sliced tomatoes on parchment paper

It’s tomato time!  My kitchen is overflowing in tomatoes – yellow, red, round, huge, grape shaped, gold with black shoulders (the fantastic ‘Indigo Kumquat’), and so many more. I always overplant tomatoes. Why? Because I LOVE TOMATOES! By time I plant the varieties I teach with in seed starting workshops, plus favorite varieties from years…

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I love to grow vegetables but I hate to harvest. I love to start start vegetables from seed. Even before the first set of leaves unfurl, I’m dreaming about planting each seedling in my raised garden beds.  I carefully labeled everything so I can track who grows where… I visit my garden every day, looking…

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In July,  gardens across the nation really start to heat up.  Southern California,gardens had a long, cool spring with lots of powdery mildew and vegetables stuck in waiting-to-ripen mode.  Now, its happening fast and furiuos.  Are you ready?  Here are some July Garden Tasks. Schedule gardening time to early or late in the day to…

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Mulch vegetables with straw

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 trial new vegetable varieties in…

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— 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, CA, Purchase tickets March 24,…

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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 with little water? That’s my…

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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. Many Jewish traditions incorporate planting and respect for nature,…

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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 so beautiful for plants.  This…

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Want to make your vegetable garden more waterwise?  Here are two suggestions: Switch to drip irrigation Most vegetables dislike having wet leaves. In fact, wet leaves often become mildewed leaves.  Drip irrigation is far more efficient than overhead spray and it keeps leaves dry and mildew free. Mulch with a three-inch thick layer of home-made…

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Is it okay for my blog to quote another blog?  Oh, what the heck! The wonderful Sharon Cohoon, Southern California editor for Sunset Magazine (and the woman I’d like to be when I grow up) wrote about my new garden wall in her blog, Fresh Dirt.   I love what she wrote! When you walk out…

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