Category: insects in the garden

Soil Preparation Matters If You Want Your Plants To Be Healthy

In what way does soil preparation aid for better growth of plants

Angela Thomas from NY City Pest Control is our guest blogger this week and gives some excellent tips on improving soil and preventing and treating garden pests.

You should never take soil for granted. Many of us think that just by digging up a hole in the ground and placing a plant or a seed, it will start growing automatically. This will only work out if your soil is in good condition. But, many of us have to alter the properties of dirt in the soil to create a good growing condition for the plants.

The first and the foremost thing is you have to find out what your soil is lacking and not lacking. The secret of a super productive garden is to take your time and come up with an effective strategy that will work out for your garden.

soil preparation - how to prepare soil for plantingHow To Prepare Soil For Planting

Most soils need to be improved to make plants grow well

Posted in garden help, insects in the garden Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,

I’m So Happy With You – Sunflowers

Companion Planting Sunflowers With Corn And Cucumbers

One in an occasional series on Companion Planting.

Did you know that plants can have friends in the garden? Planting certain plants together can benefit the growth and development of the plants, deter pests, and even improve the flavor of the edible parts of the plants.

Today’s planting companion is the happy sunflower (Helianthus). There are actually 70 different species of sunflowers, and all except 3 grow in North America. From the fuzzy ‘teddy bear’ sunflower to the ‘Russian mammoth’, there is a sunflower to suit every garden.

Sunflowers are easy to grow too. Plant seeds 10-30″ apart depending on the variety in rich soil to a depth of 3/4″. Planting should take place in the spring after the last frost. Plant in full sun and water well. Soil should be kept moist.

Sunflowers get along great with cucumbers and corn. Corn and cucumber yield can be increased with sunflowers as companions. Sunflowers repel cucumber beetles and aphids, and they attract beneficial insects like bees and praying mantises.

Have you planted sunflowers? What had been your experience? Let me know in the comments below.

Posted in Companion Planting, Corn, Cucumbers, insects in the garden, Sunflowers, vegetable garden Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

What Happened to Winter? February in the Garden

I love to wander around my yard and see the small things: the arrival of bees (or aphids), the changing of leaves, the first spring flowers. I’m not sure what happened to the El Nino and all the rain and cold weather we were supposed to get this winter in Los Angeles. A ridge of high pressure has kept the needed rain mostly to the north. It’s beautiful here, but too warm already. I was in Connecticut last week with my Client Attraction Business School peeps, and it was 24 degrees. I came home, and it’s been in the low 80s.

So I have been wandering around…Some observations: The Hardenbergia is blooming and full of bees (yay!). I have too much rosemary in my yard although I do love the blue flowers against the dark green leaves. My mini daffodils bloomed while I was away and are now past their peak, but the double Narcissus are in full bloom and the mix of their fragrance combined with my neighbor’s overloaded tangerine tree is intoxicating (someone needs to make a perfume). Plants and trees are feeling for spring: daisies, hellebores, the peach tree in my back yard are all

Posted in bees, flower gardens, Flowers, fruit trees, garden, garden lifestyle, insects in the garden, my garden, spring Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

From Garden to Vase- 8 Favorite Flowers for Your Cutting Garden

 

Confession time…When I was little, say 10 years old, my neighborhood friends and I would grab a pair of scissors to wander our neighborhood and steal prune flowers here and there from the beautiful gardens to give to our moms. We always told our moms that we cut the flowers the flowers from our friends’ yards, and our moms thought we were such generous and thoughtful children.

While I certainly don’t condone stealing your neighbors’ flowers, this little foray into the ‘dark side’ started a love of floral arrangements and flower gardens, and I am especially fond those that have that have that loose, gathered from the garden, inspired by Dutch master painters feel.

A reader asked me recently what are the best flowers to grow in a cutting garden. There are dozens of flowers that work well in floral arrangements – I mean you could dedicate your whole garden to roses! I thought I would help you out here and give you a list of 10 of my favorite flowers that are fairly easy to grow and look beautiful both in the garden as well as in the vase.

Choose flowers that have stiffer stems, have long lasting

Posted in farm, flower gardens, Flowers, garden, garden help, garden lifestyle, insects in the garden, Uncategorized Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,

Help Me! Help My Garden! #3 Bugs and Berries

Today we tackle aphids, and planting strawberries and blueberries.

Bugs on my roses!  Q: My roses are starting to bud, and I can’t wait to see them bloom, but now the buds are covered with tiny bugs. What are they, and how to I get rid of them?

A: I am afraid your roses have aphids on them. The tender buds are these insects’ favorite treats, and if left untreated, they will suck the life out of the buds. These soft bodied insects are usually pale green or brown and will suck the sap from almost any plant. There are several non-chemical/less toxic methods to controlling them.

A good blast with a hose will easily knock them off the plants. Do this in the early morning so the leaves will have time to dry. You will need to repeat this often. Lady bugs LOVE to eat aphids. Most nursery centers sell little containers of lady bugs. Sprinkle them on the affected plants at dusk (so they don’t fly away), and let them enjoy the buffet. Be warned though, the containers hold hundreds of lady bugs, so if you have a small yard, share some with a neighbor. Insecticidal soap spray.

Posted in farm, flower gardens, food, garden, garden help, garden lifestyle, insects in the garden, Patio gardens, Uncategorized Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,

Help Me, Help My Garden!

I have always been a huge admirer and fan of advice columnists like Dear Abby, Ask Amy, Dear Prudie. When I was still in Human Resources, I was thrilled when my boss asked my to write workplace advice column called ‘Dear Gabby’. I admit, I’m a helper, and I love giving advice when it is solicited. I know you have garden questions because I get dozens of them emailed to me every month, so I am starting a garden ‘advice’ column as part of the Eden Condensed blog. I hope you’ll learn something, get some advice, and feel more confident about your gardening skills by following along. And send me questions!! You can comment here with questions or fill out my message form.

Here are today’s garden issues:

Wilting Hydrangea  Q. I just planted a big leaf hydrangea in a shady area of my garden and it’s not doing well. It’s wilting and the leaves are starting to fall off. What did I do wrong?

A. The prefix ‘hydra’ means water, and hydrangeas need a lot of water. They have fleshy roots, and if they don’t get consistently moist soil, they will wilt very quickly, especially when they

Posted in citrus, flower gardens, Flowers, garden, garden help, insects in the garden Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,

Check out my new book!

cover

Testimonials

"Angela took our weed infested mess of a front yard and turned it into a beautiful xeriscaped, Palm Springs style desert landscape. We couldn't be more delighted with the gorgeous results. She listened to our ideas for the space, was responsive to our questions, and made the experience hassle-free. She and her two man team worked wonders. Thank you! Highly recommended."
Vivien and Matt
North Hills
My wife and I hired Angela to bring our little patio to life. From the moment Angela came over, we knew we were going to hire her. She was easy to speak with, knew her stuff, and when she put a bid together, it was affordable and beautiful.
Adam and Jennifer
Burbank
Angela is such a gem! We have utilized her several times and have always had our expectations exceeded every time.
Sharon
Los Angeles
Angela is amazing. Her extensive knowledge and eye for design as well as her flexibility in combining her expertise and our vision, gave us an end result we couldn’t be happier with.
Laura
Sherman Oaks
(Angela) listened to every minute detail of my vision for our front yard cottage garden, and like magic, (she) created a dream come true in our front yard.
Mary and Will
Culver City