The Gardener's Handbook by Dr. Stefan Buczacki

By Dr. Stefan Buczacki

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N Spittlebugs Spittlebugs are commonly found in the garden, though most gardeners have never seen one. In fact, there are about 23,000 different species of these little critters – but they are very good at hiding within your plants. Their favorite plants include pine trees, junipers, legumes, strawberries, and goldenrod. If you have seen any evidence of spittlebugs, it is the frothy formation you may have seen on your plants. Spittlebug nymphs secrete a special liquid, which they then turn into bubbles by pumping or moving their bodies.

Maintaining a garden journal also helps you determine what your favorite flowers are and which ones you would like to have more of. In addition, it can help you decide what flowers you might need to add to your garden and where. For example, you might decide that you need more flowers that bloom in the late spring because you currently do not seem to have many that do. Or, you might decide that you need more white flowers because most of your current flowers are shades of blue and purple and you think white would create a nice contrast.

Closely inspect the small twigs in the early spring before the eggs have a chance to grow in May. Look at the growth from the previous year to see if you can find any scars or holes from egg laying. The warmer temperature of the spring will cause these holes to swell, which can cause the caps to fall off and make them easier to spot. Prune and destroy any infested wood before the eggs have a chance to hatch. When the leaves on the plant begin to open, check both sides for larvae and prune and destroy any that are infested.

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