Did you know that Christmas trees are harvested several months before they even make it to the tree lot around Thanksgiving ti... Read more »
Are you thinking about the holidays and getting a living tree for Christmas? Read more »
Whether it’s chopping, kindling or splitting firewood for a campfire, there are times when an axe comes in handy. Ask yourself... Read more »
The Fiskars® aluminum shrub rake features a slim head with uniquely tapered tines that are perfect for reaching into tight spac... Read more »
Our Eco Bin Composter features an easy-to-assemble, easy-to-use design that can simplify and speed the composting process. It i... Read more »
Our HardShell® Kangaroo® Gardening Container is perfect for all your outdoor cleanup needs — whether you’re gathering yard and... Read more »
Our unique Tag Maker with Built-in Eyelet Setter features an innovative design that makes it easy to create tags perfect for gi... Read more »
Looking to give a second life to some old clothing. Here are a few ideas to get you started. Read more »
By creating a few simple tags, you won’t be caught at the fabric store not knowing what fabrics or yardage you have in your st... Read more »
A brocade drawstring pouch can be a beautiful and luxurious accessory or gift. Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of sewing and quilting tasks, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Serrated Fabric Shears sense blade separation an... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of sewing and quilting tasks, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabric Shears sense blade separation and force t... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of crafting and mixed media tasks, our Amplify® Mixed Media Shears sense blade separation and force th... Read more »
The holidays are a popular time to stop and thank teachers and all of the wonderful staff at school for all they do. Read more »
Encourage children to help make gifts this holiday season with these kid-friendly projects. Read more »
Our Preschool Training Scissors features a special training lever that opens the blades after each cut, helping children learn... Read more »
Children love our Designer Non-stick Blunt-tip Kids Scissors for the colorful handle patterns that make cutting fun and the non... Read more »
Our Designer Non-stick Student Scissors are larger than our Kids Scissors but smaller than adult scissors, perfect for those ol... Read more »
Transform a basic jacket into something personal and unique. Read more »
Create a simple reusable calendar to plan all of your back to school activities. Read more »
Creating a miniature collage with your Fiskars® Duck® Edition Scissors is a great way to use up any last bits of Duck Tape® yo... Read more »
Designed for long, easy cuts down strips of Duck® Tape, our Duck® Edition Scissors feature a non-stick blade coating that preve... Read more »
Designed for all-purpose cutting through a range of craft materials that incorporate glue, tape and other sticky adhesives, our... Read more »
Designed for tight, precise cuts through a range of craft materials that incorporate glue, tape and other sticky adhesives, our... Read more »
Damage from pests in your garden can often be significantly minimized simply by taking a few minutes a day to look for damaged leaves and flipping leaves over to look for insects and their eggs. The photo above is an example of a day without observation in my garden last year. These bell pepper plants (and the cucumber plants behind them) were covered with lush, healthy foliage the morning before. I was preparing for an out-of-town trip so when I ran out to water my garden the day before we left, I skipped the observation stage. The next morning, my son went out to quickly water everything before we left, and this was what he found. The only thing left on the plants were the fruits and the striped blister beetles that were finishing off the leaves.
Every spring, this is something I observe. These are aphids feasting on my tomato plants. I've been gardening for around 20 years, but an aphid infestation like this is fairly new to me. When I met my husband, I had no experience with gardening. He comes from a family of farmers who spent the entire summer each year gardening and canning the food they would eat for the next year. Gardening was a necessity, not a hobby. They couldn't take the risk of losing any of their crops so the use of chemicals to combat disease and pests in their gardens was easily accepted as a necessity. So it was that when I began gardening, proactively treating our plants with chemicals was what I learned. It wasn't until about 10 years ago when I began to research garden practices on my own, I began to understand that the chemicals I was using were not selective in what they killed. They didn't just kill the bad bugs. I decided to learn to avoid using chemicals whenever possible, and part of that was learning to allow what's going on in this photo to continue.
I've learned that instead of immediately running for my bag of chemical pesticide, I need to observe more. I need to step back and look at the bigger picture. This time I saw lady bugs and praying mantids. Both are predators of the aphid. I normally see lacewings, also predators of the aphid. Although I didn't see any, I will be looking for them the next few days.
As I continued to observe, I saw more evidence that made me feel chemicals were not necessary for this problem. I saw ladybug eggs and ladybug larvae. While I planned to allow natural predators to continue to work on the problem, I didn't just walk away from it. I sprayed my plants with water to knock as many of the aphids off the plants as possible.
Observing and waiting will most often work with my aphid problem, but I know from other experiences (such as the striped blister beetle incident) that sometimes waiting is the wrong thing to do.
Waiting is also the wrong thing to do with another problem pest I have every year, the tobacco hornworm, but observation is still key. I've learned that I need to be especially attentive to my tomato plants in the evening hours and on cloudy days as these things do not like the sun. I start looking for them early in the season and hand picking them from my plants before they have a chance to grow this big. They are hard to see when they are small, but finding them early prevents them from stripping plants of all their leaves.
There are other non-chemical ways to battle garden pests including using floating row covers, pheromone traps, stick traps, the use of products like diatomaceous earth or insecticidal soap, and fall garden clean up. There are pros and cons with most of options, but all are worth being informed about because they might be the best answer for you one day.