them. Listen to podcast: They're here! Today I saw my first Japanese beetle lingering on a rose flower. In Japan these beetles aren't much of a pest as natural predators and few lawns limit they're reproduction. However, east of the Mississippi River, Japanese beetles feed on hundreds of fruits, vegetables, and flowers. So let's get right...

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Insects

How to Grow: Controlling Mosquitoes

Learn about mosquitoes in the garden and yard and how to control them. Listen to podcast: The only critters that loved the flooding this spring were some fish species and mosquitoes. In fact, it's gearing up to be a doozy of a mosquito season. While the mosquito season has been delayed because of high lake and stream levels, once the waters recede, the warm, stagnant pools left behind will be a perfect mosquito breeding ground. It won't take long for the mosquitoes to start ruining your summer picnics. They can go from egg to adult in...

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Growing Vines

Learn about a wide variety of annual and perennial vines to grow including mandevilla, passion flower, trumpet vine, honeysuckle and morning glory. Includes varieties, how to grow, prune and fertilize the vines and fall and winter care.