The adult moths that gather around lights on summer evenings are not gardeners’ enemies, because they seldom feed on plants. It is the moth larvae that chew on, bore into, and roll themselves up in plants-whether leaver, fruits, stems, or roots. The larvae which are called caterpillars or wo…

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Mosquito eggs, larvae, and pupae all need water; only the adult is non-aquatic. If you eliminate all sources of still water near your house, you can reduce the number of young mosquitoes that develop into biting adults.

Did you know there are natural controls for Japanese beetles?

This week let us frustrate cutworms with toothpicks. Cut worms kill your seedlings by encircling and severing the stems. Stick a toothpick in the soil about ¼ inch from each stem to prevent cutworms from encircling it.

Caterpillars can wreak havoc in the garden. Treat the problem safely and effectively with a bacterial insecticide that specifically targets caterpillars such as Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt).  Harmless to animals, humans and most other insects, Bt controls cabbage worms and loopers, hornworms,…

Don’t waste time getting rid of aphids the first time you see them; these pests reproduce rapidly. They not only suck the nutrients from plants but can also spread any number of plant viruses, including bean mosaic virus and cucumber mosaic virus. If hundreds of aphids cover stem tips or the…

Picture this: you’re standing in the bathroom, watching the faucet gushing water into the bathtub. Suddenly, the bathtub is overflowing, and water is starting to flood your bathroom. Naturally, you turn off the faucet, the water stops flowing, and the floodwater stops rising. Phew! One probl…

The pros and cons of ants. Gardeners usually consider ants to be pests, and it’s true that ants can loosen the soil around young plants, causing them to die. Some species shelter and protect aphids so they can feed on the aphids’ sweet honeydew. On the positive side, ants can improve air cir…

Many beneficial bugs and birds eat problem insects. Attract the good guys and you will reduce problems with the bad ones.

Have you ever thought about all the problem creatures in your lawn? There are crawling, flying, swimming and most definitely gnawing-there are literally thousands of types of leaf-eating bugs, beetles and root-chewing grubs that may infest your yard, lawn, and garden. But with due diligence …

No garden is pest free, but a well-tended garden contains a balance of beneficial predators and healthy, resistant plants- along with a tolerable number of undesirable insects and other pests. Use pesticides only if an infestation is causing damage and cannot be otherwise controlled. Start w…

Wasps comprise a large family of insects that includes hornets and yellow jackets.  All are fierce predators of many common garden pests. Some members of the family, unfortunately, also damage fruit and deliver painful stings.

The most landscape-friendly of fruits, strawberries grow wild in temperate regions across America and Europe. Today’s cultivated varieties are descended from a mid-18th-century of two species that are native to the Americas and prized for their large, prolific fruits. In recent years you can…

Faster to grow and less finicky than pears, dwarf plums make wonderful little landscape trees. Many newer varieties of plums are resistant to common diseases and all plums are lovely in the springtime when they are all covered with blossoms. Be sure to choose locally adapted varieties and pl…

Peaches are always on every gardeners’ most wanted lists to grow but they are not always easy to grow. Peaches are temperate-zone trees, growing well along both coasts, around the Great Lakes, and southwest of the Rockies. Most peaches require a period of cold dormancy before flowering, othe…

A healthy grapevine will often grow for decades; wand with their large, broad leaves, grapes make excellent shade giving vines for an arbor. Many of the best garden varieties are descended from native strains and have fewer problems with disease than European wine grapes. Still grapes do hav…

Cherry trees are so beautiful when they are in bloom that they are an ideal choice if you want a tree that doubles as an edible ornamental. Fruit-producing types don’t have double flowers or weeping habits like ornamental cherries, but they make up for this shortcoming by producing buckets o…

As the winter rains continue to fall, and hopefully bring relief to our watershed communities mired in a historic drought, the rainwater will begin to soak into our gardens and fields and run down the streets into our storm drains, which are not linked to the sewer. Storm drains are specific…

