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September 2009 Newsletter
by Donna Dawson
September 19, 2009

Perennials for Late Summer Colour by Brian Minter

Des fines herbes tout en beauté! (French) by Larry Hodgson

Herbs show promise as pesticides: The essential oils of herbs like rosemary, thyme, clove and mint have a broad range of insecticidal activity. Researchers at the Univ. of British Columbia have found herb-based insecticides kill pests outright or repel them. The pesticides are usually a mixture of 2-4 herbs diluted in water. Some growers are already using spice-based commercial products to control aphids and mites on organic crops such as strawberries, spinach and tomatoes. “We are exploring the potential use of natural pesticides based on plant essential oils — commonly used in foods and beverages as flavorings,” said Univ. of British Columbia professor Murray Isman.

Mulched maple and oak leaves reduce dandelions: A team at Michigan State University recently studied the effectiveness of pesticide-free mulched maple and oak leaves on common dandelions in established Kentucky bluegrass comparable to residential lawns, reported. The team tested red maple (Acer rubrum), silver maple (A. saccharinum), sugar maple (A. saccharum), high sugar content sugar maple, and red oak (Quercus rubra) in coarse and fine particle sizes and differing application rates. Mulch applications were made in fall and data collected beginning in spring on Kentucky bluegrass spring green-up and common dandelion plant counts. The data showed that the high application rate, regardless of tree genus or species, resulted in the highest green-up ratings. Common dandelion plant counts after one and two mulch applications at the high rate showed that up to 80% and 53% reduction was achieved, respectively.

Make Gardening Easier with Mulches by Dan Gill

Do Animals Remember Us?

Please read these two articles as well on pets…

7 Ways to Keep Yourself Safe from Superbugs

Windset Farms, headquartered in Delta, British Columbia, has received approval from the Santa Maria, Calif., City Council to build a greenhouse vegetable and produce-packing facility on a 222-acre site. The full project will cover about 178 acres, including 5.7 million sq. ft. of greenhouse production space, a 174,000-sq.-ft. processing and packing facility and other support buildings, reports the Santa Maria Times. The operation is expected to create up to 400 year-round jobs. The facility will be Windset’s first in the U.S. Construction of the Calif. facility will occur in 3 phases with planting expected to occur in Aug. or Sept. 2010. The operation will include 6 acres of solar panels to generate electricity for the greenhouses. Winset Farms is one of Canada’s largest greenhouse vegetable operations with nearly 75 acres. It produces various tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, eggplant and endive.

AIB Annual Symposium & Awards Program October 1-3, 2009 in Hershey, Pennsylvania

  • New Eden
  • Kids Garden
  • Plant a Row Grow a Row