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The Garden Mix



Make plans now to join Melinda on her famous Garden Walks at Boerner Botanical Gardens in 2014!

Nationally renowned garden expert Melinda Myers helps everyday gardeners find success and ease in the garden through her Melinda’s Garden Moments radio segments. Melinda shares “must have” tips that hold the key to gardening success, learned through her more than 30 years of horticulture experience. Listeners from across the country find her gardener friendly, practical approach to gardening both refreshing and informative! On this page, Melinda shares some more extensive garden tips, which expand on the information provided in her one-minute radio segments.

New tips are added throughout each month, providing timely step-by-step tips on what you need to do next in your garden! Visit Melinda’s website www.melindamyers.com for more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and answers to your questions.


Eco-friendly Control of Scale Insects on Houseplants


Bumps on the leaves and stems of your houseplants may mean scale insects have moved in and are feeding on your houseplants.
Scale insects suck plant juices, causing leaves to yellow, brown and become distorted. These pests secrete a clear sticky substance like other sucking insects, called honeydew.  Large populations can eventually weaken and even kill some plants. 
 
You will need to be persistent to control these pests.  Their hard shells are impervious to most pesticides.
 
Start by gently scraping the hard shelled insects off the plants with an old toothbrush or your thumbnail. Check the upper and lower leaf surfaces and along the stems. This is a tedious job that you may want to do while watching your favorite TV show or movie. 
 
Then spray the plant with insecticidal soap to kill the immature insects that have not yet formed their hard pesticide-resistant shells. Repeat weekly.
 
A bit more information:  Mealy bugs are a type of soft bodied scale.  Their white fuzzy covering protects it from pesticides.  Use insecticidal soap to control the immature stage of mealy bugs and scale.  For more details, click here.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com


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01/31/2013 3:14PM
Eco-friendly Control of Scale Insects on Houseplants
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Eco-friendly Control of Thrips
Poorly developed flowers, stunted plants and silvery streaks on leaves are indications thrips may be feeding on your plants. These tiny insects have file-like mouthparts they use to puncture the outer surface of leaves, stems and flowers and suck out plant sap. They are very small and difficult to detect. Hold a white piece of paper under the plant and shake. Or remove the petals of damaged flowers, place in a sealed jar with 70% alcohol and shake the jar to dislodge and detect the pests. Control is difficult and often not needed as the damage is discovered after the thrips have finished feeding. Provide the proper growing conditions and care for your plants. Avoid excess nitrogen that promotes lush succulent growth these pests prefer. And remove spent flowers that tend to harbor the insects. Manage weeds in the garden and keep thrip-susceptible plants away from weedy areas where the pest populations tend to be high. A bit more information: Beneficial insects like predatory thrips, green lacewings, minute pirate bugs and some parasitic wasps feed upon plant damaging thrips. Invite these good bugs into the garden by planting a diversity of plants and avoiding persistent pesticides. Visit the University of California IPM online for more details on this pest. For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
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