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How to Plant Garlic
Garlic is an essential ingredient for countless recipes and its easy to grow at home in your own garden. Garlic likes a well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. If you were growing heavy feeding summer crops like tomatoes, corn, and squash, you will most likely want to amend you soil with some organic fertilizers and or compost. Once you have amended your soil and purchased your seed, simply break apart the individual cloves and plant them on 6-8 inch spacing at 1-2 inch depth. Garlic loves to be mulched, so if you have some straw or dried leaves, you can add 2 inches of mulch on top of the planted cloves.
How to Thin Fruit on Apple Trees
Thinning your fruit is an important way to reduce pests and disease on your trees. Thinning also helps produce higher quality and larger, tastier fruit. To thin your apples, simple use clippers or sharp scissors to cut the fruit off. Avoid pulling the fruit off because you might damage other fruit and end up taking off more than you intended. Apples usually form in clusters of six or more so I usually thin clusters down to 2-4 fruit. You want clusters to be thinned so the fruit is not rubbing up against one another. Although thinning is very important, remember that once you have cut fruit off you can not get it back, so especially on your first attempts you may want to err on the safe side. You can always come back for a second round of thinning as the fruit continues to develop.
How to Attract Pollinators
Pollinators like bees, birds, and butterflies are required by more that 80% of all flowering trees and shrubs in order for them to reproduce. With bees and other pollinators showing declines around the world, we wanted to highlight some of the ways that you can make you garden or landscape more pollinator friendly.
1. Include diverse plants that flower throughout the year.
2. Include a water feature where bees and other pollinators can collect water which they need to thrive.
3. Avoid using pesticides. Even many organic pesticides are not 100% pollinator safe.
Taking these three steps will help make your garden or landscape pollinator friendly!
How to Start a Worm Compost Bin
Did you know more than 40% of the material in landfills is food waste? The good news is that its easy to turn you own food waste into a nutrient rich compost that is excellent for using in your garden or landscape.
Vermicomposting, commonly called worm composting, is one of the easiest and best ways to recycle your kitchen waste. Here is what you need to get started:
1. Two plastic storage bins
2. Dried leaves, straw, or shredded paper to use as bedding material
3. A power drill to make holes in the bottom of one container
4. Red Wiggler earth worms
Simply drill holes in the bottom of one container, pre-soak bedding, and add worms!
How to Plant Green Beans
Green beans are easy to grow and fairly quick to mature. If you planted an early summer garden, by mid-July you may have spaces to fill where plants have squash or tomatoes have already run their course. Planting bush green beans is an excellent way to fill up some of those bare areas and an additional harvest before moving into cooler season crops in Fall.
Most bush beans only need 50-60 days to reach maturity, so in Southern California you can continue planting green beans through July and even into early august. Be sure to harvest beans before they get to large. Regular harvesting encourage more production!
Garden Native Tour 2014
Event Date: March 29th & 30th, 2014. The annual garden tour is presented by the non-profit group, Garden Native, and features 15 native gardens in North County San Diego. Included on the tour is the Marshal House, a 10,000 sq ft native garden and edible farm designed and built by Revolution Landscape.
Get ticket info at www.gardennative.org.
What are chill hours & how many are needed for fruit trees in San Diego?
When choosing a decidous fruit tree, it is important to consider how many chill hours (hours each season below 45 degrees F) your growing zone receives.
Coastal San Diego areas typically receive about 250 - 300 chill hours each season.
Inland San Diego areas typically receive about 300 - 500 chill hours each season.
Then choose a fruit tree variety that requires the same or less chill hours as your growing zone receives. This will ensure the tree receives it's required minimum number of chill hours to successfully produce fruit.
What is a rootstock and how do I choose one for a fruit tree?
When selecting a fruit tree at a nursery, it will most likely have two tags; one that describes the characteristics of the rootstock, and the other will describe the qualities of the fruit variety.
It is important to consider what type of rootstock the tree is grown on as different rootstocks impart different properties, such as mature tree size, vigour, and fruit size. For example, some types of rootstocks will create semi-dwarf or dwarf sized trees which are perfect for gardens with limited space.
Rootstocks also may be selected for traits such as resistance to drought, root pests, and diseases. Choosing the right rootstock will help the tree adapt to certain soil conditions, such as fast draining sandy soils or clay soils with poor drainage.