4 Ways to ace 2020 holiday shopping on Amazon

When we think of holidays, “relax” isn’t a word that readily comes to mind. There is so much to do with shopping, cooking, cleaning, visitors and more.

This year, however, we’re all pretty exhausted from trying to maneuver this “new normal” that the COVID-19 pandemic has thrust upon us. We don’t know about you, but we are making a concerted effort to take the “hectic” out of the 2020 holiday season.

And that starts with shopping. Will there be the same crowds at department stores? We don’t know and we suggest not waiting to find out.

Shopping online is the way to go this year. It’s safe and convenient (if you start early).

In fact, nearly 60% of “… consumers say they plan to purchase holiday items online this year,” according to a National Retail Federation survey published in late October, 2020.

More than 40% of U.S. shoppers “… plan to buy most of their holiday gifts on Amazon this year, and 11% say they plan to buy all of their holiday gifts on Amazon,” according to another survey from Episerver.

Will you be joining them? Here are a few tips to ace your Amazon.com holiday shopping experience.

1. Don’t “wing it”

Just as we’ve been taught not to shop for groceries without a list, so it goes for holiday shopping as well.

Start with a list of names–those people that you want to gift this year.

Next comes your budget. Know the total amount you will spend on gifts this holiday season. For instance, that NRF study we mentioned earlier finds that “… consumers plan to spend $997.79 on gifts, holiday items such as decorations and food, and additional ‘non-gift’ purchases for themselves and their families …”

So, decide how much you will be spending on those items and jot down your gift budget on the shopping list you’re creating.

Take it a step further and decide how much to allocate to each person’s gift.

2. The holiday shopping season has already started

Black Friday has come and gone so you’ll want to switch into shopping mode if you haven’t done so yet.

Last year, Amazon was inundated with unhappy customers who didn’t receive their orders on time – some waited for weeks after Christmas before finally receiving them.

The company chalked up the ‘Shipageddon’ to “… winter storms as well as increased demand,” according to Nat Levy at geekwire.com.

While we did search for whether the company has plans in place to avoid last year’s problems, we were unable to find anything. So, shop early. As in right now.

Start by taking a look at Amazon’s Holiday Dash deals which they promise will offer “Black Friday-worthy deals dropping daily …,” according to Kelly Tyko at USA Today.

You can also access the deals on the Amazon app (amazon.com/holidaydash) or ask Alexa “What are your deals?” Don’t have voice shopping set up? Learn how, at Amazon.com.

3. Need gift ideas?

Check out Amazon.com’s gift guides. Or, ask Alexa for help. CNET.com offers a guide on “How to use Alexa to buy holiday gifts.”

Other places to look for ideas include:

4. Save money while shopping on Amazon

Who knew that Amazon offered coupons? It’s true and you may just find the perfect gift at a discount by checking the site’s coupon section.

You might also want to check out Amazon Renewed, where you can shop for “Like-New Refurbished Products.” You’ll find bargains on everything from smartphones to tools, gaming and more.

If you haven’t started your holiday shopping yet, what are you waiting for? These tips should help you get it all under control.

What to know about fire prevention – Be safe in the kitchen

The pandemic has wrought many changes to life for the average American. More people are gardening, swimming pool installations have skyrocketed, certain household items, such as sanitizing wipes, are still hard to find at the supermarket.

Cooking at home has increased by 54% and, with it, kitchen fires have too. A recent report by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) finds that cooking fires are the biggest cause of fires in the homes. They rank second when it comes to fire deaths.

“The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking,” according to the experts with NFPA.

We thought this would be the perfect time to remind you of some basic kitchen and cooking safety tips.

How to avoid kitchen fires and injuries

  • Never cook when you are overly tired or intoxicated.
  • Nearly 15% of kitchen fire deaths are the result of clothes catching fire while cooking. Avoid wearing long, loose sleeves and reaching into the cupboard above the stove while cooking.
  • Remain in the kitchen while you are cooking on medium to high heat.
  • Check on slow-cooking food frequently.
  • Keep flammable items, such as kitchen towels and hot pads, away from the stove.
  • Wipe up spilled food and grease so that it doesn’t catch on fire.
  • Keep children and pets away from the stove and never hold a child while cooking. The NFPA suggests creating a “kid-free” zone of at least 3 feet around the stove.

