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Learn secrets of eco-friendly pest control

Nevada County master gardeners offer two-part IPM virtual workshop

Aphids on a leaf
Aphids are one of the more common pests in gardens.
Learn how to manage them and many others without
using pesticides. (Photo courtesy UCCE Master Gardeners)

What’s bugging your garden? And what can you do about it?

Don’t reach for the pesticide. Take a more thoughtful approach instead. Birds, bees and butterflies will thank you. (And your garden will be healthier, too.)

Integrated Pest Management, or IPM, is the key to harmonious gardening with nature and wildlife in mind. Learn IPM basics during a free two-part virtual workshop, presented by the UC Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners of Nevada County.

Held via Zoom, the online sessions will be held at 9 a.m. on consecutive Saturdays, May 29 and June 5. The links, passcodes and more are available here: . No advance registration is required.

“IPM is a process you can use to solve pest problems while minimizing risks to people and the environment,” say the master gardeners. “IPM can be used to manage all kinds of pests anywhere – in urban, rural, agricultural and wild land or natural areas.”

This two-part workshop will cover IPM techniques and why they work.

“You’ll learn how to manage pest damage long-term through a combination of techniques such as biological control, habitat manipulation, modification of cultural practices, and use of resistant plant varieties,” say the master gardeners.

IPM uses nature to manage nature. But making this form of pest management to work needs observation and proper identification of which pests are at work.

“IPM focuses on long-term prevention of pests or their damage by managing the ecosystem,” explain the master gardeners. “Monitoring and correct pest identification help you decide whether management is needed, and how to remove only the target organism. IPM programs combine management approaches for greater effectiveness.”

For more on Integrated Pest Management:

In addition to the IPM workshop, the Nevada County master gardeners also will host Saturday virtual workshops on “Softwood Propagation” (June 12), “Container Gardening” (June 19) and “Garden Makeover: Lawn to Landscape” (June 26). All are free and open to the public.

For details and links: .


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Dig In: Garden checklist for week of Sept. 25

This week's warm break will revive summer crops such as peppers and tomatoes that may still be trying to produce fruit. Pumpkins and winter squash will add weight rapidly.

Be on the lookout for powdery mildew and other fungal diseases that may be enjoying this combination of warm air and moist soil.

* Late September is ideal for sowing a new lawn or re-seeding bare spots.

* Compost annuals and vegetable crops that have finished producing.

* Cultivate and add compost to the soil to replenish its nutrients for fall and winter vegetables and flowers.

* Plant for fall now. The warm soil will get cool-season veggies and flowers off to a fast start.

* Plant onions, lettuce, peas, radishes, turnips, beets, carrots, bok choy, spinach and potatoes directly into the vegetable beds.

* Transplant lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower.

* Sow seeds of California poppies, clarkia and African daisies.

* Transplant cool-weather annuals such as pansies, violas, fairy primroses, calendulas, stocks and snapdragons.

* Divide and replant bulbs, rhizomes and perennials.

* Dig up and divide daylilies as they complete their bloom cycle.

* Divide and transplant peonies that have become overcrowded. Replant with "eyes" about an inch below the soil surface.

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