How To Plant And Care For Geraniums

Written by Lee Dobbins

Continued from page 1


Geraniums are hardy, but like any plant can be susceptible to disease. Some common disease are Black Leg whererepparttar stem becomes blackened andrepparttar 142790 leaves fall off, Leaf Spot where leaves become spotted and drop off, Gray Mold whererepparttar 142791 plant has gray moldy spots, Rust whererepparttar 142792 plant gets rusty looking spots and leaves turn yellow and drop off, Root Knot nematodes -swelled roots and stunted growth and Dropsy which produces lesions onrepparttar 142793 plants.

To combat most disease, remove all leaves that are infected, make sure you do not take cuttings from any plant with disease. When watering make sure you do not splashrepparttar 142794 leaves.


Some common geranium pests include:

Caterpillars - some caterpillars like to much on geraniums (perhaps they have heard of it’s medicinal properties?). These can be controlled with sprays.

Aphids - try controlling aphids with ladybugs or a special spray.

Whitefly - usually starts inrepparttar 142795 greenhouse but can spread torepparttar 142796 garden on infested plants. Small white flys and black sooty goop can be seen onrepparttar 142797 leaves which will fall off after turning yellow. Can be controlled with sprays.

Mites - Causes leaves to curl and drop off – control with sprays.

Termites - Subterranean termites tunnel throughrepparttar 142798 stems of geraniums causing them to turn yellow and die. Treatrepparttar 142799 soil withrepparttar 142800 appropriate termite treatment. Don’t let them get to your house!

Slugs - slugs love gardens but they also love beer. Leave a saucer out and you will catch more than your fair share of slugs!

Lee Dobbins writes for where you can find out more about geraniums. Visit for more on Geranium care.

Biocontrol Agents for Organic Farming… the terminology

Written by A.O. Kime

Continued from page 1

The use of viruses and bacteria can sound kinda scary but don’t worry, microbial control agents in Arizona are regulated byrepparttar Environmental Protection Agency (EPA),repparttar 142769 Environmental Services Division ofrepparttar 142770 Arizona Department of Agriculture,repparttar 142771 Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) andrepparttar 142772 Plant Quarantine Act (PQA) but you still need permits fromrepparttar 142773 State of Arizona, USDA, APHIS and from Biotechnology and Environmental Protection (BEEP). Only then can a farmer applyrepparttar 142774 stuff… if his crop ain’t already ate up. We’re not done yet, we still have ‘biochemical control agents’. These are semichemicals such as plant-growth regulators, hormones, enzymes, pheromones, allomones and kairomones which are “either naturally occurring or identical to a natural product that attract, retard, destroy or otherwise exert a pesticidal activity”. Impressive, huh?

But that’s still not enough already…repparttar 142775 EPA wants to push a stupid term called ‘biorational pesticides'. And this is where they get picky… you can userepparttar 142776 term if you’re (1) not talking about bugs or (2) not talking about synthetic-made stuff they don’t think is identical enough to a given product of nature. Anyway, I hate that term, there is nothing rational about causing more confusion. In all, there are over 200 biocontrols of which some have multi-use applications which equates to about 300 specific uses and there are at least 400 of these 'products' on repparttar 142777 market. Competing companies supplyingrepparttar 142778 same product accounts for this discrepancy.

A lot of biocontrols have hard-to-pronounce, stuffy-sounding scientific names, which, I think, are thought-up by laboratory-shackled scientists who jealously hate farmers and like to see them get tongue-twisted and embarrassed. One such case is ‘bacillus thuringiensis’, a bacteria widely used and marketed in different variations but to spoil their fun, farmers just call them ‘B-Ts’. Another thing farmers can use are made of ‘nuclear polyhedrosis viruses’ but they don’t sound very environment-friendly to me.

What I really think is dumb are those goofy brand-namesrepparttar 142779 distributors use for these biocontrol products such as ‘Doom’, ‘Condor’, ‘Futura’, ‘Grandlure’ and so forth. I think they hired repparttar 142780 same marketing guys that work forrepparttar 142781 car companies… they think brand names gotta sound ‘cool’.

Farmers also use juvenile hormones and behavioral modifiers. Juvenile hormones keep bugs from maturing, thus denying them their adult and reproductive cycle. It should be obvious what behavioral modifiers do... it makes them less destructive. Agricultural firms sell plant-growth regulators too, made from cytokinins and gibberellic acid. There are also sex hormones on repparttar 142782 market to confuse and attract bugs. Confusion and bugs I don’t need.

In summary, these biocontrols are incredibly diverse but they don’t include genetically engineered plants which have disease or insect resistant qualities, but that’s another story. See Genetically Modified Food (external link) or else genetically modified organisms (GMOs) (external link)

Well, that sorta brings you up-to-date, so consider yourself ‘bio-informed’. Remember though, you can’t go around saying ‘biological’ anymore because people might think you’re talking about bugs. If you’re still confused, talk about something else or you could end up getting mighty embarrassed. Some words might even sound organic when they're not. I knew a farmer who, when he first heardrepparttar 142783 term ‘entrepreneur’, asked… “What kinda manure is that?”

(A.O. Kime is a former licensed pest control advisor)

------------------------------------------------ Resource Box: © A.O. Kime (2003) A.O. Kime is an author of two books plus some 70 articles on ancient history, spiritual phenomena, political issues, social issues and agriculture which can be seen at ------------------------------------------------

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Resource Box: © A.O. Kime (2003) A.O. Kime is an author of two books plus some 70 articles on ancient history, spiritual phenomena, political issues, social issues and agriculture which can be seen at

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