From Bwtm




The Dry Garden: Water-wise birdbaths can create a backyard spa for wildlife.

Green eye candy: Get inspired by the great gardens of Southern California.,0,

ABCs of gardening. Simple approach makes gardening easy for everyone.

Sustainable is attainable in landscaping. As gardeners, we are at the forefront of the new green revolution. Thirty years ago, most home landscaping consisted of lawn, foundation plantings, a few trees, and perhaps a bed for flowers or vegetables. Plants were chosen for their color when flowering and their availability at garden centers. Maintenance included mowing, fertilizing, spraying, pruning and watering. But we now know that native plants can endure without synthetic chemicals or fertilizer, or much watering or labor, once established. And that insects that depend on native plants are important food for birds. Knowing this, gardeners can take steps to promote sustainability in their landscapes. It involves how you use your property – everything you own. Here are some key steps that will help you create a sustainable gardening culture and promote renewable energy:

Southern California Natives

Theodore Payne's 2013 native plant garden tour,0,7268307.story

Don't spoil salvia. Cut back on food and water to get the most out of native sage.

Salvias for San Diego gardens.

butterfly gardens

Gardening for the Bees


Miniature plants fill small niche in yard

January 21, 2007

Local gardens prove to be fertile ground for good ideas

January 07, 2007



Identifying California Lizards

Pest Control



Pocket gophers, Thomomys species, often simply called gophers, are burrowing rodents that get their name from the fur-lined, external cheek pouches, or pockets, they use for carrying food and nesting materials. Pocket gophers are well equipped for a digging, tunneling lifestyle with their powerfully built forequarters; large-clawed front paws; fine, short fur that doesn't cake in wet soils; small eyes and ears; and highly sensitive facial whiskers that assist with moving about in the dark. A gopher's lips are also unusually adapted for their lifestyle; they can close them behind their four large incisor teeth to keep dirt out of their mouths when using their teeth for digging.

Pocket Gophers

Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service NREM-9001 Controlling Pocket Gophers


Spring is the time to control Gophers - UCCE Sonoma Count

Meadow Voles and Pocket Gophers: Management in Lawns, Gardens, and Cropland

Controlling Pocket Gophers in Nebraska

Living with Wildlife Pocket Gophers

“Au revoir, Gopher!”: Tried and True Ways to Get Rid of Gophers.

Effects of Pocket Gopher Burrowing on Archaeological Deposits: A Simulation Approach

Rabbits inside car engine compartment

How to Keep Rabbits Out of a Garden. scroll down to Offensive Smelling Spray: Another way to repel rabbits is to create an offensive smelling spray that includes, garlic, onions, peppermint, and red chili peppers. You will need a few supplies to complete this repellent.

Peppermint Essential Oil (Huge 16oz Bottle) Bulk Peppermint Oil - 16 Ounce water in a spray bottle - rats did not like it! By mangabeads on August 19, 2017 Mixed with some water in a spray bottle - rats did not like it!!!! Now leaving my garden alone!! great product see less

insect pests

How To Control Leaf Miners neem

Citrus Psyllid

Disodium Octaborate Tetrahydrate

Pyrethroids are, essentially, man-made versions of pyrethrins. Permethrin is one of those man-made copies of the natural insecticide. Pyrethrin comes from a daisy-like plant found in Africa and Australia.




It’s planting season, but before you head to your local garden center for fancy (and expensive) solutions to your gardening problems, consider that you might have some of what you need already in your pantry. One of those things is vinegar.

We tend to rave about the endless uses of vinegar in your home, but did you know it can also help keep animals out of your garden? Here are ten ways vinegar can help you grow a healthy and vibrant garden.