If you have a cooking fire

  • Leave the kitchen immediately.
  • If there is a door to the kitchen, close it behind you.
  • Gather others in the home and move outdoors.
  • Dial 911 once you are safe.
  • If the fire is in the oven, turn it off and keep the door closed to smother the flames.
  • The experts at NFPA suggest that you “Keep a lid nearby when you’re cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.”

As we head into the holiday season, keep in mind that most home cooking fires occur at Thanksgiving and Christmas, according to the NFPA survey.


5 Easy to care-for indoor trees

Although houseplants are seeing a resurgence in popularity, especially with our millennial generation, growing plants indoors is an ancient practice.

In fact, it dates back to the early Romans and Greeks, according to Encyclopaedia Britannica. But it was during the Victorian period that we Americans went nuts for growing plants indoors.

Today’s holy grail of indoor growing is the tree. It adds height, texture and drama to indoor décor.

Thankfully, one doesn’t necessarily need a green thumb or a conservatory to be successful with indoor-grown trees. Shopping for those that are easy-growers is the trick.

We’ve rounded up five of the easiest-to-grow indoor trees.

Ponytail Palm

Serious houseplant gardeners know that every home needs a palm. While some are too finicky for the casual grower, anybody can be successful with the ponytail palm (Beaucarnea recurvata or Nolina recurvata).

Ponytail, however, isn’t a true palm, but it’s appearance is close enough to get away with faking it.

Well suited to a more modern interior, the ponytail palm thrives in normal household light levels and won’t up and die on you if the only spot you can find for it offers low light.

This is the ideal plant for the busy indoor gardener because it stores water in its trunk, saving it for those days when you forget or don’t have time to water it. This plant is so water-efficient, in fact, that overwatering it is the most common cause of its demise.

For best results, plant the ponytail palm in a loose potting soil. Cactus mix is ideal. When you water, do so deeply and then don’t water again until the mix is completely dry.

Learn more about the ponytail palm from the master gardeners at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Rubber tree

It’s a testament to a plant’s popularity when the likes of Frank Sinatra, Doris Day, Sammy Davis, Jr., Bing Crosby, Dinah Shore and a host of other popular singers put their voices to a song about it.

When you grow the rubber tree plant (Ficus elastica), you may just be singing about it too – it’s that easy to care for.

The rubber tree offers large, shiny, colorful leaves and lots of height (able to grow to 10 feet indoors).

Grow the rubber tree in bright light, although it won’t die if you offer less. In fact, “they grow best with the morning light from an east window,” according to the experts at Clemson University Cooperative Extension.

This is another houseplant that tolerates the forgetful owner, requiring infrequent watering. Learn more about rubber tree care at the aforementioned Clemson University website.


Corn plant

Virtually indestructible, about the only problem encountered by most corn plant (Dracaena fragrans ‘Massangeana’) growers is the brown leaf tips caused by a lack of humidity.

They’re not terribly unsightly and a small price to pay for a practically set-it-and-forget-it houseplant.

The bonus is that corn plant is one of those studied by NASA and found to help clean indoor air of various pollutants.

Don’t overwater the corn plant; it is quite drought-tolerant and may die if overwatered. Allow the soil to dry completely before watering.

Most experts suggest bright indoor light for the corn plant, although personal experience finds that the plant’s leaves fade with too much direct sun and it thrives even in dark corners of the home.

Avoid the brown leaf tips mentioned earlier by placing a humidifier in close proximity to your corn plant.

Learn more about this air-cleaning, statuesque indoor houseplant at the University of Florida IFAS Extension website.


Fiddle Leaf Fig

The current darling of houseplant collectors, the fiddle leaf fig (Ficus lyrata) can grow to 25 feet in the landscape (within its USDA hardiness zones 10B through 11). Find your growing zone at Gardenologist.org.

Most are grown indoors, as houseplants, where they can grow to 6 feet in height. And, by the way, don’t expect to harvest figs from the fiddle leaf – although it hails from the same biological family (Moraceae) as the fig we love to eat, it’s strictly ornamental.

Fiddle leaf thrives in bright but filtered sunlight. It will start leaning toward the sun, so rotate the pot occasionally.

While not as forgiving as some houseplants when it comes to forgetting to water, do allow the top of the soil to dry completely before watering the fiddle leaf fig.


