Picture Snob

June 30, 2008

Colorado Potato Beetle - an unusual remedy: vacuuming

The potato plants at GardenSnob were covered with Colorado potato beetles. potato bug.jpgSome plants were completely defoliated. These potatoes had survived the whole winter in the basement and we were determined not to lose this crop. The Colorado potato beetle can be devastating to potato plants, tomatoes, peppers and eggplants and potato bug larvae.jpgis always slimy, bumpy and disgusting looking in the larvae stage. We were grossed out with the thought of picking them all off by hand and squishing them and yet didn't want to resort to chemicals. Why not vacuum them off? We used an outside extension cord and plugged in the June 30 2008 176.jpgbackpack vacuum. Sure enough, we were gathering the little bastards into the vacuum bag in no time. Now you see them . . . 29Jun08 Now You See Them.jpg Now you don't! 29Jun08 Now You Don't.jpg Let the entire leaf go up the wand - potato plants are tough and they won't be damaged. The flowers don't fare as well so it's best to vacuum before the plants have started flowering. GardenSnob staff recommends that you vacuum the plants, go off and enjoy a beverage or two, then hit the vacuuming again as some of the beetles that flew away will have returned. You can even get them in mid-flight with some practice. We know there might be a carbon footprint sniffer reading this so we have made up for this flagrant misuse of limited resources by banning the vacuuming of the house for three weeks. Now that makes us wish we could grow potatoes year round. :)

Mary Ellen Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

June 28, 2008

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle - You are what you eat.

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle book.jpgThis is a great book about eating locally grown and locally raised food for one year. The author and her family tended a huge garden, raised chickens and turkeys, canned tomatoes and put vegetables such carrots, beets and potatoes away for the winter. It's a fascinating, honest look at doing all that work. There is also a lot of accurate information about the harmful state of our country's food system. In addition, the author's daughter contributed weekly meal plans that use seasonal, available ingredients and paint a great picture of what would be on their dinner table on a typical night. From the family debates to the hilarious turkey mother, this book is a great summer read for any gardener. Available at Amazon for $8.97.

Mary Ellen Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

June 27, 2008

The real hoe down on the 59" Circle Hoe

59 inch circle hoe 062708.jpgForget the wiggling stirrup style hoe. This innovative Rittenhouse design has a circular shaped blade that lets you weed accurately and closely around your plants while avoiding damage to their roots. Cuts weeds just under the soil surface and leaves soil in place. 59" handle prevents back pain. Blade is made of forged carbon steel and the handle is ash. This long lasting, quality tool sells for $29.99. 2001 Editor's Choice award from Organic Gardening Magazine .

Mary Ellen Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

June 16, 2008

Fiskars Project Orange Thumb - Get Sponsored to Garden


Fiskars Project Orange Thumb has announced their 2008 Community Garden Grant Recipients. That's right Fiskars is paying people to garden - or sponsoring them really. Each selected garden receives $1,500 worth of the latest Fiskars garden tools, and $800 for green goods. Grant recipients were chosen from over 500 applicants through a unique selection process, and individuals were asked to express their passion for gardening through music, art, and photography, along with their thoughts on the positive impacts of community gardening and their plans to manage and improve current and proposed garden sites. Check out the link below to read not only about the winners, but also about the garden's themselves.

At Fiskars - Exceptional Gardens

Jay Brewer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

June 12, 2008

Envirocycle Composter - Make Your Own Dirt


We love to make our own dirt using a composter. You can really mix in just about anything food related and start making your own dirt - even coffee grounds. We think this composter simplifies composting using a rolling and mixing action that keeps the ingredients mixed and aerated. It can collect up to five gallons of fertilizer.

At Envirocycle Composter

Jay Brewer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

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Jay Brewer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

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Jay Brewer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking
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