Pests « Archive

Posted on 23 June 2012 by

Letting Nature Handle Garden Pests


By Mindy McIntosh-Shetter

The other day, I was reading an article about how this year’s mild winter is going to create an environment full of pests.

Many pests were not killed due to the winter wind and freezes; instead mesquites have shown up in many areas in February while butterflies could be found flying the first of March.

In doing so, many people wonder what this year’s garden season is going to be like.

But I am not going to worry about it. Nature has a way of dealing with pests and utilizing nature’s techniques will help me have a successful gardening season without having to use alternative methods.

Start with Healthy Plants

Healthy plants are just one way to start the season off right. It has been discovered that pests do not Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on 23 January 2012 by

Travel the Path Less Taken: Organic Control of the Leaf Miner

By Mindy McIntosh-Shetter

The other day I was watching a movie about a coal miner and it made me think how life mimics the natural world.

This coal miner was trying to control an environment that he did not understand.

He felt that following the same path that his father had followed would lead him to a different conclusion.

We all know how that ends and the same applies to gardening.

When we see a pest, we seem to fall to the same habit that has caused so many problems.

This habit, one may ask, is chemical application. While this technique works quickly in the short term, it never works out in the long run. Which is where the movie comes into play along with the simple leaf miner.

The adult leaf miner attacks tomato plants by Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted on 03 January 2012 by

Mother Nature’s Weather Forecasters

By Mindy McIntosh-Shetter

I have always looked toward nature as my predictor of the weather.

Learning the weather patterns of ones local area is very beneficial to gardeners.

It can help the gardener decide when to put the cold or cool season crops in and can provide some guidance as to fall and winter crops.

The key to this technique is knowing what to look for, when to look for it, and understanding what you see.


Wooly worms are famous as bad winter predictors. It is believed that if the caterpillar is solid black, the whole winter will be abnormally bad. On the other end of the spectrum, it is believed that if the caterpillar is brown or light brown this is an indication of a mild winter. Wooly worms have 13 sections and each section represents one week of the winter season. If the wooly worm is in bands of black and brown, this is an indication of a winter that is going to have a lot of changes.


In the fall, squirrels are busy collecting food for the winter. Some believe that Read the rest of this entry »


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