January 12, 1994
Starting flower and vegetable transplants at home can be fun. Growing quality transplants requires good seed, a sterile, well-drained growing medium, proper temperature and moisture conditions, adequate light, and other factors. Since the home is usually not the best environment for growing transplants, problems occasionally develop.
Every pesticide purchased today, regardless of whether it controls insects, weeds, or diseases has a label with instructions on how to safely use the product. Some labels are easy to understand, others leave you feeling like you're alone cutting through political red tape.
It can be frustrating driving around to various garden centers or leafing through mailorder catalogs searching for a specific perennial, shrub, or fruit tree. Fortunately, there are several books that can help the determined gardener find sources for those difficult- to-find plants.
Many plants contain chemicals that are toxic to insects. Some of these have been known about for a long time and a few have been commercially developed and processed into an insecticide product used for pest control. Because these naturally occurring insecticides are derived from plants, they are called botanical insecticides or botanicals.