Archive for the ‘In the Yard’ Category

In the Yard: The Confusing World of Fertilizers, Simplified

Fertilizers: What should I use, when do I use it, and how much should I apply?

These can be very troubling questions for even seasoned gardeners! What fertilizer you use can depend on what kind of plant you’re fertilizing or what its needs are in that particular stage of life. When you use fertilizers can depend on how the plant looks, what we as gardeners are trying to encourage our plants to do, or as part of a regular feeding program. How much to apply can also vary from time to time, season to season, plant to plant. Confused yet???
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In the Yard: Dwarf Lavender

When designing clients’ yards, I often hear statements like “I like lavender and rosemary, but they get so big. Is there one that doesn’t?”

Well, I can’t help you out with the rosemary other than this: just plant one, let it get big, and harvest it often. I either give rosemary away to neighbors or dry it by tying sprigs together and hanging them in my kitchen. Not only does the hanging rosemary look good, but when dry it keeps forever to be used in any number of pasta or meat dishes.
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In the Yard: Mahonia

I am often asked by clients to design a drought tolerant yard, or a low maintenance yard. Well, no plants are more suitable and easier to maintain then plants born and bred right here in California.

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In the Yard: Fall Plantings in the Summer

Yes, it’s time to start thinking about the fall.

What!!? I’m just starting to get my first tomatoes and squash! you might say. Why should I think about anything else?

Here’s why. As Californians we can grow and harvest crops all the year round, and a few of the crops that produce exceptionally well in our fall weather need to be started now because they take such a long time to grow. Mainly leeks, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, swiss chard, and beets.

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In the Yard: Carrots Aren’t Just for Rabbits

I guarantee you this, one bite into your first homegrown carrot and you will never be without them in your garden again. Carrots are an easy and delicious crop to grow year round in California and are often overlooked by vegetable gardeners for any number of reasons. Personally, I never grew them until a few years ago, figuring that they’re so cheap to buy in the store, why should I give up room in my garden?

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In the Yard: Beneficial Insects Part 2

Attracting beneficial insects is an unproven science. There isn’t a definitive plant that always attracts a specific beneficial insect. There are, however, very specific ways to create a garden space that encourages healthy plant growth while minimizing harmful pest damage, and potentially increasing your chance of attracting beneficial insects. Or, more simply, the best way to attract ladybugs is not with flowers, but with an infestation of the aphids.

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In the Yard: Beneficial Insects, To Bee Or Not To Bee Part 1


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In the Yard: It All Starts With A Plan

Spring is here, and with it the weeds. This being an “el nino” year, we saw large amounts of rainfall and now have gigantic weeds. Taking on such a task can seem overwhelming, but with the right tools, motivation and a sound plan, almost any yard can be transformed in a weekend.

It all starts with a plan. I highly recommend drought tolerant plants in our climate for several reasons, most importantly is that they will grow with very little care and grace our yards for decades.

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In the Yard: It’s Time for Tomatoes

In this article, we take a look at tomato farming in your backyard. Tomatoes are an incredibly fun, easy and giving plant to grow everywhere.

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In the Yard: Dealing with Aphids

In this piece, we take a look at a common problem for gardeners at this time of the year: aphids.

Aphids are one of the worst spring time pests, but most people don’t notice them chewing their plants to bits until it’s too late, and then it’s, well, too late. Unfortunately, severely infested plants need to be removed completely, as the damage can be devastating. The good news is that aphids are one of the easiest pests to manage, as they are just now emerging! You can find aphids on the growing tips of your plum and maple trees, or underneath the leaves of newly planted tomatoes.

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