By Mitzi Davis
CSU Extension Master Gardener in Larimer County
Q: What flowers can I plant on the south side of my house for summer color? It’s a sunny, dry area.A: The following annuals should be fine on the south side, as long as they get some water during the summer: alyssum, celosia, cosmos, gazania, nasturtium, petunia, salvia and zinnia.
Q: I have ants in the joints of our cement driveway and in the sand between the bricks in the patio. What can I do to control them? A: Use boric acid (a disinfectant available at pharmacies) as a tracking powder. The powder is picked up on the legs of the ants and carried back to the nests. This is a slow-acting insecticide and will take 10-14 days to kill the ants. Boric acid is relatively non-toxic, but keep all chemicals away from children and pets.
Q: What is Neem oil? I’ve heard it is a safe, organic insecticide. A: Neem oil is a botanical extracted from the seeds of the neem tree. The active ingredient azadirachtin acts as a growth regulator that interrupts the insect growth cycle causing death to larval and pupal stages. It provides effective control for whiteflies, mealybugs, thrips, aphids, leaf miners and others. It is also effective as a fungicide for control of foliar diseases like powdery mildew. It can be toxic to bees if applied while bees are active.
Visit PlantTalk Colorado for fast answers to your gardening questions! www.PlantTalk.org PlantTalk is a cooperation between Colorado State University Extension, GreenCo and Denver Botanic Gardens.