Umbrella Plant

Not only is the umbrella plant (Schefflera arboricola) easy on the eyes, but it’s one of the least-demanding houseplants you can grow.

We must warn you, however, that, if chewed on, the leaves can be harmful to pets and children.

The umbrella plant thrives indoors, where it can grow from 8- to 10-feet in height. Give it bright, filtered sunlight for at least three to four hours per day.

Like most houseplants, the umbrella plant is tropical in nature and requires somewhat warm temperatures. In winter, for instance, temperatures lower than 50 degrees Fahrenheit may cause the foliage to turn black and fall from the plant. Sixty degrees is the umbrella plant’s sweet spot in winter.

When you water the umbrella plant, do so deeply and don’t allow the excess water to sit in the saucer under the plant. Water again when the top ½ inch of soil is dry.

“Schefflera is much more forgiving of too little water, than too much,” according to Dr. Leonard Perry, horticulture professor emeritus with the University of Vermont.

Fun Tips for Holiday Road Trips

Whether the holidays take you over the river and through the woods or you travel strictly in the fast lane of a national highway, traveling by car is one of the few things that the pandemic hasn’t changed.

The road trip, whether it’s to Grandmother’s house you go or a fun local getaway with the kids, is one way to get a sense of adventure during the “new normal.”

Since so many Americans spend far more time on the road during the autumn and winter holiday season, we thought it might be time for you to do a checkup on your vehicle. No, not just for safety (that’s a given), but for comfort and convenience as well.

Charge it

The last thing you need on a long road trip is a dead battery in your phone or whatever gizmo is keeping the kids entertained.

About the size of an iPhone, a power inverter can provide DC to AC power. Handy if you need to charge your phone, laptop, “… breast pump, CPAP, nebulizer” and more. We found this one on Amazon.com.

There’s an app for that

Technology is your friend, especially when you’re traveling. Take a look at some of the latest travel apps and download those that meet your needs.

There are plenty of free apps to choose from:

Roadtrippers—If your journey will include multiple stops, this may just be the app for you. Plug in your stops and the app will figure out total trip time and mileage and even offer a guess at how much gas will cost for the trip. It’s available for both iOS and Android.

Waze—Keep abreast of traffic conditions with this app, which actually warns you of traffic conditions ahead. Available for both iOS and Android, the information comes from other users and includes accidents ahead, traffic jams, changes in speed limits and warnings of police in the area.

GasBuddy—Not only will GasBuddy help you locate a gas station (even in the boonies) but will also help you find the one with the least expensive gas prices. In fact, the creators claim that “GasBuddy app users in Canada and the United States have saved over $2.9 billion at the pump over the last 15 years.” GasBuddy is for iOS and Android.

Do a Google search for “travel apps” to find more.


Download stuff to keep the kids busy and yourself from dying of boredom.

Add some small luxuries

  • Keep your drinks and snacks cool and within reach with a car-sized cooler.
  • Add a “play station” to the backseat for the kids
  • Taking turns driving? Catch better Zzzs between shifts. And don’t forget these.
  • The kids can get good Zzzs too with an inflatable bed for the backseat. We found two that we like: the Nex Mobile Inflatable Bed and this one, that fills the gap between front and back seat, making the backseat larger.
  • Making a night-time pit stop? Download the StarWalk app, point your phone at the sky and learn “…which stars, planets and constellations are above you.” The kids will love this one.
  • Get the fast food out of your lap and into something classier. The Zone Tech Car Swivel Tray fits in most cup holders and has a non-skid bottom to keep your food from sliding into your lap.
  • Backseat driver has four legs instead of two? Protect the seat with a comfy cover.

While this list is just for fun, don’t neglect all the necessary preparations for a road trip. You’ll find important tips online at The American Red Cross and Triple A.

Houseplant rescue

Hot summers and frigid winters are brutal on outdoor plants. We expect that our indoor plants are sheltered from Mom Nature’s extremes so it’s a bit disheartening when that alocasia you’ve fallen in love with gets sick.

There are several common reasons for houseplant problems. Some are caused by improper care, others, such as pests, are not of your doing. Let’s take a look at the causes of some of the most common causes that stress out houseplants.

Improper watering

Those new to growing plants have a tendency to over-nurture them, especially by over-watering. If the plant’s foliage is wilting, check the soil. If it’s dry, water it. If it’s wet, you are either over-watering, or the soil doesn’t drain sufficiently.

