Have you checked your houseplants?

Farm Forum

Many home gardeners routinely move some of their houseplants outside for the summer. While this can be a great way to revive plants that have been suffering from low light levels inside the home, it can also lead to some real insect and mite problems in the home this fall and winter. Houseplants are exposed to a much larger variety of insects, mites and other animals while outside. When plants are brought back into the home, some of these unwelcome pests may be coming along for the ride. Be sure to check your plants carefully for pests like aphids, scale, spider mites, slugs and other pests. Examine the undersides of leaves, new shoots and even knock plants out of their pots to look for pests. Slugs like to hide under pots and even crawl into the drainage holes, so check carefully for them.

Consider isolating incoming plants for a while to see if anything shows up. Some pests may we washed from the plants with forceful jets of water or a houseplant insecticide may be used. If you want to dig up plants that are growing in your flower beds, knock most of the old garden soil off the roots then repot them using a good potting soil. Unwanted critters may be in the garden soil too. Also, potting soil is formulated to provide better drainage then a garden soil that may have high clay content.

Tired of Raking Leaves?

Fallen tree leaves can be recycled into your lawn as long as they are not too thick. Try making several passes using a mulching mower or regular rotary mower with the side discharge unit blocked. Recent studies have shown that mulching of leaves is not detrimental to the turf, and