Black Fruit, Red Fruit, and Birdscapes

There is a reason that mulberries and blackberries are so attractive to birds. In whatever stage of their development, whether red and unripe or black and ready to pick, mulberries and blackberries s...

Of Cabbages and Kings

“The time has come,” the Walrus said, “To talk of many things: . . . of cabbages and kings.” (from Alice in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll) It is no wonder that cabbages make an appearance ...

Spider Mite Deterrence and Peanut Growing

  We have a 40 year old camellia that has lately been invaded by spider mites. All of its leaves have turned brown on the front side, while the backside is still very healthy looking.  Can you recomm...

Capers from the Desert

If you enjoy perking up your roast, your fish, your pasta, or your salad with capers, you might find it of interest to know that you can grow capers to your heart’s delight in this part of the ...

Mulch, Fertilizer, & Tomatoes

“I dumped quite a bit of redwood mulch on my tomatoes, roses and annuals. The tomatoes are thriving, but the others are just doing so-so. Why the difference and what can I do to improve the con...

Zucchini is Easy

A recent e-mail served as a reminder that zucchini squash is one of the easiest plants to grow. Many of the fruits and vegetables we harvest in our back yards are smaller than the versions we see of ...

Bountiful Tomatoes Year After Year

Thirty years ago, Arlene Gantman planted tomatoes in several sections of her Van Nuys back yard. Her initial attempts enjoyed a bountiful harvest that first year. Every year since, she has planted to...

How to Grow More Vegetables

“How to Grow More Vegetables” (Ten Speed Press, $30) is a set of directives that, if followed to the letter, could radically change your life. “How to Grow More Vegetables” by John Jeavons has been t...

Edible Gardens and Fruitful Vines

Edible gardens are sprouting up everywhere. Boysenberry and blackberry are taking over where bougainvillea once was king, snap peas are usurping the territory of snapdragons, and potato patches are p...