Garden Talk: December 4, 2008

From NGA Editors

New Award-Winning Christmas Melon

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It’s only December, but the new varieties for 2009 are already rolling in. Mailboxes and e-mail inboxes are being inundated with seed catalogs filled with new varieties. One that caught my eye is a new, early-maturing, flavorful Christmas melon.

‘Lambkin’ is a 2009 All-American Selections winner. It features 2- to 4-pound fruits with aromatic, sweet-tasting white flesh. It’s an early melon, maturing 65 to 75 days after seeding, which makes it a good choice in regions with short summers. A Christmas- or Piel de Sapo-type melon, ‘Lambkin’ has attractive mottled green skin and stores longer after harvest than cantaloupes and other melons.

For more information on this award winning melon variety, go to: All-American Selections.

Community Gardens Add Value to Inner City Homes

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Community gardens not only provide healthy food, exercise, and green spaces for city residents, they also revitalize neighborhoods and increase home values. Researchers from the American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association studied the effect of a new community garden in New York City on home values in a 1000-foot ring around the garden. They found that in poor neighborhoods, after 5 years the community garden increased home values by as much as 9 percent. The impact was greatest for well-tended community gardens and those furthest away for city parks and green spaces.

For more information about this study, go to: Real Estate Economics .

New Biopesticide Controls Tomato Blight and Mildew

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Home gardeners are always looking for the best and safest way to control disease in their gardens. Recently there has been great interest in using naturally occurring microorganisms to combat fungi and bacteria that attack plants. Now, there’s another weapon in the arsenal.

Regalia is a biopesticide made from giant knotweed (Reynoutria sachalinensis) extracts. Researchers have found this common weed has compounds that are effective in controlling a broad range of diseases, such as early and late blight, bacterial speck, rust, and powdery and downy mildew. It is available for use on vegetables, fruits, and ornamentals. Regalia works by stimulating the plant’s natural defenses to produce “antibodies” that make the cells less likely to succumb to attacks from bacteria and fungi. In tomato trials at the University of Florida, Regalia outperformed other pesticides, including another biopesticide, Serenade, in controlling early blight on tomatoes.

For more information on this new, safe pesticide, go to: Marrone Organic Innovations.

Garden Gloves for Animal Lovers

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Garden gloves are an essential item for anyone working in the yard. Plus, they make affordable and much-appreciated holiday gifts. While there are many types of gloves on the market, for those animal lovers who don’t want to wear gloves made from leather, there is a new tough, comfortable, non-leather alternative. The “Vegan” glove features a spandex back for stretching and flexibility, Kevlar stitching for durability, liquid-cell thumbs and fingers help prevent blisters without sacrificing dexterity, and a non-slip print on the palms to enhance grip.

For more information on the Vegan glove, go to: The Pallina.

 
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