Kodiak Daily Mirror - Daily newspaper of Kodiak, Alaska
Garden Gate: Maggots make the most of early season
This summer has been weird on many accounts: salmonberries ripe enough in June to make pies and foxglove stalks already stretched out in full bloom. And a couple days ago, while hiking in Abercrombie, I saw fireweed blossoms about to pop.  Things on the garden front seem speeded up, too. My broccoli plants for example, produced full-sized heads sooner than expected. And since my other seedlings weren’t going to be...
Jun 27, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 113 113 recommendations | email to a friend
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GARDEN GATE: Nature's miracles
Did you ever wonder how and why a fall leaf changes color? Why a highbush cranberry leaf turns brilliant red? A willow turns gold? And where do the yellows, reds and oranges come from in the first place? To learn the answers, we first have to understand a little bit about leaves. And after all that leaf-learning, I’ll share a special recipe with you. Photosynthesis: Nature’s miracle Leaves are nature’s primary foo...
Oct 05, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 166 166 recommendations | email to a friend
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GARDEN GATE: 7 tips for the art of weeding
Go often to the house of thy friend; for weeds soon choke up the unused path. —Scandinavian Proverb “No garden is without its weeds,” said Thomas Fuller, M.D. Yet weeds probably discourage more gardeners than any other problem, including slugs. Every fall or winter, when gardeners get together, the topic of weeding comes up. And invariably you hear comments like this: “Oh, the garden was overgrown with weeds so we...
Aug 10, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 189 189 recommendations | email to a friend
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GARDEN GATE: How to control cabbageworms
“What a pretty white butterfly!” said Kathy, a visitor from Minnesota. She was touring our garden recently on a warm sunny day when all manner of insects were out and about. “For each one you squish, I’ll give you a dollar,” I told her. “Wow, that’s quite a reward.” “It’s worth it. Those butterflies are also called cabbage moths,” I said. “They are not welcome here. They lay eggs, which hatch into green worms that...
Jul 13, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 193 193 recommendations | email to a friend
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Garden Gate: Summertime and the hawkweed is blooming
There’s a reason why hawkweed is known devil’s paintbrush. (Such names aren’t given to angelic plants, right?). Hawkweed is now listed as one of Top Ten noxious weeds in the U.S. and is reported in all by 15 states. Hawkweed has managed to find its way to many exotic places. Mount Rainier National Park is coping with yellow hawkweed, a close cousin to orange hawkweed, is threatening to take over the wildflower mea...
Jul 07, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 185 185 recommendations | email to a friend
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The truth about lice
Last week, I noticed a Facebook post by someone who’d planted a pepper plant in her greenhouse, and now she was dealing with an aphid infestation. “What should I do?” she said. Aphids suck. Literally. They suck the life out of plants while creating an icky, sticky mess in the process. Aphids, sometimes called plant lice, are one of the most common insects that can attack indoor, garden, greenhouse and landscape pl...
Jun 22, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 188 188 recommendations | email to a friend
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GARDEN GATE: When is the best time to water your plants?
Last week, the National Weather Service issued an advisory for Southcentral Alaska for unusually warm weather created by an intense high-pressure system, which the NWS says is now “firmly in control over much of the State.” The short and long-term forecast, leading into the longest day of the year, reads the same: Warm and dry. After months of dampness the heat comes as quite a shock for all creatures and plants, ...
Jun 15, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 181 181 recommendations | email to a friend
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1,000th column sprouts garden memories
In life, numbers eventually catch up with us: 50 miles to the next gas station, in 10 minutes the cookies are done, your smartphone is maxed out with photos. And then there’s the number 1,000, which caught up with me this week as the number of garden columns I’ve written to date. The number “one thousand” has been around awhile. A picture is worth a thousand words, there’s Thousand Oaks, California, Thousand Islan...
Jun 02, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 184 184 recommendations | email to a friend
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It’s time to take ‘stalk’ of your rhubarb
It was a few Aprils ago: As the Portland-Seattle “Cascades” train rounded a gentle turn between Puyallup and Tacoma, it clicked along the tracks like fingernails strumming a comb. The view through the windows clicked by too, like movie frames: men clustered in tight groups outside warehouses, talking, smoking; dogs running along fenced back yards; swing sets, apple trees dressed in pink blooms, clothes hanging fro...
Apr 27, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 193 193 recommendations | email to a friend
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Garden Gate: Bumblebees on lookout for new homes
As I left the greenhouse and walked toward the house, I heard a loud puh- hh-HUP behind me. I twisted around and took two steps toward the ocean, just in time to see an orca whale’s dorsal fin disappear below the surface. I’m always humbled by gifts like this; surprise snippets of life. Like this morning when I looked up from doing dishes just in time to see the gibbous moon appear between puffy clouds. My hands p...
Apr 13, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 188 188 recommendations | email to a friend
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