Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

December, 2007
Regional Report

Books

Organic Gardening Tips
Newspaper, Pennies, Cardboard, & Eggs for Growing a Better Garden, by Roger Yepsen (Rodale Books, 2007; $17.95), is one of those books filled to the brim with handy tips for organic gardeners. In 346 pages (including index and table of contents), there are unique, useful tips on composting, fertilizing, pests, diseases, flowers, tools, planting, and transplanting. There are lovely line drawings to illustrate various projects. One of my favorite sections is on reading the weeds in your lawn. According to Yepsen, you can diagnose your shabby lawn depending on the type of weeds found growing there. I love books like this and frequently adopt new ideas from them.

Clever Gardening Technique

Eliminate Mealybugs From Indoor Plants
Indoor plants take a beating when the heater comes on. Insect pests thrive in dry, warm conditions. If you see mealybugs (white, cottony material near the leaf joints) on any of your favorite indoor plants, use regular rubbing alcohol on a cotton swab. Pour a little alcohol into a container and dab each cluster of mealybug insects. They will disintegrate before your very eyes! Be vigilant, treating every few weeks until all indication of mealybug infestation is gone. The alcohol will not harm most plants.

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