Nursery owner

Laurie Garretson is a Victoria gardener and nursery owner.

Many spring vegetable gardens are beginning to produce their crops. Along with the fresh production of delicious veggies usually come the pests. Most seasoned gardeners realize that garden pests have a magic ability of knowing just the right time to visit our gardens. Pests usually show up when our crops are tender, juicy and just about ready to harvest.

One of the common pests gardeners usually find on new plant growth are aphids. These tiny insects are most often found in groups on the end of plant stems. Aphids are sucking insects, so they can’t be blamed for holes in leaves or chewed-up plant foliage.

If you discover aphids in your gardens you can spray them with a strong blast of water from your garden hose that will blow them off the plant and kill them or an insecticidal soap spray. Either way, be sure to spray both sides of the plants’ leaves.

Beetles, stink bugs and leaf-footed bugs can be some of the most difficult garden pests to eliminate. Spinosad soap really seems to be helpful in eradicating these pests and many others. Spinosad Soap was specifically formulated for vegetable garden pests and is safe for people, pets and beneficial insects.

Temperatures are staying warm enough to seed bermuda lawns. Bermuda grass will grow best in full-sun areas. Be aware of the fact that bermuda will spread. In some situations, this is a good thing but in other situations it can become a real headache. Some type of edging material could be used to help keep bermuda grass from spreading into flower beds or vegetable gardens.

Beneficial nematodes can be applied to your lawns and gardens at any time but now is a good time to start treating for fleas. Beneficial nematodes can also help to eradicate many other types of garden pests. Warmer temperatures will bring out fleas, so be proactive and treat your yard now.

Until next time, let’s try to garden with nature, not against it, and maybe all our weeds will become wildflowers.

Laurie Garretson is a Victoria gardener and nursery owner. Send your gardening questions to or in care of the Advocate, P.O. Box 1518, Victoria, TX 77902.

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