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Gardening in Southern California

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Mulch vegetables with straw

April is the Time to Plant Warm Climate Vegetable Gardens

Yeah! It’s time to plant summer veggies in warm climate vegetable gardens. Tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, and other summer vegetables are good to plant now, whether from seed or from seedling. Wait until the end of the month when the soil is warmer before planting basil, pumpkins, and squashes. Every year, I...

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California poppies

Go Gently into the Wildflowers

California is on Fire! Southern California’s hillsides are ablaze with gorgeous tapestries of wildflowers – orange poppies and ground pinks, golden fiddlenecks and bluebells, blue-eyed grass and native violets (they smell like peaches!). There are so many kinds of flowers – more blooms than anyone can remember seeing before! Those...

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Let’s Plant! Seed Starting Workshops

— Join Nan for a hands-on workshop near you — Tickets must be purchased in advance to reserve your spot and supplies. March 16, 2019, 9:30 am to noon, Community Roots Farm, Oceanside, CA, Purchase tickets March 17, 2019 , 12 pm to 2:30 pm, Bancroft Center For Sustainability, Spring Valley,...

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Keyhole Gardens – a new take on growing vegetables with less water

A few months back, I did a garden consultation for a couple who asked me about building a keyhole garden in their backyard. Keyhole garden? It comes from Africa, they said, and it’s supposed to be a highly productive method for growing vegetables, yet uses very little water. High productivity...

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Za’atar – The All Purpose Middle Eastern Spice Mix

Did you know that Judaism is rooted in agriculture?  Many Jewish holidays have agricultural roots: Passover at  planting, Sukkot at harvest, Tu b’shvat marks bud break in spring, and so on.  Plants and trees, fruits and nuts are woven throughout the Torah, both literally and figuratively. Oreganum syraca, Za’atar Oregano,...

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Free-Range Chicken Gardens by Jessi Bloom

Quick! Click to Win a Cluck

Quick, click this link and you might win a chicken! I’m not kidding.  Timber Press has a contest going that ends February 17th.  If your entry is selected, you win:  A $50 gift card for chicken feed or supplies from McMurray Hatchery (they sell baby chicks)  One chicken coop plan...

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The Year’s First Seed Starting Workshop is a Big Success

it was cold and rainy, but that didn’t’ stop anyone from showing up for the year’s first seed starting workshop one evening last week at the Cosmopolitan Hotel and Restaurant in Old Town San Diego. We all knew that spring is just around the corner and with it, spring and...

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Turn the Water ON

This is the time of year when I’m usually telling people (in the strongest terms) to turn their irrigation systems off.  Problem is, we’ve had almost no rain this winter.  Our rainfall total is far below normal. While the weather is warm, sunny, and beautiful for us humans, it isn’t...

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The Last Harvest of Summer

Pumpkins, just in time for Thanksgiving Sorta sweet, sorta sad… the last harvest of summer.

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Expressive beauties: Peruvian lilies are low-maintenance flowers with a lot of personality

I remember clearly when I saw my first Peruvian lily. It was the early 1980s, and I was in graduate school in Santa Barbara studying the tiny plankton that swim in our oceans. At the end of another weeks-long research cruise, my then boyfriend (now husband) met me at the...

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Don’t Plant This: Palm Edition

My husband and I had brunch this morning with Celia and Nate Levy at the La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art.  Celia is the travel agent who has done such a fabulous job putting together the garden tour I am leading to Holland and Belgium next May. Brunch was delightful...

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Blades of Glory: Whether catching morning dew or in your morning brew, lemon grass has it covered

It’s summertime and the living is easy, as long as I have a tall glass of lemon grass and mint iced tea to cut the heat. Fortunately, I grow both mint and lemon grass, so I can make ice tea whenever I want — and you can, too. Lemon grass...

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