I have just started gardening with my grandson. He has 5 pumpkin plants and I planted 6 Hopi squash. Each group are in their own 100 sq ft growbox. Our summer has been brutal with temperatures well over the 100 degree mark. I water early AM and later in the evening. We are in the low desert.

I have teeny white pests. They seem to be spiders, but the smallest ones fly out when I disturb them. I’ve used Sevin on tops and under leaves and stems for several applications. The pests are winning the battle. The internet info. is so conflicting, I can’t even get a solid answer on what these bugs are. Also, researching your archives, it looks like you don’t use Sevin — I thought I was using a natural, harmless method. YIKES. How can I get rid of these pests? What can I do to help prevent pests in the future? I have 5 more growboxes and it’s time to plant for our fall harvest.

Pam Peterson
Nelson, Nevada

My guess is that you have whiteflies. They are very small and cause a lot of damage to garden plants, especially squash and pumpkins. No, I don’t use Sevin. Ever. Usually neem oil, pyrethrins, or rotenone will quickly take care of whitefly invasions. These products are available at most garden stores. You can also buy them online from such companies specializing in natural pest control as Arbico and Gardens Alive! Should I be wrong in my long-distance diagnosis, these products will also kill many other insect pests, too. Be sure to gather up all garden debris from affected plants in the late fall and burn them to prevent them from over-wintering in the dead vines. — Jackie

Filling the canner

I have a question on pressure canning. Sometimes when canning things that require a 90 minute time, I have room left in the canner, is it possible to can broth in there even though it would be in there longer than normal, would the broth be boiled out or overcooked?

Dracut, Massachusetts

Yes, I’ve often filled my canner with jars of broth while I’m canning meat. It works out fine. — Jackie


  1. I sometimes fill the canner with jars of water to take up extra space. There is the added benefit of extra water to store. No sense having empty jars sitting around!

  2. Whiteflies: Yellow sticky boards, either bought cardboard sticky both sides or homemade from wood painted bright yellow and coated with Tanglefoot will control whiteflies. Put them on stakes and plant in with your crops. The painted boards can be washed and re-coated with Tanglefoot; the cardboard have to be tossed when they get full of flies. Works in greenhouses and hoop houses, low tunnels too. If you have thrips in your iris, paint the boards blue and cover with Tanglefoot.

  3. Dan,

    I’m not sure; I’ve never done that, yet! Open a jar and see. I’m sure you can find a use for your peaches, even if mushy.


  4. Ooops…I read the Blue Book wrong and Pressure canned my peaches for 20 minutes instead of water bath. What can I expect when we open them, peach mush?

  5. I’ve read to can water for storage to fill space in the canner and use your extra jars…I never seem to have any of those extra jars though.

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