Don’t Buy Ladybugs

Ladybug_XG-CoSpgsCO_LAH_9349Every gardener knows that ladybugs are “good” bugs because they eat “bad” bugs. Educated gardeners know that ladybugs are actually beetles, and that they eat aphids, scale insects, immature beetles and true bugs, and mites. The adults are efficient predators; the larvae are even more voracious. No wonder we want lady beetles in our gardens!

The simplest way to get lots of these colorful beetles is to buy them, and many people do just that. It’s a huge industry. However, buying ladybugs is largely a waste of money, and may even harm the environment! There are better ways to attract not only ladybugs but other beneficial insects as well.

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To Seed or Not to Seed?

Pepper cotyledons vs leaves LAHGardeners seem to come in two varieties: those who buy seeds, and those who buy transplants. Which are you? Are you the do-it-yourselfer who prefers to start your plants from seed, nurturing each and every flower and vegetable from infancy? Or are you more the no-nonsense, practical type who figures that there’s no point in fussing when you can so easily purchase transplants? There are pros and cons to each approach.

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Mountain Plover Photography

Instead of an interesting and informative article on gardening or birding, today I have a shameless advertisement for my photography business, Mountain Plover.

I usually sell my prints and blank cards in person, either at a speaking engagement or at a one of the craft boutiques so prevalent this time of year. However, I’m also happy to ship greeting cards and matted prints anywhere in the United States. (Overseas? Contact me.)

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A Garden Catalog for Colorado

high-country-gardens-catalogLast week I was complaining about catalogs full of tempting, desirable plants that simply will not grow here in Colorado. Today I want to introduce you to a catalog full of tempting, desirable plants that love it here.

Most experienced local gardeners already know about High Country Gardens, but if you don’t, you should. Based in Santa Fe and Albuquerque, New Mexico, this company specializes in perennials suited for the high, dry gardens of the western U.S. In fact, a lot of their stock won’t do well in “average garden conditions” (a phrase that means “conditions in gardens that are not in Colorado”).

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