Other signs of too much water include:

  • Leaves that seem soft
  • Inner and lower leaves turning yellow
  • Foliage appears scorched (an advanced symptom)
  • Leaf drop (another advanced symptom)

Symptoms of the plant not receiving enough water are similar but also include:

  • New growth may be smaller than normal
  • Wilted foliage
  • Folded or misshapen foliage
  • Dull, grey-green foliage
  • Leaves that appear brittle

There is a fine line between giving a houseplant too much and not enough water and how often to water depends on the environment inside the home.

To determine when to water, stick your finger about an inch deep into the soil. If it is absolutely bone dry, it may be time to water the plant. Take it to the sink and slowly pour water over the soil and keep pouring it until the pot feels heavy and water drains from the bottom of it.

Always allow your houseplants to drain completely before putting the pot back on the bottom tray (if you use one).

When you think it’s finished draining, tilt it at an angle. The chances are good that more water will drip out. This is known as “perched water” and you need to let it drain to keep the roots healthy.

Different plants require different light levels

Most houseplants hail from tropical regions. There, they typically thrive in the rain forest’s under-story, receiving dappled sunlight through the leaves of the tall trees.

Some houseplants, however, thrive in more light and others in less. The easiest way to learn about your plant’s needs is to place it in an area of the home and keep an eye on it for a week or two.

If it seems to be thriving, leave it there. If not, move it into an area that receives either lower or higher light (but not direct sunlight). Keep moving it and, over time, you’ll find the ideal spot for it.

Symptoms of insufficient light include:

  • Leaves that curl upward
  • New growth that remains small
  • The plant is reaching toward the source of light
  • Falling leaves

Symptoms of too much light include:

  • Scorched leaves
  • Leaves that appear to have been bleached
  • Limpness

With summer here, it’s only natural that our outdoor plants will become the center of attention. Keep an eye on your houseplants, though, for signs of environmental stress.

How to Clean Your Ceramic Cooktop

Americans have had a love affair with smooth cooktops since the 1970s when they were first introduced. At that time, the cooktops were created from pyroceramic glass — the same material as Corningware dishes. This material was replaced with less-brittle glass ceramic in the 1990s.

While glass ceramic cooktops lend a sleek, modern silhouette to the kitchen, they have different care requirements than conventional stovetops.

While you won’t need to dig around burners and drip pans, you do need to use caution to avoid scratching the cooktop and you may need to clean it more frequently.

Which cleaning products to use

Avoid using abrasive cleaners and rough scouring pads, which may damage the surface. Products such as bleach, ammonia and oven cleaner may cause discoloring.

The ideal product to use to clean the glass ceramic cooktop is one that is manufactured expressly for that purpose. Read your owner’s manual for a recommendation or consider one of the following products:

How to clean the cooktop

Light stains and spills are easy to clean up if you attend to them as soon as possible.

  • Wait until the cooktop is completely cool.
  • Pour a few drops of the cleaner onto the surface.
  • Use a cleaning pad (included with some of the products) or a clean, soft cloth to wipe the soiled area clean.

To remove heavy stains:

  • Use a cooktop scraper (included with some of the aforementioned products) or a metal razorblade scraper, at a 30-degree angle, to lightly scrape the soil from the surface.
  • Wipe up the loosened debris.
  • Apply a few drops of the cleaner and rub the cooktop with the cleaning pad until it’s clean.
  • Buff the surface of the cooktop with a clean microfiber cloth.

Melted plastic, or spills of foods that contain a lot of sugar may require special treatment:

  • Don’t wait for the cooktop to cool – these stains require immediate removal.
  • Protect your hands with oven mitts.
  • Use the scraper or razor blade to scrape the stain from the cooktop.
  • Immediately wipe away the loosened debris.
  • Allow the cooktop to cool and then clean with the cooktop cleaner and a cleaning pad.

Tips to create the ideal home-study space for your child

One of the biggest questions during the COVID-19 crisis is whether or not schools should reopen. It’s challenging to keep up with school closures on a nationwide basis since there are a variety of them in use:

  • State-ordered closure
  • State-ordered regional closure
  • Varies by school/district
  • Hybrid or remote instruction only
  • State-ordered in-person instruction


Whatever the current situation, if you’ve decided to home school your child or are forced to, it’s time to dedicate a space within the home for studying.

