Miscellaneous Monday 11-30-15

November 30, 2015

The American Gardener Magazine:  http://mydigimag.rrd.com/publication/?i=281275&p=18

Who needs a greenhouse?  Here’s a catalog called The Green House Catalog

I have never been very successful with African Violets, but I do love them.  Here’s a growing guide – maybe there’s hope for me!

I love the idea of this!   Seattle builds the nation’s first food forest.

Here’s a fun idea for gifts:  Chalk painted pots

It’s probably time for me to take my bike out for a spin!  Happy Monday!!!

Miscellaneous Monday 11-30-15


Pine Bark Beetles

November 28, 2015

In the last few months, five pine trees on my block have quickly turned from green to brown in a matter of weeks.  As far as I can tell, all the trees are Canary Island Pines, some which were quite old.

Maybe age played a factor, but the prevailing train of thought these days is that the drought and high heat we have experienced over the past couple of years are mostly to blame.  All these factors stress the trees, weakening them to the point where pine bark beetles move in for the kill.

Vince Lazaneo, Advisor Emeritus for San Diego Master Gardeners says the following:

“Pine bark beetles (and other types) feed just below the bark.  If you want to use cut pieces of the trunk or large limbs, you should remove the bark which will expose any adult beetles, larvae and frass.  The insects and debris can be brushed off and the remaining wood should be safe to transport.

If you want to keep the bark on cut pieces of wood, you can securely wrap each piece in UV resistant, clear (not black) plastic.  Place the wrapped logs in a sunny location and keep them there at least 1 year so they will be exposed to one season of hot sunny weather.  This should kill any pine beetles and larvae.

Some beetles that feed on trees bore deep into the wood (eucalyptus longhorn borer).  Removing the bark from pieces from infested wood will not get rid of the insects inside the wood.  They will emerge weeks or months later depending on temperature.”

There are ways to combat the beetles, but the approach has to be proactive rather than reactive.  Once they have infested, it goes downhill quickly.  The trees on my block literally went from green and healthy looking to brown in a matter of four to six weeks.  One tree has been cut down already, and the rest will be cut down in the very near future.  I considered collecting some sections of the trunk to use in my garden, but that is ill-advised because it just fosters the spread of the beetle.

Here’s a link to info about bark beetles from the U.C.: Bark Beetles


Miscellaneous Monday 11-16-15

November 16, 2015

Miscellaneous Monday 11-16-15 – collection of miscellaneous garden information that I deemed interesting!

I love gravel, but everything in its place: Don’t smother your landscape

I learned some things: Four Gardening Myths Busted

Urban Dwellers can compost, too: Use your blender

This actually worked pretty well, but still, do it over the sink and wear an apron: Deseeding a Pomegranate

Lastly, here’s a fun project for your garden or gifts for the holidays:  Chalkboard Painted Pots

2012-09-22 07.50.56 “The poetry of the earth is never dead.” –John Keats


November is the Garden 2015

November 1, 2015

I like this time of year because it usually signals the start of my winter vegetable garden but our wacky weather is saying otherwise.  November in the Garden will still be useful, but use judgement on some of the suggestions and tips until the weather cools down.   Which it will.  I hope……

The November Garden Task list has been posted for your perusal: November in the Garden


Water Year 2015

October 6, 2015

Water Year 2015: Record-Low Snowpack and Record-High Temperatures

In a report released by Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA), Water Year 2015 will go down in history as having the least amount of snowpack and highest temperatures in the Sierras on record, according to data released today by the California Department of Water Resources (DWR).

Statistics released by DWR paint a picture of a state mired in a fourth year of drought, with scant precipitation and higher than normal temperatures. Water years run from Oct. 1 through Sept. 30.

Highlights of the WY 2015 data include:

· The statewide snowpack on April 1 held only 5% of the average water content for that date in records dating to 1950. The previous low record of 25% of average was set in 1977 during one of California’s most significant droughts and was tied in 2014.

