Friday, August 8, 2014

Fall Webworm in Kitsap County

Fall Webworm "tent."
Clemson University - USDA Cooperative Extension
Slide Series,
This spring the resurgence of Western Tent Caterpillar (Malacosoma californicum) became more noticeable here in Kitsap.  I wrote about it here.  If you're worried about your trees because of it, seeing caterpillar tents in your trees now in summer might give you the jitters.  Fortunately, there is good news:  new "tents" in your trees at this time of the year are nothing to worry about.  They are caused by a far-less troublesome moth species called Fall Webworm (Hyphantria cunea).  Right now, the rascally Western Tent Caterpillar exists only as sleeping egg masses on the twigs of your prized fruit tree.  Next April they'll awaken and wreak havoc.

Monday, August 4, 2014

My Non-Scientific Vinegar Weed Killer Experiment

My "Driveway".  Yes, that weed strip down the
center is growing on a gravel driveway.  It is green in
August because I had my tomatoes on top of it
(moved to the left in the image).
I have an old gravel driveway.  I don't think it's been re-graveled during the entire life of the house. If you
have one of these driveways, then you probably also have weeds.  Lots of weeds.  Well, you'll have lots of weeds if you're loath to use conventional herbicides on your driveway as I am.  In the past, I've used a propane torch to burn away the weeds and it did work well, but lugging around a small tank and flaming weeds in the hot sun was not fun.  I've read of using vinegar to kill weeds.  Some articles claimed good success.  Others poo-poo'd it to some degree.  I finally decided to give the vinegar recipe a try after discussion of it stumbled onto my Facebook feed.  The ingredients are cheap, so why not try it on my driveway?

Saturday, July 19, 2014

New Publications Tab

I just added a tab to the blog for items that have been published in blog posts.  I'm hoping this will make it easier to find these items (graphics, PDFs, etc.) rather than having to search my posts.  So far there are only two items there.  More will be added as the blog grows.  Enjoy.

How Do I Know When to Water My Plant?

I briefly discussed water and garden plants in a previous post.  But the topic is worthy of much more

Image by Northwest Garden Diagnostics, 2014
discussion than is worthy of a single blog post.

To help the more novice gardeners among us figure out if a plant is ready to be watered, I've made another graphic that builds on the one from my last post.  Because this is a one page graphic and this topic is actually rather complex, the image over simplifies the topic with the goal of making things easier for beginners.  You more advanced (or snooty....cough!) gardeners can probably poke all sorts of holes in it and list exceptions.

A bigger version can be downloaded here.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Blog for Nature Geeks

I found a blog on the web that I think is worth checking out: if you're an uber nature geek.  Great writing and great photos!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

New Feature - have a plant problem? Send us some pictures!

So you have a plant or garden problem? Send us your pictures!  We would love to take a look at them to help you figure out what is going on.  There is no charge. Just click on the "Submit Images" tab to get started.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Tent Caterpillar Moths Are Flying Now

Jerald E. Dewey, USDA Forest Service,
The tent caterpillars that were eating are trees until recently are still around although not so active.  Some though have already cocooned and pupated, emerging as mating adults. They're out laying the golden egg clusters for next years brood.

So, between now and next spring, keep an eye out for the egg clusters (see photo at right) that will hatch out next years wave of leaf-chewers.  If you find them, just rub them off.  No pesticides needed.