November 7, 2007

Powderpost Beetles

There are two defining characteristics of powderpost beetle infestations. First, small piles of the powdery sawdust will appear and reappear after cleaning, under, around or on top of infested furniture or lumber. Second, numerous small, round holes (1/16 inch diameter) appear on the wood surface.

Forcing Paperwhite Narcissus Bulbs

Forcing flower bulbs indoors is an excellent way to brighten the cold, gray days of winter. Tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, crocuses, and other spring-flowering bulbs can be forced indoors. Paperwhite narcissus can also be forced indoors. Paperwhite narcissus are easy to force. Unlike tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, and crocuses, paperwhite narcissus don't require a cold storage period to flower.

It's Garden Cleaning Time!

We're well into fall now. The vegetables have been harvested, the flowers have come and gone, and there's nothing left to do in the garden, right? Wrong! A little bit of late-season cleanup now can head off many plant disease problems for next year. Many of the fungi and bacteria that cause spots, blights, and rots of our plants survive over the winter in the dead leaves, stems, and other plant parts that are left behind in the garden. When warmer temperatures return next spring, those pathogens will come out of dormancy, ready to attack next year's tender plants.