Protect your vegetable garden from contamination

Reports of food-borne illnesses are increasingly frequent in the news. Most foodborne illnesses are caused by consuming raw fruits and vegetables that are contaminated by pathogens. Pathogens are disease-causing microorganisms such as bacteria or viruses. Many people do not realize that home gardens are not free from pathogens. Many fruits and vegetables have natural barriers,…

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Don’t apply pesticides in the heat of summer

A client recently came into the Master Gardener office with a problem in his landscape. He noticed that the lower branches of several trees bordering his lawn were showing damage. The leaves were curling and the margins of the leaves looked burnt. He wondered what disease was causing this damage. By questioning him further, we…

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Spurges and pigweeds are problem weeds right now

You diligently pulled all those early spring weeds and your landscape was looking pretty nice. But where did all these new weeds come from? Now is the time of year when the summer annual weeds can become a real nuisance. The seeds of these weeds were waiting for the soil to warm and for the…

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Beneficial insects in the vegetable garden: your free workforce

The vegetable garden is planted and growing well, and you are starting to scout for insect pests. While you’re scouting for pests, scout for beneficial insects too. Many people think all insects are bad, but the truth is, less than 1 percent of insects are pests. Most insects don’t harm the vegetable garden, and some…

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Start scouting now for spring weeds

So far, we’ve had a mild, dry winter. Just a little rain or snow and a little increase in temperature could help initiate weed growth. This time last year, the wet weather gave us a bumper crop of weeds. If last year’s weed crop got away from you and produced seed, you made a deposit…

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Got ground squirrels? Here are ways to get rid of them

Next Friday, Feb. 2, is Groundhog Day. According to tradition, if a groundhog comes out of its hole and sees its shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter. If it doesn’t see its shadow, then there will be an early spring. Do we have groundhogs, also known as woodchucks, in Nevada? No we…

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Seed packet terms: hybrids, heirlooms and GMOs

It’s time to start planning the garden for next spring. Your mailbox is full of seed catalogs, and your local nursery is displaying racks and racks of seeds. But the seed packets and catalogs have terms you’ve never heard of before. What do these terms actually mean? The first important distinction on the seed packet…

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What kind of Christmas tree do I want?

It is that time of year – time to pick out a Christmas tree. Our choices basically fall into three categories: live tree, cut tree or artificial tree. Live trees are for sale at most nurseries and garden centers. They can be expensive, but can also be a wonderful addition to our landscape. They should…

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Preventing Spring Weeding Chores

By Melody Hefner, Urban IPM and Pesticide Safety Program Coordinator As much as I like to garden, by fall I’m grateful for the freezing nights and the reduced garden chores. During a session of garden clean-up, I remembered that it was time to start thinking about a fall preeemergence herbicide application to reduce the weeds…

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Prep Your Garden Now for Next Spring

Tomatoes, melons and summer squash are ripening. It is a great time of year for gardeners, reaping the rewards of our labors. Were you bothered by insect pests this year? Was your garden as productive as you hoped? As you harvest crops in your garden, start thinking about next year. Traditionally, we work soils in…

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