  1. White vinegar is five percent acetic acid, which can penetrate the membranes of plants, killing them from the leaves down. You’ll want to put the vinegar in a spray bottle—no need to dilute it—and spray the weed’s leaves just enough to coat it but not drip down the plant. Cross contamination can harm other plants, so make sure not to spray on a windy or rainy day, and don’t spray a ton.
  2. Animals tend to hate the smell of vinegar, so use it to keep them out of your garden. Take several old rags, soak them in vinegar, and place them along the perimeter of your garden. The smell will act as an invisible fence keeping rabbits, deer, and raccoons away, and even wards off snakes. You’ll need to re-soak the rags time and again when it rains or after the smell wears off, so set a reminder or make it part of your regular garden upkeep.
  3. Slugs and snails can slowly devour your plants, but when sprayed with vinegar, snails and slugs’ bodies will dissolve. It’s gross, I know, like when we were kids and someone would pour salt on a slug, but it works, and I’m just the messenger of that information. If you’re not keen on watching slugs and snails melt, though, you can keep them and other insects at bay with rags soaked in vinegar. While we’re at it, here are some other ways to deter insects rather than harming them.
  4. Soaking seeds before planting them can help begin their germination, and vinegar can help. To soak, put the seeds in a small bowl or container and add just enough water to cover without completely submerging them. You can also use a Ziploc bag with enough water to keep the seeds damp. Before covering the bowl of seeds or sealing your Ziploc bag, add one to three tablespoons of vinegar. Let the seeds soak for eight to 12 hours, but no longer than 24. The acidity in the vinegar simulates what happens in an animal’s stomach, which one way seeds germinate in the wild. The hard shells around the seeds will soften and encourage the seedling to sprout.
  5. You can keep your garden tools clean and functional with just vinegar and water. Pretty straightforward for newer tools—just spray and wipe—but for tools with a bit of rust, soak them overnight in a half water half vinegar solution. In the morning, rub away the rust with steel wool and wash with soapy water. The rust will be gone, and your tools will look a lot closer to new.
  6. We reported that mouthwash helps cut flowers last longer, but vinegar can act as flower food in your garden. For every gallon of water in your watering can, add one cup of vinegar and water your flowers as usual. This natural fertilizer works great for acidic flowers like hydrangeas, rhododendron, gardenias, hollies, and azaleas.
  7. Vinegar can help you test the alkaline level of your soil. Start by collecting a sample from your garden and place it in a medium-sized container. Be sure to grab soil from different parts of the garden, though, as they tend to vary. Then add half a cup of water and half a cup of vinegar to the soil. The more fizz you get, the higher the pH balance in your soil, which can help you choose the types of plants that can thrive there. You can do the same test with baking soda and water to test the acidity of your soil. Neither are very precise, of course, but they’re cheaper and faster than a test kit or sending your soil off to a lab.
  8. Vinegar can help you test the alkaline level of your soil. Start by collecting a sample from your garden and place it in a medium-sized container. Be sure to grab soil from different parts of the garden, though, as they tend to vary. Then add half a cup of water and half a cup of vinegar to the soil. The more fizz you get, the higher the pH balance in your soil, which can help you choose the types of plants that can thrive there. You can do the same test with baking soda and water to test the acidity of your soil. Neither are very precise, of course, but they’re cheaper and faster than a test kit or sending your soil off to a lab.
  9. Brick is quite tricky to clean without scraping off a layer of the stone, but vinegar is an easy, natural way to help clean off calcium and lime deposits from garden bricks and dividers. Add one cup of distilled white vinegar to every gallon of water in a bucket, and dip a scrubbing brush to scrub the bricks. Once the area is clean, rinse away the calcium and lime.
  10. Vinegar is a perfect alternative to regular soap or detergent, which can strip birds’ feathers of essential oils. To make the natural cleaner, mix one-part distilled white vinegar to nine parts water to the birdbath basin. Scrub the bath inside and out with the solution, rinse, and let the bath dry completely. Then just refill and watch your bath attract more birds to your garden. And since birds are natural predators to insects like slugs, snails, and ants, making your birdbath an inviting place for them will give you nature’s security guards to help against bugs.


controlling weeds

IT'S WAR ON WEEDS. The home garden can be a combat zone between your plants and the interlopers. We offer some tactics on ferreting out the worst.,0,2462621.story


Coastal Sandspur, Cenchrus incertu, and the far more common Southern Sandspur, Cenchrus echinatus. Both populate open, grassy spaces. Both plants are members of the grass family and can be quite difficult to identify when mixed with other grasses and not producing their seed. Only a single spine on the bur of the Coastal Sandspur separates it as a species from the Southern Sandspur.

Sandbur (Cenchrus longispinus) is a low-growing summer annual weed which is found in dense spreading patches most commonly in sandy soils. It roots at the nodes on the stems if they touch the ground. The leaves are folded in the bud, ¼ inch wide, and tapering to a point. The ligule is a short fringe of hairs and the auricles are absent. The seed head is a single spike with 6 to 20 rounded burs which contain 2 seeds in each bur. Sandbur seeds catch on clothing and animal fur and the barbed burs can easily pierce the skin and cause injury to livestock and people. Plants growing low to the ground can still produce burs. After a frost, entire plants become straw-colored, but stems with burs can persist through the winter. Seed dispersal occurs by animals, farm equipment, tires and in contaminated hay. Water is also important for seed dispersal, as burs float and may be carried for miles in irrigations ditches and other waterways.



May already? Time to plant these summer edibles in your garden


August chores for home gardeners August 2020

In the Garden. July 2008

In the garden. August 3, 2008


October and April should be the two busiest months in San Diego-area gardens. Cool-season flowers and vegetables can be planted with great success this month. Weather-wise, conditions are usually ideal for working in the garden. Plants thrive in our warm days and cool evenings and the soil stays warm, which gets new plants off to a good start. Although you won't be able to enjoy their color until next spring, October is a choice month for planting perennials. By planting them now, they will develop a strong root structure during our cool weather and then burst into glorious color in the spring.

September should be an exciting month in San Diego-area gardens. The middle of the month marks the start of our fall gardening season. Here, you can plant a huge array of cool-season vegetables and flowers. September is also the beginning of our bulb planting season. A number of bulb selections may be planted this month, although some should not be planted until October or November. Even the bulbs for later planting can be purchased this month while they are fresh, before being pawed over in the bins. Store them in a cool, dry area for later planting.

