4. Avoid pesticides that may damage beneficial insects. This includes both organic and synthetic products. When a situation warrants a spray, select a product with a narrow spectrum of control (such as Bt for caterpillars) to avoid killing other insects. Choose one that breaks down fast when possible (such as insecticidal soap or pyrethrins). Direct the spray only at the plants with the pest problem.
Another suggestion, which I found helpful, is to plant aromatic herbs around your garden. I put pots of them throughout my beds (many can be aggressive growers, so I like them in pots). Many herbs are repulsive to "bad" bugs.
I love greenhouses
Never one to pass up a greenhouse, I stumbled on Barely Able Farm and Greenhouse in Roane County recently. (Daughter's softball game was playing nearby -- I only left the game during warm-up, I swear!) It's on Lick Fork Road near Roane County High School.
I picked up some Mr. Stripey tomato plants, plus a few Better Boys. I nabbed a beautiful rhubarb plant, which made my husband quite happy. He's fond of rhubarb pie.
Another stop, this time on my way back from the Outdoor Classroom at Camp Virgil Tate, landed me at D&S Garden Center on Martins Branch Road between Sissonville and Cross Lanes. Owner Don Kiser has been growing this business (pardon the pun) for years, and he's got some interesting hanging baskets available as well as shrubs, trees and perennials.
I'm going back to get a plant that I think is just beautiful. It's labeled "Calandiva," and with a bit of research, I found it's from the Crassulaceae family, genus Kalanchoe. This plant is a beauty -- and it will work indoors or out. D&S has it for $9.99.
Reach Sara Busse at sara.bu...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1249.