Finding a great garden companion hiding in plain sight at home – Press Telegram – California News Times

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When I came across an eye-catching title, I was organizing an ever-expanding collection of botanical and gardening books. One hour passed quickly while reading and rereading certain keen observations and recommendations from “The Great Garden Companions” (Rodale Press, 1998) by Sally Jean Cunningham. This is a book that should be carefully read and absorbed many years ago, given that it has been on the shelves for over 20 years and contains more wisdom than expected in dozens of books. It became clear. Gardening theme. By the way, there are many copies of the “Great Garden Companion” available from internet vendors, most of which sell for less than $ 20. Most books on gardening contain a lot of information, but you don’t always come across wisdom on the page. When it comes to gardening books, wisdom seems to be characterized by a widely accepted practice that goes against the traditional view that the author’s eyebrows rise. The victory of simplicity and the attitude of giving way to nature are shaking. In most cases, gardening books are overly involved in external input and quick corrections. With proper use of soil conditioners, fertilizers and pesticides, it seems as if we can turn us into successful gardeners. Yarrow (Photo by Joshua Siskin) Parsley Petroselinum crispum (Photo courtesy of Joshua Siskin) Coreopsis Uptick Bronze and Gold (Photo courtesy of Joshua Siskin) However, by doing the simple thing of holding a few inches of mulch on the soil surface, the degrading organic matter in the mulch enriches the earth and provides all the minerals, so over time soil conditioners and fertilizers. May become unnecessary. I need a plant. Mulch also reduces the frequency of irrigation by minimizing the evaporation of water from the soil surface and eliminating the need for herbicides to choke the weed seeds before germination. By incorporating plants in your garden that attract or protect beneficial insects that prey on pests, all kinds of pesticides quickly disappear from your mind. Cunningham argues that much of the garden’s success owes much to planting the cheeks of selected herbs and flowers along with the crops. Herbs generally belong to the Umbelliferae family (also known as carrots or parsley family) and are distinguished by lace leaves such as parsley, coriander, dill and fennel. She also recommends “potentially confusing and repelling pests” and “planting fragrant herbs like basil.” When it comes to flowers, Cunningham relies heavily on those of the aster or daisy family: marigolds, genia, shasta daisies, cosmos, harshagiku, single buttons, achillea millefolium, and especially tansy (Tancetum vulgare), “probably the only beneficial insect. The best attractant. “ Ground cover is highly recommended as it provides shelter for both beneficial insects and spiders that prey on pests. Gazania and the highway daisies (Osteospermum) are ideal in this regard as they feature flowers that are magnets for pest-eating insects, both as ground cover and as a member of the daisy family. She also praises borage. “It self-sows every year, but it’s not aggressive.” This plant is a fascinating plant with nods, hairy flower buds, and blue star-shaped flowers. Borage is a wavy specimen that grows to a height of 2 feet and attracts pollen maters. It is recommended to plant it next to the strawberry patch. The hordes of bees borage also visit the strawberry flowers for more fruit. Spreading borage seed packets not only pollinates insects, but also makes the garden much more friendly and attractive to people. Although I am a first grader, borage grows enthusiastically year after year. The seedlings taste like cucumber and you can put them in a salad. Cunnigham is generally effective for farms and other commercial applications, but it is necessary for home gardens because it “can attract all the helpers it needs by planting the right attracting plants and providing water and shelter.” I am against the purchase of no beneficial insects. She proposes to install “Bug Bath-a large clay saucer or aluminum pie can with pebbles and small rocks.” Add enough water to cover most rocks and pebbles, and of “small beneficial insects” such as ladybugs, lacewings, parasitoid wasps (about the size of a pencil tip), hoverflies (about the size of a pencil tip). Leave it exposed as a landing point. It has gold stripes on its back or looks like a small bee with a metallic blue or green color). If you still want to take an army of ladybugs, but don’t want them to fly away, lay out a house for them consisting of damp straw. .. You’ll want to keep food available from your yard supplier to spread on a sponge near the free-range ladybugs and give them more incentives to stay in the yard. Still, it seems easier to plant auctions and daisies in areas where ladybugs are naturally attracted and spawning. ••• “What do you think about using Clapia groundcover in a predominantly north-facing area next to a concrete pool deck? Total space is about 880 square feet. Concrete on one side, fence on the other. Lots of water. I want something that doesn’t require or maintenance. ” – Barbara Tucker, Northern Orange County Unless the area is exposed to enough light and there is no shade, I think it will work for you. However, before committing to the entire area, it is advisable to experiment by planting a small segment of the area (for example, 50 or 100 square feet) and seeing how it grows. In general, plant a sample of a groundcover plant that you are considering in a large area and see how it works before making a final decision on whether to make a more serious investment in that plant. I recommend it. Tangle frogfruit (Phyla nodiflora) is not a grass, but an evergreen verbena with pinkish white flowers. It grows to a height of 2 inches. It can absorb light foot traffic, but it is not suitable for sports. Establish it from a plug grown in a plastic cell planted 15 inches in the center with a triangular pattern. At kurapia.com, 72 plugs are offered for $ 158.40 and coverage is 97 square feet when planted according to the above spacing. The optimum planting time is from March to September, and it takes 4 months to fully cover. Clapia can be planted at any time of the year, but grows and fills slowly in the fall and winter. Clapia blooms from May to November. You don’t need to use a lawn mower or brush cutter (weed eater) unless you want an apparently overgrown look and don’t want to see the flowers. Once established, you do not need to water Krapia more than once a week, except in very hot weather, where watering twice a week is sufficient. Annual fertilization takes place in March, at a rate of 1/2 pound of nitrogen per 1000 square feet. If necessary, you can re-fertilize in the fall to keep the green in the cooler months. A study at the University of California, Riverside showed that Krapia’s water requirements were close to those of the Kikuyu and buffalo grass. This week’s tips: In addition to Clapia, it is worth considering two lawn alternatives that require less water when entering another summer of drought due to lack of winter rain. One of these is the “UC Verde” buffalo glass. Buffalo grass grows naturally on the plains of North America. However, a professor of environmental horticulture at the University of California, Davis has succeeded in breeding varieties suitable for California gardens. “UC Verde” uses 75% less water than Tallfesk and 40% less water than Bermudagrass. It can grow up to 50% shade in full sun. If you want a natural meadow look, you can grow it to 6 inches in height, but you can also cut it every two weeks during the growing season to keep it to 1 inch in height. It experiences winter dormancy and turns half-brown during the season. Cut very low in November and cover with wildflower seeds to see the colorful spread before it begins to turn green again in warm weather.so ucverdeplugs.comYou can buy 128 plugs that cover 128 square feet for $ 81.28. The Star Dwarf Carpet (Ruschia lineolata’Nana’) is a 2-inch-high succulent ground cover that acts as an alternative to the evergreen lawn that withstands heavy foot traffic. From late winter to early spring, pink striped white flowers bloom. Water usage is up to 75% less than many turf varieties. The cost of 72 plugs at California Lawn Alternatives (californialawnalternatives.com) is $ 50.40. At a recommended planting distance of 12 inches, these 72 plugs cover 72 square feet. Send questions, comments and photos to [email protected] Finding a great garden companion hiding in plain sight at home – Press Telegram Source link Finding a great garden companion hiding in plain sight at home – Press Telegram
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