Cool weather doesn't mean saying goodbye to your garden. August 3, 2008. It is time to plant your 2008 autumn vegetable garden. What are the cool-season vegetables to include in your autumn garden? Choose from the following: beets, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage (including Chinese cabbage), carrots, cauliflower, celery, celtuce, chard, collards, cress, endive, escarole, garlic, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, lettuce, mustard greens, onions, parsley, parsnips, peas (including edible-podded and sugar snap peas), potatoes, radishes, rutabagas, salsify, shallots, spinach and turnips. Most of the above will have to be planted from seeds, but some, such as broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery and onions are available as transplants at most local nurseries. You will save about six weeks of growing time by using transplants.

Autumn is a cool time to garden


Vegetable Gardens


Turns Out 'Eating Local' Doesn't Do Much for the Planet

Native Foods Make A Comeback In Southwest.

Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen grow food, keep chickens, brew, bike, bake, and plot revolution from their 1/12-acre farm in the heart of Los Angeles. They are the the authors of The Urban Homestead and Making It.

3D printed bug-repellent protects your plants.

Growing Vegetables Upside Down.

Victory gardens sprout up again. People are borrowing an old wartime concept to lessen the need for mass-produced food, reduce pollution and build a sense of community.,0,7167635.story

The Science of Gardening. How evidence-based growing beats relying on old wives' tales.

With proper preparation and know-how, even newbies can harvest a bumper crop of satisfaction along with their homegrown veggies -- and maybe save some money.,0,1979735.story

Homegrown harvest. Three local kitchen gardens show that you can do it, too.

You can create a garden that's dirt cheap. Making the most out of the least.

A kitchen garden can grow year-round. With great California weather, a small plot for growing vegetables can keep you in fresh produce all year long.,0,7442391.story


Like all seeds, spinach germination takes place in three stages: soaking up moisture, growing new cells inside the seed, and finally the emergence of the radicle, or sprout. Several studies have shown that spinach germination rates are higher and more uniform when the second stage is prolonged a bit, in an oxygen-rich atmosphere, before the seeds move on to a full sprout. Scientists call this process "priming," and it’s easy to do at home. About a week before planting, soak spinach seeds in room temperature water for 24 hours. Place the wet seeds on a paper towel, and allow to dry at room temperature for a day or two. Shift the seeds to an airtight container, and keep in a cool place for up to a week. The primed seeds will retain enough moisture to complete the first two stages of germination. After planting, primed spinach seeds germinate in only 5 days, compared to 10 or more for seeds straight out of the packet.

Spinach is a cool-season vegetable that grows rapidly and with the highest quality at temperatures of 55° to 60°F with medium day lengths. The seed can germinate between 32° and 60°F and young plants withstand temperatures as low as 18° without damage.

Brussels sprouts

Brussels sprouts will reach maturity 80 to 90 days after transplanting and 100 to 110 days after seeds are sown.

Peace Rose Garden

10 things your roses are trying to tell you.


You can use fast-growing micro-green seeds like Chinese cabbage (Kogane), kale (Red Russian), kohlrabi (O.P. purple), mustard (Golden Frill, Ruby Streaks), pac choi (Red Choi, Kinkoh), radish (Daikon, Hong Vit, purple radish), spinach, and lettuce. Slow-growing greens like carrot, celery, chard (Ruby Red), amaranth (Garden Red), basil (dark opal), beets (Bull’s Blood, Early Wonder), peas (Dwarf Grey Sugar), arugula and fennel (Magnafena) can take up to three to four weeks for harvest. Browse through seed catalogs for prepackaged salad mixes.

Fruit Trees

Citrus Tree-Killing Bacteria Found on Insects for First Time in SD County. A routine spot check by the California Department of Food & Agriculture on Dec. 28 collected a group of four adult Asian citrus psyllids from a citrus tree on residential property in the Fallbrook area carrying the bacteria Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus. These bacteria can cause a citrus disease called Huanglongbing. At this time, the disease has not been detected in citrus trees in San Diego County. Samples from trees on that property and the surrounding area were undergoing tests for the disease, which is fatal to citrus trees and has no cure. "Rapidly detecting and controlling the spread of the Asian citrus psyllids that carries Huanglongbing continues to be a priority for the County," said San Diego Agricultural Commissioner Ha Dang. "While ACPs are frequently found in our ongoing mitigation efforts, the bacteria have never been found locally before."

Growing white sapote, like custard cups on a tree.,0,603671.story

Public Gardens



red bougainvillea vine


California cactus garden: 112 plants of prickly, potted beauty,0,1593350.story

Succulent compositions enhance the mid-mod look


Norfolk Island Pine -- Araucaria heterophylla.

House Plants

Tradescantia zebrina, formerly known as Zebrina pendula, is a species of spiderwort more commonly known as an inch plant or wandering jew, native to the Gulf Coast region of eastern Mexico. The common name is shared with closely related varieties T. fluminensis and T. pallida.

spring, wild flowers

Wildflower Update for March 8, 2008