Campus News

Published by Communications and Public Affairs (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338

News Release

June 03, 1999

'Garden Remedies' coming to a store near you

Home gardeners often have difficulty controlling garden weeds, disease and insects because they can't identify the problem. But Garden Remedies, launched today by the University of Guelph and Loblaws Supermarkets Ltd. will help gardeners better understand what they are facing.

Garden Remedies will be distributed through outlets across Canada as part of the President's Choice Garden Guide Series. The 65-page book, written by Marilyn Dykstra of the Pest Diagnostic Clinic at U of G's Laboratory Services Division and published by Alpha Corporation, provides the most up-to-date information on common garden problems and how to deal with them. It is now available for purchase at Loblaws, Zehrs, Valumart, National Grocers and bookstores.

The book is based on work carried out by the U of G Pest Diagnostic Clinic. "We are aware that home gardeners have many questions about garden pests and pest control," said Dykstra, a pest diagnostic specialist. "We wanted to present information in a way that the home gardener would find understandable and interesting. The book provides more information to home gardeners than can be provided through clinic services."

Garden Remedies will be especially helpful to home gardeners in Ontario and Eastern Canada in its three sections on weeds (such as bell flower, quack grass and dandelion); diseases (apple scab, fire blight, powdery mildew); and pests (gypsy moths, slugs, snails, tent caterpillars), the book emphasizes "integrated pest management" for controlling all three types of problems.

"Integrated pest management" is a logical approach to gardening using many different methods of control. Methods focus on controlling pests without chemicals and avoiding harmful effects on non-target organisms, such as birds, pets, other insects and humans.

A survey by Laboratory Services found that most home gardener clients have difficulty controlling garden problems because they are unable to identify them. Numerous colour photographs in Garden Remedies aid with identification.

"When people can identify and understand the biology of a disease, weed or pest, they can prevent or control it," Dykstra said. "For example, in some cases, unwanted spores can form on wet leaves. Gardeners have to understand why they should avoid getting certain leaves wet while they are watering."

"The Pest Diagnostic Clinic has always had close ties to the home gardener. The corporate philosophy of Loblaws, with its emphasis on providing environmentally-friendly products, fits with the corporate philosophy of Laboratory Services," said Lynne Fruhner, the project co-ordinator at Laboratory Services. "The book allows us to make contact with the home gardener on a much grander scale than is possible through the clinic alone."

The book can be purchased for $6.99 from Loblaws Supermarkets and additional areas of distribution are currently being discussed. In Guelph, Garden Remedies is available at The Bookshelf, U of G's bookstore, Laboratory Services and local supermarkets.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs, (519) 824-4120 Ext. 3338

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