It’s not as challenging as it sounds

Most students will spend much of their “school” time in front of a computer. Thankfully, laptops are small enough to set up just about anywhere.

Start with a work surface

It doesn’t matter if the work surface is the kitchen or dining room table or a coffee table, as long as it’s large enough to allow your child room for a computer and for paperwork and books.

If using one of the aforementioned surfaces, however, your student will have to clean up after each session. If at all possible, try to find an area for a desk that is roomy enough to hold everything and when the study session is over, he or she can leave it as-is and return the next day knowing where everything is.

Finally, design experts recommend that you place the desk so it isn’t facing a window or any other distracting feature.

A comfy chair will help keep your student working

It’s a wonder that kids learn anything in school with their hineys stuck to that hard piece of wood that serves as seating in a traditional classroom.

Go bigger than our schools and choose a comfy chair. Ensure that the chair has an adjustable height mechanism or that it is the right height for your child to work comfortably and not have to raise or lower his or her head to view the computer monitor.

You may want to add additional seating such as “… bean bags … so your child has the freedom to move about as they study,” suggests Julia Reis at FamilyEducation.com.

Lighten up the area

An overhead light isn’t enough for a child who is doing a lot of reading and screen time.

Although natural light is best (and the more the better), task lighting, such as pendant lights or table lamps, not only help prevent eye strain but help keep “… your child alert and focused,” Deborah Gilboa, MD, tells Jennifer Kelly Geddes at ThisOldHouse.com.

You have so many options when setting up a work space for your children, whether elementary school-aged or high school students. Get some inspiration online at:

Have fun with your project!

Learn about 3 hidden household hazards

When you bought your home you most likely had a home inspector visit to find out what, if anything, is wrong with it.

The professional home inspection, however, only tells a potential homeowner what’s wrong with visible areas of the home and its systems. The inspector can’t, for instance, tell you what’s happening inside the HVAC system in the areas that aren’t visible.

Nor can she tell you what is lurking behind the walls or under the floorboards of the home.

This is why it’s so important to expect your home’s systems at least once a year.

Let’s take a look at three areas of the home to inspect closely to mitigate hidden household hazards.

1. Invisible, odorless and lethal

Radon, a radioactive gas, is a common indoor pollutant. It creeps into the home through cracks and holes in the foundation and walls and, once there, it becomes trapped and the levels continue to rise.

Exposure to radon gas, for long periods, is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S., according to the National Cancer Institute.

Testing the home for radon gas is easy and inexpensive, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

“There are many kinds of low-cost “do it yourself” radon test kits you can get through the mail and in some hardware stores and other retail outlets,” the agency states in “A Citizen’s Guide to Radon,” its consumer information booklet (you can find it published online at EPA.gov).

The booklet is full of information about how to test for radon and what to do if levels are above a certain threshold.

2. The deadly arc-fault

If you’ve ever experienced an arc-fault in your home, you need no explanation about the hazard. If you haven’t, read on.

“An arc-fault is an unintended arc created by current flowing through an unplanned path,” according to the experts at the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA).

An arc is like a mini lightning bolt and its “temperatures … can exceed 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit,” and may ignite anything surrounding it, such as wood framing or insulation.

Although it seems like a longshot that this might happen in your home, that assumption can be deadly.

“Electrical failures or malfunctions were the second leading cause of U.S. home fires in 2012-2016,” according to the National Fire Protection Association.

And, they don’t just occur in hidden areas of the home. A damaged cord or loose connection can cause an arc-fault as well.

The experts at NEMA suggested that protecting the circuit is the best way to reduce the chances of this type of electrical fire.

An arc-fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) is “… a product designed to detect a wide range of arcing electrical faults to help reduce the electrical system from being an ignition source of a fire,” they claim.

Find out why it is important to have an AFCI installed in your home by visiting AFCISafety.org.

3. Swimming pool drains and filters

The drain in your swimming pool uses suction to filter out debris such as dirt, oils from your body and other items.

This suction can be strong enough to trap a child underwater which can lead to drowning.

While on a family vacation, “A six-year-old British girl almost drowned when her hair was sucked into a swimming pool filter at a hotel in Lanzarote,” according to a reporter at BBC.com.

