Sluggish Start

Fifty-three of our Styrian pumpkin plants have been destroyed by the tiniest of garden pests – the common slug. The loss is profound – just under half of the entire test plot for 2012. The sudden and dramatic decline in the plants’ health was a clear indicator that there is an imbalance. The plants that got mulched well… Continue reading Sluggish Start

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Living with the Leaf Gall Mite

Trees affected by leaf gall mites elicit strong reactions from novice gardeners. The leaves look diseased, sick and unsightly. We have one walnut tree that is showing some classic walnut leaf gall mite (Aceria erinoea) damage. The mites are tiny - 0.1 mm in size - and lurk overwinter in unopened buds, doing their damage before the leaf… Continue reading Living with the Leaf Gall Mite

Summer Tents

This post has nothing to do with camping tents...but rather pest management of a particularly notorious little critter. This year the Western tent caterpillar (Malacosoma californicum) population explosion was the talk of Gabriola Island. The chaos has subsided, the affected trees are recovering, and now swallows and bats are feasting on big fat tent moths… Continue reading Summer Tents