Scientists use the absence or presence of the monarch butterfly to measure the health of our ecosystem: both adult and larval stages are highly sensitive to pesticides, climate change and loss of habitat. Here’s what can you do to help.
At the end of the summer, with beds full of worn out perennials and annuals, sad but resolute gardeners often bid farewell to their color-filled gardens and turn their attention to the fall clean-up. The talk turns to the beautiful autumnal leaves, while inwardly gardeners sulk as they scan the vast expanses of mulch in their formally bountiful flowerbeds. With a little planning and some knowledge of the many magnificent but often less popular plants, gardening can easily become a four season affair.
When it comes to pest control, often the best thing to do is... nothing.
It’s a common feeling to go into attack mode when your landscape is being chomped on. A client told me, “I buy organic fruit for my family, try not to keep anything in plastic because of the chemicals it leaches, but when I saw my shrubs being devoured by insects, I was ready to get out the DDT!”
It’s practically a ritual in Westchester. Spread fertilizer on the lawn in the spring and fall, maybe even twice more during the summer, so it stays a bright green. Add limestone to keep the soil alkaline, to increase nutrient uptake. Apply a pre-emergent to control the weeds. Spray Roundup and pesticides when needed.