Let us talk about blueberries since you can find them in the wild. Yes, true Native American fruits, blueberries grow wild in open woodlands where the soil is quite acidic. Improved blueberries bear bigger and more flavorful fruits than their wild ancestors and they are very easy to grow. Tr…

Easy to grow and always productive, blackberries seldom have problems with pests and diseases. Several varieties are thornless, although many of the best tasting blackberries grow on canes that are well-defended with stickers. All blackberries bear fruit on one-year-old canes. In other words…

For those gardeners that are inclined to go big time and plant fruit trees, the time is approaching. Spring will be here before we know it and as a gardener myself, the time slips away before I am ready to be out in the wet soil.

Did you know Tarragon is native to prairies and rocky barren environment, but will happily make its home in poor, dry soil?

This year is different. Historically low rainfall following a previously dry water year have tipped the balance of stored water within Lake Mendocino and water demand throughout the Russian River watershed. As water users in the upper Russian River continue to cut water usage, you may be won…

Have you ever wanted a fresh start? A new lease on life? A way to leave the past behind and breathe in the air of new beginnings?

Dry your herbs the easy way. The day before you plan to gather long-stemmed herbs for drying, clean them with a fine spray of water from your hose.

Since planting a garden is months out, we will talk about herbs. 

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Though plastic is durable, cheap, and common in everyday items, it comes at a large environmental cost. 

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August brings with it the hint of fall creeping up on us.  For us here at Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue, it brings an awareness that things will be slowing down.  Baby season will be ending, granting us permission to catch our breath.  But that doesn’t mean we don’t have work to complete!  O…

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(NAPS)—As temperatures rise, homeowners can beat the heat by combining “smart” home climate control technologies with the latest air-conditioning systems to heighten energy efficiency and take customized comfort to new levels. 

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On May 6 the Rancho Adobe Fire Department was dispatched to a carbon monoxide alarm being activated at a home in Cotati. The residents called the fire department who came and found high levels of the lethal gas inside the home. Upon further investigation it was determined that the source of …

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The rainy winter that we’ve experienced after a long drought has brought storm water and rainwater management to the front of everyone’s mind. We’re challenged in California’s Mediterranean climate by the yearly cycle of rainy and dry seasons, as well as periodic drought conditions. One of t…

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“A watershed is a marvelous thing to consider: This process of rain falling, streams flowing and oceans evaporating causes every molecule of water on Earth to make the complete trip once every two million years. The surface is carved into watersheds – kind of a familial branching, a chart of…

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Historically, homes and streets were intentionally designed to move as much storm water into a storm drain system as fast as possible. This approach was meant to protect foundations and keep the streets safer during storms.

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(Family Features) Severe winter weather and dangerously low temperatures can pose a serious threat to family safety, particularly when the power supply is threatened. Many families rely on portable generators as part of their emergency plan, which can provide peace of mind and protection whe…

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Daily Acts and the City of Cotati will host a talk series on home-scale water conservation solutions designed to help residents to meet the mandatory reductions in water use. The D.I.Y Water-Wise Gardens Series, will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 31, Sept. 28 and Oct. 5 from 6-7:30 p.m., at the…

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(Family Features) With temperatures rising and homeowners heading outdoors for picnics, parties and gatherings, insect-induced risks are fully in-season. With disease-carrying bugs buzzing around, it’s time to take the proper steps in protecting your lawn so that you can enjoy living life ou…

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(Family Features) – Whether an outdoor concert-goer, sports fan or avid vacationer, Mother Nature can be harsh on your eyes, skin and hair regardless of the season. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to protect and rejuvenate your features so you can enjoy your favorite outdoor activi…

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Sonoma State University graduate engineering student Feng Wang’s Advanced Flood Warning System generated a buzz last month at the Global City Teams Challenge in Austin, Texas. 

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(Family Features) As homeowners constantly look for ways to be more environmentally friendly, lawn equipment is a good place to start.