Feel free to contact us
for gardening information and we'll do our
best to get you an answer.
Does anyone know how to deal with an amazing
outbreak of aphids on an 80-foot Tulip Tree?
Here's the 'Rodale's Guide...' answer: Wash plants
with a strong spray of water; release aphid midges,
lacewings or lady beetles (you can actually buy
all of these :-)); spray with garlic spray, insecticidal
soap, dormant oil or summer oils, alcohol, pyrethrins
or rotenone. My guess would be the summer oil spray
as the easiest and most effective, though it would
be fun to order a few thousand lady bugs and watch
them pig out!! *** The owner of this tree said she
was going to order some lady bugs. Hopefully she'll
report back in and let us know of her success!
Can you give me some suggestions on what
I can spray on my apple trees instead of using the
Well, I'll start by saying that maintenance of our
orchard has always been difficult at best. It takes
a lot of work and timing whether you use chemicals
or not. Rodale's Garden Problem Solver gives a 'complete'
Organic Spraying Program. It's a great book if you
don't have it. Here's an overview:
1. Dormant oil 3 weeks before leaf bud.
2. Lime sulfur and insecticidal soap (separately)
when buds show green tissue.
3. Sulfur and BT (separately) when buds show pink.
4. Seven days later, repeat #3
5. If raining and above 60 degrees, apply sulfur
based fungicide. During bloom you can also spray
with BT for caterpillars.
6. At petal fall apply sulfur.
7. Seven days after petal fall, repeat #5, then
again after seven more days.
8. Midseason sprays 10-14 days apart of sulfur or
Bordeaux mixture for fungus.
9. Stop all sprays 30 days before harvest.
Sorry there's not an easier answer. The dormant
oil alone is useful. Also, check out the milk jug
recipe for coddling moths.
What is BT?
BT is short for Bacillus thuringiensis. It is a
naturally occurring bacteria that causes soft bodied
pests to starve by damaging their digestive system.
There are several varieties, each targeting a specific
pest, for example, one for mosquito larvae. It is
virtually harmless to mammals and other non-target
life forms such as bees, and may be used right up
until harvest. BT is one of the best things to use
on European cabbage butterfly larvae (cabbageworm)
on broccoli and cabbage, etc. It is readily available
at garden centers in the organic section.
Is pressure treated wood really bad to use
in the garden.
Yes. Green treated lumber is also called CCA treated
wood. CCA stands for 'chomated copper arsenic'.
This lumber contains heavy metals and arsenic. 'Organic
Gardening' magazine has done extensive articles
on the subject and has made recommendations for
alternatives. I have a three page article from the
January 1994 issue of 'Organic Gardening' that I
will be happy to mail or fax to anyone who requests
it. Don't forget, anything you wouldn't use for
a garden, you also wouldn't want to make a children's
play ground out of!
I'm trying to identify an iris that's purple
with pink polka dots....(fill in your description
It's almost impossible to identify an iris from
a description. If you think it's an old iris, you
can check on a Section in the American Iris Society
called - Historic Iris Preservation Society (HIPS).
The address is:
Ada Godfrey, Secretary HIPS
9 Bradford St.
Foxborough, MA 02035
Are mealybugs harmful?
Mealybugs look like white tufts of cotton under
leaves. They are usually found in houseplants, and
can cause leaf damage. They can be removed individually
with rubbing alcohol on a cotton swab, or sprayed
with insecticidal soap. There is a natural enemy
you can buy called a Mealybug destroyer (cryptolaemus
montrouzieri), but personally I haven't had the
nerve to actually buy bugs myself yet :-)