She was trapped for more than two minutes before being rescued. Thankfully, she lived.

While these cases are rare, “… long hair is considered a safety hazard when entering a pool or hot tub,” according to Amy Kapetta at YahooNews.com.

But, it’s not only long hair that can trap someone underwater. Dangling straps from bathing suits, jewelry and more can be sucked into filters and drains.

Tie back long hair before swimming (better yet, wear a swim cap). Teach your children to “…stay away from drains,” Elizabeth Klinefelter, Pool Safely Campaign Leader tells Kapetta.

“Another important safety tip is that while using a spa, always locate the emergency vacuum shutoff before getting in the water,” she continues. “This emergency vacuum shutoff stops the suction in the spa, freeing whoever or whatever is stuck in it.”

Finally, ensure your home pool drain has an antivortex cover.


Autumn in the garden

Summer 2020 brought record-breaking heat, leaving many home gardens in tatters.

In fact, “July 2020 has tied for second-hottest July on record for the globe,” according to scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

“… the Northern Hemisphere saw its hottest July ever,” they concluded.

The results included crispy foliage, flowers that didn’t bloom when expected and vegetable gardens starved for shade.

Temperatures are thankfully falling as we head into autumn, a welcome change for gardeners and their plants. A new season and a new opportunity to grow, whether you’re a flower gardener or crave home-grown vegetables.

Let’s get rid of summer’s detritus and get that fall garden underway.

Prepare for planting

The first step to a successful autumn garden is to clean up the beds. Get rid of plants that sizzled over the summer and anything else that needs to come out to make room for new plants.

Don’t allow the roots to remain. Use a hand tiller to get at them and get them out of the ground.

  • Trim the dead and dying leaves and flowers from your perennials and add a layer of mulch over the root zone to protect them from winter’s cold.
  • Divide perennials that have become overgrown. Those that tolerate October division include Oriental and Asiatic lilies, daylilies, bearded iris, sedum and hosta. For a walkthrough on dividing hosta, visit Gardenologist.org.
  • Add a layer of compost (about 6 inches is fine) to the top of the soil and dig it into the top 12 inches of soil.
  • If you’ll be growing in containers, add some compost to those as well.

Get planting

October is a great month to plant new trees and shrubs. Keep them well-watered so they establish quickly. Stop watering when the ground freezes.

It’s also a good time to plant those cool season annuals, such as:

  • Chrysanthemum
  • Daisies
  • Echinacea
  • Pansies

Don’t forget to get your tulip, crocus and daffodil bulbs into the ground this month.

There are many vegetable plants that thrive in the fall weather, especially if you experience frost-free winters. Consider growing the following:

  • Beets
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Collards
  • Garlic
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Mustard
  • Onions

All of these can be planted from now until late October.

Keep an eye out for pests

Don’t let late-season pests take control of your vegetable garden. Prepare yourself to do battle with them and you’ll have a bountiful harvest. Here are some of the more common fall garden pests to look for:

Aphids—The bane of summer gardens, they’re almost as prolific in fall. Lady beetles can help manage their numbers, but your best recourse is to squirt them off the plants with a strong blast of water from the hose.

Cabbage loopers—Small green caterpillars, cabbage loopers have voracious appetites. Keep an eye on the undersides of foliage, especially on cabbage, broccoli, collard greens and cauliflower. When you find them, treat the plant with Btk (Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki). Learn more about cabbage loopers and how to control them at arbico-organics.com.

Cucumber beetles—Don’t let the name fool you; cucumber beetles enjoy lots of vegetables. These include:

  • Beet
  • Cabbage
  • Eggplant
  • Lettuce
  • Onion
  • Pea

You’ll win the battle if you can get to the larvae before they hatch in the soil. A spinosad spray can be applied as a soil drench and should do the trick.

Slugs and snails—And we thought bunnies are prolific! Snails – all of them, male or female – “… lay hundreds of eggs at a time with a gestation period of only 2-3 weeks, according to the pros at Superior Pest Defense.

“They lay more than half of their eggs in the fall making them a prime garden pest,” they conclude.

They feast mainly at night or on rainy days. Unless you control them you may not have a crop at all. Use a product like BONIDE® Slug Magic or Monterey All Natural Snail & Slug Spray.

Happy fall gardening!