Pacific Northwest

July, 2011
Regional Report

Shows & Events

SolWest Fair
The Eastern Oregon Renewable Energies Association hosts itsannual SolWest Fair at the Grand County Fairgrounds in John Day, Oregon on July 29-31, 2011. The SolWest Fair is an opportunity to participate in workshops, see exhibits dedicated to renewable energy and sustainable living, and learn about energy efficiency, including solar and wind energy, and alternative fuel vehicles.

A keynote address by Philip Ackerman-Leist, founder of a sustainable agriculture curriculum, will begin the three-day event which offers engaging activities for all ages and knowledge levels. You can find more information on their website: http://www.solwest.org/fair.htm

Clever Gardening Technique

Scout for Spider Mites
Spider mites are tiny, oval shaped, reddish-brown pests with eight legs. They cause problems in the garden when they pierce the undersides of leaves and drink the liquids within the tissues. The damaged cells die and leaf surfaces become mottled in appearance. Heavy feeding by a large population can result in yellow or bronze colored leaves and distorted new growth, which can eventually kill the plant.

Because they are so tiny, these pests are easy to overlook. Careful inspection of plant parts with a magnifying glass or a gentle shaking of the leaves and branches over a piece of white paper can reveal their presence. Fine webbing between leaves is also an indication of an infestation.

Adult females lay more than 100 eggs at a time and it takes less than one week for an egg to develop into an adult. Spider mites thrive under warm, dry conditions and will attack a wide variety of plants, including annuals, perennials, vegetables, trees, shrubs and houseplants.

To control, dislodge small infestations with a strong spray of water from the hose. Since spider mites prefer dry conditions, misting or rinsing your plants on a regular basis will slow or hamper a population boom. If rinsing doesn't work to reduce the population, an application of summer weight horticultural oil will suffocate the pests. Or, you can encourage ladybugs and predatory mites to visit your garden. You need only to reduce or eliminate the use of pesticides to encourage these beneficial insects to visit, and to take up residence in your garden.

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