Monday, March 1, 2010

March Newsletter

Hey, Gardeners!

First I want to apologize for not getting this out sooner. I could list my 55 excuses why it didn’t make it out on March 1st (or 2nd, or 3rd or… ) , but is suffices for me to say, “I am a Mom, Wife, Friend, Daughter, and Sister first.” Yes, I am barely an excuse for a gardener at this point. J Actually, I did get some of my own garden sown and planted, ripped out 14 giant black garbage bags of weeds, grass and dead growth, trimmed up the koi pond and managed to bring my lawn back from the dead. But, I still haven’t spent enough (not sure there is such a thing) time in the garden.

I mentioned last month that I had some words for you about bugs. Honestly, I could write about bugs until my fingertips were sore. Until I became a gardener, they weren’t all that important to me. I considered them gross and creepy. Now (for the most part) they are my friends! Most bugs in the garden are beneficial. I would say 95%. If you have grubs, white flies, spider mites, aphids, grasshoppers, or anything resembling a caterpillar then you don’t want it. Pretty much everybuggy else is a blessing to your garden. Keep an eye on my blog for photos I have taken of beneficial insects in my own garden. (Much better quality photos than the pics below). For loads of information on beneficial insects, visit this link:

I stole the above photo from
My recommendation for pest control is self control. At least I say that now. I imagine that this will be the year of the grasshopper and the year of the mosquito with all of the extra rain we have had here in the dessert. So, 6 weeks from now you may get an email from me that screams, “DIE APHIDS, DIE!!!!” But in most years and under normal circumstances, bugs take care of themselves. Even this wet year, I imagine that this will be so. Remember, a good year for mosquito larvae will end up being a good year for lacewing eggs and so forth. But mark my words, it will be the year of the bugs!! The aphids roam in and then the ladybugs and lacewings follow to eat and parasite the aphids. The caterpillars hatch and the assassin bugs attack. The trouble with chemicalizing the garden is two fold: 1. You are applying poison to the foods you will eat or the flowers your children will inevitably pick. And 2. Said poison is indiscriminating. It will kill the aphids, but it will also kill the ladybugs that kill the aphids. It will get rid of the caterpillars, but then it will kill the hoover flies and bumblebees that pollinate your flowers eventually preventing growth and production. Without pollination in the garden, you get nothing, nada, zilch.

Well, it is time for me to get into what to do and plant this month. Hope you all keep gardening. I will send out an email this weekend linking to my new garden blog after I get all of the picture uploaded to it. So far it is just drafts.

Hands dirty,

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