Dormant Oil for the Control of Over-wintering Insect Pests

What is dormant oil? Dormant oil is an oil based, low-impact insecticide, that is sprayed on vulnerable woody plants during their dormant season, to kill the overwintering stage of pest insects. The oil used is typically a highly refined mineral oil to which an emulsifying agent has been added, which allows the oil to mix with water. Sometimes cottonseed oil or soybean oil are used … Continue reading Dormant Oil for the Control of Over-wintering Insect Pests

Gardening Naturally With Clematis

There are few flowering vines that command as much visual appeal as do Clematis. Many varieties offer near diner plate size blooms on plants that can bloom for weeks on end. Growing these amazing Clematis vines naturally, without the aid of chemicals is not only do-able but from the plants point of view preferable. For big beautiful blooms on healthy low maintenance Clematis plants try these all … Continue reading Gardening Naturally With Clematis

Leaf Spot Diseases of Iris

There are several potential causes of leaf spots on Iris including fungal infection, bacterial infection, various viruses, insect damage and various environmental factors. Of these factors fungal leaf spot is the most common and widely spread. Leaf spot diseases greatly mare the appearance of Iris plants and can kill whole leaves and eventually plants if not brought under control. Fungal Leaf Spot of Iris Iris … Continue reading Leaf Spot Diseases of Iris

Root Nodules Caused by Nitrogen Fixing Bacteria Verses Root-Knot Nematode Disease

In order to understand the difference between root nodules, that are caused by nitrogen fixing bacteria and root-knot disease, caused by nematodes, one must first have a clear understanding of what each is. Root Nodules Caused by Nitrogen Fixing Bacteria Nitrogen-fixing bacteria are able to transform atmospheric nitrogen (a form the plants cannot absorb) into fixed nitrogen (a form plants can absorb). There are 2 main kinds … Continue reading Root Nodules Caused by Nitrogen Fixing Bacteria Verses Root-Knot Nematode Disease

The Many Faces of an Aphid

Many gardeners are familiar with the little green soft bodied insects that feed on the growing tips and flowers of many of their favourite garden plants. Aphids however are actually a very large and diverse group of insects with between 4,000-5,000 species world wide. They come in a range of colours including green, black, brown, red, yellow, purple, gray and white. Size wise they vary … Continue reading The Many Faces of an Aphid

20+ Beneficial Insects for Home Gardens, Green Houses, Crops and Orchards

By: Kimberley Pacholko Jan. 25, 2021 What Are Beneficial Insects? Beneficial insects are deemed beneficial from a human perspective, for their ability to either pollinate plants or to control pest insects. Creating an environment that is hospitable to beneficial insects usually involves refraining from the use of insecticides and other chemicals in the garden, providing a variety of plant material including brightly coloured pollinating plants, … Continue reading 20+ Beneficial Insects for Home Gardens, Green Houses, Crops and Orchards

Box Tree Moths (Cydalima perspectalis)

Box tree moths (Cydalima perspectalis), BTM for short, are an invasive species new to Canada in 2018. They are currently found in the Toronto area, including Scarborough and Concord in 2020 and an isolate case in St. Catharines in 2021, but they are spreading. The United States reported it’s first cases in 2021. Several government bodies, universities, nursery and landscape trades have banded together to try … Continue reading Box Tree Moths (Cydalima perspectalis)

Plant Nutrient Deficiency Symptoms and How to Correct Them

There are 90 or more plant nutrients, 17 of which are essential to plant health. Nickle was the newest to the list in the 1980’s. Without these nutrients plants cannot complete their life cycle. For a review on the role each of the nutrients plays in plant health visit 17 Essential Soil Nutrients For Plant Health. Silicon, cobalt and vanadium are also important nutrients to many plants … Continue reading Plant Nutrient Deficiency Symptoms and How to Correct Them

Topiary In Ornamental Home Gardens

When we hear the word topiary it usually conjures up images of grand old castle gardens or botanical gardens and the such. However topiary has also long been used for the ornamental home garden, albeit with less grandiosity. Topiary plants do have a more severe look about them and are typically more work but they make excellent feature plants and can lend a tone of … Continue reading Topiary In Ornamental Home Gardens

The Weedy Orchid Helleborine

Helleborine 🔈 (Epipactis helleborine) is a weedy orchid that has been making it’s appearance more and more in home lawns and gardens. It’s ability to sprout from any small fragment of it’s rhizomes, left in the ground, makes it a very difficult plant to weed out or eradicate; especially considering these rhizomes can be deeply established. This coupled with it’s dust like seeds that can … Continue reading The Weedy Orchid Helleborine

Winter Protection For Your Garden

For those of us who live in temperate zones the wild fluctuations in temperature can be particularly hard on plants. Making informed plant selections is the first place to start. Even with wisely selected plant material some of your garden plants may still need a little help. Fortunately their are several things you can do to help protect your garden plants during the winter months. … Continue reading Winter Protection For Your Garden

Fall Web Worms

Identification Fall webworm nests: are composed of silky threads wrapped around the leaves and branches encapsulating the caterpillars. The nests are loosely constructed and messy looking, occurring at the branch tips, and enlarging as food runs out. Large colonies can encapsulate an entire tree in their webbing. The caterpillars feed inside the nest (unlike tent caterpillars) and as such the nest is full of frass … Continue reading Fall Web Worms

Poisonous Hemlock (Conium maculatum)

Poisonous Hemlock (Conium maculatum) is an extremely poisonous plant. There is great concern over this plant due to the personal safety of humans, foraging domestic animals and wild life. Most of the cases of poisoning to humans has been the result of foragers misidentifying the plant, believing the root to be that of the edible cow parsnip, or the leaves that of wild celery. Although … Continue reading Poisonous Hemlock (Conium maculatum)

Crane Flies And Leather Jackets Turf Damage and Control

These long, gangly looking insects look like giant mosquitos but they are completely harmless (they neither bite nor sting). Their off spring (leather jackets) can cause some serious damage though, (if in sufficient numbers), to the roots of lawns and other garden plants.   European Crane Flies (Tipula paludosa Meigen) Crane Flies (sometimes called daddy-long-legs or mosquito hawks) are long and gangly, two winged flies that look like giant mosquitos. … Continue reading Crane Flies And Leather Jackets Turf Damage and Control

Lilac Witches’ Broom

What is Lilac Witches’ Broom? Lilac witches’ broom is a serious systemic disease of lilacs for which there is no cure. Infected lilacs typically gradually decline until they die. The characteristic symptom is the development of witches’ broom (tight clusters of short, thin branches that all stem from the same point). These witches’ brooms tend to form near the base of the lilac but they … Continue reading Lilac Witches’ Broom