July 17, 2014
Triple P: Popsicles, Pesticides, Pond Care
Forecast: hot & icky, with more to come. Along with jumping into the nearest pool, cool down with home-made popsicles! Hey, much cheaper than moving to Alaska.
Trisha Shirey shows how to make yummy, healthy versions. And they’re so easy that you won’t even break a sweat.
Get her recipes for watermelon berry, avocado mint, yogurt berry, pina colada, lime coconut, and green tea and peppermint; you could even add an “adult beverage” to the mix. All were super hits with the CTG crew taste-testers!
In summer, I crave cucumbers for snacks. Robin McGary gets this week’s Viewer Picture for her babies (now probably on her dinner table). What a kick to plant a seed and watch it grow into food of your own.
Need cucumber recipes? Get Trisha’s for refreshing Aguas Frescas and salads.
In July, we dive for cover, as do our plants. One that stands up to brutality is native groundcover snake herb (Dyschoriste linearis), Daphne’s Plant of the Week. And she even pronounces that for us!
Its wispy foliage sports tiny flowers that butterflies won’t miss.
Although it flowers off and on through summer, mainly I grow this perennial for its spreading texture against other plants, in either sun to part shade. It went underground when my garden hit 12°, but returned before I got worried about it.
Raquelle Godbey inspired Daphne’s question this week: why organic pesticides are just as harmful as “chemical” ones. Daphne reminds us that just because a product is labelled “organic,” it doesn’t mean it will just kill the “bad bugs.” They can also wipe out our bees, butterflies and other beneficials.
When cilantro bolts in heat, flowers attract beneficial pollinators. If we hang on through the untidy process, we can harvest seeds for cooking (coriander) or collect for next fall’s planting.
Racquelle discovered another benefit. Aphids.
Yikes, you say! But thanks to them, Racquelle’s got generations of ladybugs and green lacewings who showed up to the aphid table. Really, if you need to buy insects, you’re doing something wrong. They’ll show up on their own if you don’t kill them or their food supply.
I’ve heard more than one sad story about pesticide drift that killed pond fish. Certainly, we don’t want that, but what about a safe way to deal with floating green algae?
One top question: floating green and string algae. First, fend it off with at least 60% plant coverage. Feed goldfish only what they can eat in a few minutes. For koi, provide small feedings 3 times a day. Follow his ratio: an inch of fish per 10 gallons (in other words, not too many fish!).
Keep things tidy and use a skimmer. A few preventive products include barley hay straw.
Aerate, since lots of oxygen diffuses algae.
Steve reminds us to fertilize monthly with aquatic plant tablets, one pellet per gallon pot. And to fend off those herons, he has great luck with Scarecrow!
Here’s where they started. I love the “top” dog getting a better look.
Dive in to see it all!
Thanks for stopping by! Next week, Scott Ogden adds new perspectives with hardy bromeliads. See you then, Linda