I need to find a natural way to kill an ant infestation so as not to kill pets.
You can make a simple mixture of 1 cup water, 2 cups sugar, and 2 Tbsp. boric acid and leave in areas in and around your home frequented by ants. With household pets and small children around, place containers in protected locations. You might try placing this mix in small plastic containers with pencil-sized holes punched in it just above the mixture to allow ants to access the mix but not your pets. The ants will carry the mix back to their nest and destroy the rest of the ants there. — Jackie
Gardening in a hot climate
I loved your article about tomatoes, queen of the garden and there was also a question about zucchini in last months issue, but neither addressed some of my problems. I recently moved to the HOT place of Lake Havasu City, Arizona from cool northern Nevada just down from Lake Tahoe, and am having real problems getting this brutal weather to cooperate with my gardening. My tomatoes have split lines in them and the zucchini seem to set fruit but then turn yellow and fall off when they are from 2 to 5 inches long. What am I doing wrong? Everything grew with ease in the northern riverbottem we used to live in. (Except the freezing and short window of growing that you might also have.)
Lake Havasu City, Arizona
It’s the heat! Next year, try growing tomatoes bred specifically for hot climates; you’ll enjoy more success. Mountain Pride and Floramerica are two. We’ve always had great luck with the smaller, but hugely prolific, Punta Banda (a wild Mexican tomato) in hot climates. Mulching around the plants also helps maintain steady and cooler growing for tomatoes in the heat.
Zucchini, as well as many other squash don’t set fruits that last during the heat. Again, try mulching and even adding a shade cloth over your plants. Usually, as the summer’s heat lessens, the bush will start “saving” fruits to go on and use. — Jackie