· Of the nine April 1 snowpack values below 50% of average since 1950, three have occurred in the past three years of drought.

· According to the California Climate Tracker, the winter average minimum temperature for the Sierra Nevada region was 32.1 degrees Fahrenheit, the first time the reading was above water’s freezing point in 120 years of record-keeping.

· At the end of the water year, the state’s 154 reservoirs held only 54% of their historic average

·The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s Central Valley Project clocked record low deliveries of zero project water to its north-of-Delta and south-of-Delta agricultural contractors and to agricultural contractors in its Friant Division.

· The SWP provided only 20% of its urban and agricultural contractors’ requested amounts.

The press release from DWR also detailed the water conservation efforts undertaken following Gov. Jerry Brown’s April 1 executive order mandating a statewide 25% reduction in urban water use. In the months following that order, the State Water Resources Control Board adopted mandatory urban water use restrictions, assigning reduction tiers to water districts based on past usage. By late summer, statewide urban water consumption was about 30% lower than during the same months in 2013.

DWR also highlighted California’s statewide conservation program – Save Our Water – which is run in partnership by ACWA and DWR. The program ramped up its conservation messaging, as did water agencies and cities throughout the state. Many of these programs encouraged residents to conserve by offering turf and appliance rebates. In August, DWR launched its own rebate program offering up to $2,000 for turf replacement and $100 for households that replace an inefficient toilet (details here).

The release also stated that reports of an El Niño weather pattern this winter are bringing hopes that the impacts of the drought could be lessened. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center, there is about a 95% chance of a strong El Niño during the coming winter. It is unclear, however, how such a weather pattern would impact drought conditions and low reservoirs, particularly in northern California.

For more information on current water conditions visit the California Data Exchange Center.  Hit the links for the current CDEC information:


Reservoir Storage


NOAA’s El Niño/La Niña Home

For more information on the state’s drought visit Drought.CA.Gov. Water conservation tips may be found at SaveOurWater.com.


Happy Monday!

Miscellaneous Monday 10-5-15 – Water, water, water.  We’re all hoping for rain this winter, but realistically, we always need to think about water conservation.  It’s that important.

42Home Gardeners are not the problem – an opinion.

How to reuse grey water in your home and yard.

Use water bottles to conserve water and water your plants more deeply.

San Diego is always scrambling to conserve water since we get less rain than most of Southern California.

National Geographic came out with a great list of water statistics and water conservation facts.

In the garden, we can always do better in what we plant.  CalScape provides great plants with descriptions that are native to your location.

Gardening requires lots of water — most of it in the form of perspiration. ~Lou Erickson


October in the Garden 2015

October 2, 2015

October in the Garden 2015

October  in the garden is one of our busiest months.  The weather is beginning to cool down (we hope!), making garden time pleasant again.  Days are still long enough to enjoy some afternoon time outside.  We need to continue on from September’s work to get our gardens cleaned up and planted.

My stapelias are all blooming now.  Beautiful and stinky!


September in the Garden 2015

September 3, 2015

September in the Garden 2015 – I always like this time of year.  We’re finishing up our summer growing season, and this is when I start to think about cleaning out and prepping for the spring garden.  Here’s your monthly list of things to do in your garden this month. September in the Garden   […]

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Papaya Pups

August 29, 2015

Pretty excited that my little papaya has popped out some little fruits! I culled all but three since the tree is still small, but I’m just thrilled that I’m getting fruit at all!  After I bought this plant, I learned that there are male, female and bisexual papaya plants.  Only the female and bisexual plants […]

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Who Wants To be a Master Gardener?

August 28, 2015

Who Wants To be a Master Gardener? Well, now’s your chance to throw your trowel in the ring. Watch this great video, and mark your calendar for the Master Gardener Open House on Wednesday, September 16, 2015 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon at the War Memorial Building in Balboa Park (3325 ZOO DR., SAN […]

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Become a San Diego Master Gardener

August 10, 2015
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