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Garden Trouble-Shooting on CD-ROM

September 28, 2000|ROBERT SMAUS

Wonder what's eating your plants, or what that powdery stuff is on the leaves? Puzzled by the holes that appear nightly in the lawn or the vegetable seedlings that simply disappear? These and other questions are answered in a new University of California CD-ROM called "The UC Guide to Solving Garden and Landscape Problems."

According to one of its authors, Mary Louise Flint, the CD-ROM has 2,800 information screens and 4,800 color photos, far more than any other CD-ROM on garden pest management. In fact, it may be the best single reference on plant problems for Californians, and, I might add, it loads and operates flawlessly.

You can look up problems by the type--such as disease, weed, insect, or invertebrate pest--or look up individual plants such as roses. I have always suspected that roses are the most problem-prone of garden plants, and this CD-ROM confirms my suspicions. When I looked up roses, I found a list of problems longer than for any other plant--it almost didn't fit on the screen.

Vegetables are also covered, and all the bad guys are mentioned--everything from flatheaded borers to gophers (though I didn't spot bears, which have been climbing into a friend's North California apple trees, breaking off the branches).

All the solutions are university-approved IPM (integrated pest management) controls that are considerate of the environment. But you'll also find a very informative list of chemical controls, including things like the about-to-be-banned Dursban, but also recent innovations such as iron phosphate for snails and neem (or Azadirachtin) for just about everything else. Information includes how toxic each is to man and beast, and how best to use them.

It costs $32 and is available from the UC ANR Communications Services, 6701 San Pablo Ave., Oakland, CA 94608-1239, (800) 994-8849, http://anrcatalog.ucdavis.edu.

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