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Sunday, April 20, 2014
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Author Archive: Don Shor

Don Shor: Back to basics: feeding plants

All plants need four things: light, air, water and nutrients. Some need protection from pests or weather. Learning about gardening is simply discovering how individual plants differ in regard to these things. Notice I didn’t say “soil.” You can grow plants without soil, as is done in hydroponics. The nutrients are in the water solution […]

Gardening fun for all ages

I want to thank my Facebook friend Christine for inspiring this column. She posted a great list of age-appropriate chores for children, and the thing I noticed was how few of them were gardening activities. Other than “weed garden, rake leaves, mow lawns, trim hedges,” there wasn’t much to get kids outside and active in […]

Summer bounty starts now

Trucks are rolling, and bare root fruit trees are coming to garden centers all over California. This is the season with greatest selection and best value. If you’ve thought of adding some fruit trees to your garden or landscape, January and February are great months to look for them. Which plants come bare root? Fruit: […]

Don Shor: Why don’t more people plant oak trees here?

I love oak trees. They are stately, enormous trees, very well behaved with deep roots and excellent branch structure. Long-lived: Oaks are wonderful trees to plant for posterity, to honor someone, to provide a grand canopy across a large lawn or public area. The answer is: Leaves that don’t drop, and leaves that do. So […]

A legacy of gardening continues

Sorting through my mother’s files recently, I came across a remarkable one in her “household” folders. Starting in 1981, my mother recorded all the garden produce they had put up for the freezer. They had been gardening actively at this house since building it in 1953. I think the list began as a way of […]

Getting started with native plants

Fall is an especially good time to plant native and low-water plants. Managing the watering is easier as the days get cooler. Root rot is less likely. The native plant club has its annual sale in late September. The Arboretum has a big sale in early October. Garden centers often have promotions or special sections […]

Don Shor: Eleven heavenly lovelies for August

August is a transitional month in valley gardens. Summer vegetable gardens are reaching the peak of harvest. The flowers you planted in spring may be passing their prime. July heat has taken its toll on parts of the garden. Wholesale growers have their first flats of winter vegetables and cool-season flowers, but it certainly doesn’t […]

Is our community really ‘browning’? Think again

I need to give Bob Dunning credit here. In some of his many (many, many, many …) recent columns about the water project and water rates, he referred to the “browning” and “cactification” of Davis.

I’ve written previously about choices for new plantings or relandscaping for lower water use. Here I want to address the impact on your existing landscape if you cut back your watering, and try to help prevent “browning.”

I was reminded of this by a recent conversation.
Paraphrasing: “We just got our water bill and it was $200! And my husband said ‘This is going to triple?’ and walked out and …

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