Friday, April 30, 2010

Guess Who...Else

Yep, it's not just the nice guys in the garden. Lots of aphids, thrips, mites, and other pesky things all over. So I had to go for the spray - but not just any spray.

My trigger choice is FlowerPharm, which works great as a general pesticide/fungicide. It's completely organic and you can find the stuff locally at Southwest Gardener in downtown Phoenix.

At the end of March I sprayed my tomatoes a couple of days, waited a week, then hit 'em again. Now I don't see anymore of those little black aphids, and no damage was done to the tomato plants.
I also sprayed my bok choi, kale, and tulips, which were all pretty thick with bugs. The ladybugs were doing their thing too, but I was a bit anxious to see some results so I can harvest and eat my veggies. The ladybugs managed unscathed as well (as I'm noticing quite a few larvae babies at work).

But all those critters on my edibles were the least of my worries:

(scorpius soon-to-be-deadius)
Yes, the worst of all garden pests have begun to make their presence known now that it's warming up. So I called my friendly neigborhood pest control service - Ladybug for my seasonal treatment. They use an all organic product that is very safe for pets and lizards alike, but does a number on the scorpions.

However, I still like to do my part in the garage and other inconspicuous cracks and crevis using DE (diatomaceous earth - be sure to use garden grade not pool grade). It's a powder-like product that is all organic, which damages scorpions from the underside causing death within about 24hours. Just a little added security when I'm not out with my blacklight and big stick.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

It's Earth Day - Reduce, Reuse, Return

Today is Earth Day. Lots of events and activities will involve being green and recycling and carbon footprints and saving the environment, yadda yadda. But let's focus to the real star - Earth.

Look down. (Well, go outside and look down.) Look at the earth, the ground, the dirt, the soil. What can you really do for the earth TODAY.

Real simple - give back. It's a good time to simply start a compost pile. Even better (and simpler), leave your garden alone and let nature compost. Allow your garden - the earth - the feed and replenish itself. Composting (decomposition) is a natural process that is always happening underfoot. Where the mulch meets the soil, in-between, the bugs and microorganisms are hard at work composting.

When we contribute to the process by adding more layers of mulch - or leaving the leaves where they lay - the earth is enriched with nutrient life. In the end, the earth will return the favor and give to us.

For more cool inspiration about good ol' terra firma, check out what's airing on PBS. Now go let your toes hug some dirt.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Knock, Knock...

Who's there?
Everybody! Xericopia is bursting with visitors these days. Well, not exactly visitors, more like new residents.

Lulu Bird has been banished to her chair, so now the lizards can workout in peace and every
one can come out and play...

Check out the carpenter bee loving some lavender pinata. (When he lands on the bloom, it droops over like a fishing rod. I think it's the bee version of a carnival ride.)

Mr. Mockingbird enjoys some apple while the shy Mr. Thrasher hides in the shadows while. (He prefer peanuts, or even better, dog food nuggets dunked in water.)

Bumble bees are loving some spanish lavender.(Keep your distance. They are feisty about their lavender time.)

Lizabelle is being her usual sassy self (as we sit less than a foot away enjoying the sunset).

The biggest surprise visitor this season has been a ladybug - and she's making babies!! (I think...)

But my favorites in the garden are the worms! The only critters working harder than me and I love it. Who's in your garden this spring?