Pest Alert! Asian Citrus PsyllidWe're in the middle of a far-ranging infection that is literally affecting the entire planet. The culprit is an aphid-like insect no larger than the head of a pin, known as the Asian Citrus Psyllid; it can be the carrier of a deadly disease known as Huanglongbing (HLB), also known as Citrus Greening Disease, or yellow dragon disease. Once a citrus tree is infected, there is no cure. Citrus crops in Asia, Africa, India, South and Central America have been devastated. But the real story is that the psyllid has been found in Mexico, Hawaii, Texas, Louisiana, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Florida and most recently, in California. (more…)
Free Fruit Trees Riverside ResidentsMany of you may already be aware, but the City of Riverside has a fantastic program that allows residents to get a free fruit tree each Spring. Bring in the coupon that comes in your March utility bill, and get a free tree. It’s that simple! (more…)
Black-eyed Susans delight in shades of yellow, orange and gold colors with a black center, or "eye". A native plant of Tennessee, they are a popular addition to the water-wise garden. With flowers that are 2 to 3 inches across, and grow on long stems 2 to 3 feet in height, they make excellent cut flowers for vases and arrangements. Black-eyed Susans are biennial, which means they live for two years. But in those two years, they attract butterflies and bees that drink the floral nectar, in the process moving pollen from one plant to another, allowing the plant to grow fruits and seeds which travel by wind and re-seed themselves. (more…)
No doubt about it. Blueberries are hot right now! And rightly so--not only are they delicious, they have many, many health benefits as well:
- They offer the highest amount of antioxidants of any fresh fruit, which means they are excellent disease-fighters and are a prime player in the anti-aging arena.
- Recent studies suggest that consuming blueberries helps reduce belly fat, body weight and total fat mass; this is very encouraging news for those concerned with cardiovascular health.
- Blueberries help promote urinary tract health by helping to inhibit the growth of certain bacteria that cause urinary tract infections.
- Consuming blueberries has been shown to prevent or delay certain age-related eye problems such as macular degeneration, cataract, nearsightedness, farsightedness, dry eye and eye infections.
- Blueberries contribute to brain health by preventing degeneration and death of neurons; some studies even suggest they are particularly helpful in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease.
- Their high fiber content, as well as the vitamins and other compounds found in blueberries help improve digestion.
- Blueberries are an excellent dietary source for preventing cancer, because of their high antioxidant content.
- Blueberries are considered a great, natural antidepressant--and all without the side effects of prescription drugs!
While many of us spend much of our time trying to keep insects out of our garden, there are some species that we’d like to attract. Beyond being beautiful, butterflies are an important pollinator for your garden, and attracting them is easy if you have the right plants around. A butterfly garden will provide you with beautiful flowers and butterflies to gaze upon, as well as give the butterflies food and a place to call home. (more…)