Tools and Chemicals

Flame Weeding – Dangerous

Using a propane weeder may be attractive to some……..but you’d better do it with an observer nearby. Man uses blowtorch to kill weeds; sets 120-year-old house on...

READ MORE

Carpenter Bee Control – Bug-a-Salt Gun

If you fancy yourself a prospective big game hunter, why not start small…..hunting carpenter bees? The Bug-a-Salt (click here for sources) is an air gun that uses table salt to kill small insects.  (One wag says you can also use...

READ MORE

Dandelion – Control

My young friend Ayana and I recently spent several minutes making a bouquet of dandelion flowers and blowing on the seedheads of those already bloomed. Although the flowers are bright and distinctive, some folks would rather not have this plant...

READ MORE

Organic Insecticides

A hammer or a quick slap will kill an insect, but how do you control lots of them in your garden? My father paid me a quarter to hand-pick potato bugs in our garden but there is currently a shortage...

READ MORE

Beer, Detergents for Your Lawn – False Claims

I have mentioned before my disdain for television hucksters touting lawn care “formulas” made from household products. The presentation is enthusiastic but the recommendations contain only tiny nuggets of scientific truth. It is true that household ammonia contains a small...

READ MORE

Organic Fungicides – List

It’s hard enough to find a fungicide that work well to control landscape and garden diseases. But what do you do if you want to use an “organic” fungus fighter? Fortunately, there are fungicides in the category that are usually...

READ MORE

Eggplant Leaf – No Flea Beetles

While visiting a cooperative farm in Cuba, I noticed a guy spraying something on vegetables. It was a hot day, but he wore a ball cap, long pants and rubber boots. When I asked our guide why he was so...

READ MORE

Oregon PS250 Electric Pole Saw – Review

In early summer the Oregon power tool company sent me a 40 volt lithium-ion battery-powered pole saw to try out and evaluate.  I used it several times to cut out dead limbs and limb up small trees and it performed well. But the...

READ MORE

Imidacloprid Will Not Kill Spider Mites

Imidacloprid will not control spider mites. Why not? The fact that an effective insecticide will usually not harm a mite seems counter intuitive. After all they are both Arthropods i.e. small creatures with exoskeletons and jointed appendages. Although following this...

READ MORE

Organic Herbicides (Weed Killer)

Many homeowners want “organic” choices when it comes to selecting weed killers. Fortunately, there are several choices for both selective and non-selective weed control. Vinegar has been touted as a herbicide but the kitchen version is too weak to do...

READ MORE

What is pH?

pH is a mathematical expression of the concentration of hydrogen ions in water. It is measured on a scale from 1 – 14. In practical terms, the higher a pH number the more alkaline a solution is and the lower...

READ MORE

Dermatitis – Passionvine

Contact dermatitis from exposure to certain plants can be serious business. We’re all familiar with the dermatitis resulting from touching poison ivy but other plants can cause a reaction as well. My son got blisters on his arm from pulling...

READ MORE

Pesticides – Their History

When did mankind start using pesticides? Would you  believe 1000 BC? Using chemicals to kill insects, weeds and diseases is nothing new. People have been using them for thousands of years. True, wide-spread use didn’t occur until the 20th century,...

READ MORE

DeKalb County Compost – Safe?

Q: I frequently visit the free DeKalb county compost/mulch pile on Memorial Drive. After spreading two truck loads on my dormant vegetable garden, I‘m worried that the compost might have high levels of herbicides or pesticides. A: I took a...

READ MORE

Pre-emergent – When To Apply

Many garden tasks can be done almost any time. I’ve transplanted shrubs in July and in December and had success. I fertilize my St. Augustine lawn three times a year but I don’t do it on exact, specific dates. On...

READ MORE

Antique Garden Tools

When a friend pointed out a New York Times article (digital subscription required) about a museum show of antique garden tools, I was intrigued. When I realized that the owner of the tools, Mark Morrison, lived near where I intended...

READ MORE

Gardening – Apps for Your Smartphone

Way back in 2003 I wrote a newspaper article about using a Palm PDA (personal digital assistant). In the years since, Palm has gone out of business and many of us use smartphones daily. I use mine all the time:...

READ MORE

University of Georgia Fertilizer Calculator

It’s a great idea to have your soil tested by the UGA Soils laboratory to find out exactly what nutrients your soil contains. But it’s quite common to receive from the lab a fertilizer recommendation that contains fertilizer products you...

READ MORE