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Trouble ahead for fruit trees?

As I admired my February Gold daffodils blooming in January, about three weeks ahead of schedule, I ruminated on the impact of the warm, wet December and the sunny, dry January we’ve had so far. In an average January we have 18.5 cloudy days. This January we’ve had three. Not that most gardeners are complaining […]

Something growing in the mailbox

Rainy days are seed catalog weather! I just realized how old that makes me. One of those shared family traditions that our children will not experience, with the rise of the Internet, is the winter pleasure of seed catalogues. My father was a dedicated customer of the W. Atlee Burpee Company, and December marked the arrival […]

Backyard apples? It can be done

“I just tasted the best apple I’ve ever had! Can I grow it here?” As a child I considered apples to be pretty worthless. Growing up in Southern California with a mom who bought cello-pack bags of little tasteless, mealy Red Delicious apples to pack in our lunches, I never saw why anybody would eat […]

Fall gardening in Davis

It’s October, and in Davis that means we have a whole new crop of residents. Thousands of students arrive from all over the world in September, settle in to their dorms or off-campus housing, and gradually find their way out into the community for goods and services. So garden professionals and retailers get a new […]

Dealing with drought issues in the garden

There are a lot of landscapes in transition in Davis: brown lawns will hopefully be changed over to low-water plants soon. Many gardeners have reduced water use considerably, which is great. But there have been some adverse side effects. Problems with vegetable gardens? “What happened to my tomatoes this year?” There’s been highly variable feedback […]

Fruit trees: quick answers to common questions

Fruit tree season is right around the corner! Dormant trees arrive in garden centers and hardware stores in January. We tend to get certain questions over and over each season. Usually, gardeners want to know: How easy is it to grow? What do I have to do? Do I need two types? When will they produce? […]

Low-water plants continued: great natives for Davis gardens

* Editor’s note: This is part of a continuing series of articles on plants that can grow and look good with low water. The focus here is on low to medium shrubs for very limited irrigation, especially natives. Low-water taller shrubs were discussed in the November 2011 article. By Don Shor Note that some California […]

We get questions! Late-summer odds and ends

Sudden death of trees. Littleleaf linden (Tilia cordata) and a 20-year-old lemon are recent examples. A dying 120-year-old camphor tree in downtown Sacramento was recently in the news as well. It is very sad and perplexing when this happens. In the case of the linden, we deduced that it succumbed to Verticillium wilt. That was […]

Garden Doctor: Kale, collards, grapes and tomatoes

Question: When should I direct seed kale and collard greens for fall and spring? It seems too hot to do it now. What about transplants? Answer: Kale is a cool-season vegetable that can be used raw as salad greens, as a garnish, as an ornamental in the flower bed, or cooked. Kale is vitamin- and […]

Don Shor: Answering questions to grow better gardens

I heard the “climate zones” have changed because things are getting hotter. Which zone are we in now? Recently the USDA Plant Hardiness Zones were changed to reflect the warmer winters that have been observed in many parts of the country. No changes were made to California zones, because winter temperatures have not warmed in […]

Beautiful and functional

Dorothy Kepner has converted her lawn into an ornamental and edible garden incorporating both utility and beauty. She’ll be at the Cool Davis Initiative’s table from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday at Picnic in the Park in Central Park, Fourth and C streets, to offer tips on how to plan a garden and get started. […]

Enjoy a Q&A with Warren Roberts at nursery

Warren Roberts will be at Three Palms Nursery from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 23, to answer questions about landscape plants and horticulture, for the nursery’s 24th annual Summer Plant Sale. Roberts, 71, has been associated with the UC Davis Arboretum for more than 40 years. He has taught at Cal Poly Pomona […]

Squash bugs are likely culprits attacking zucchini

Question: Last year, my zucchini plants had yellow specks on the leaves that turned brown and then black as they became crisp and dry. What happened? Chances are you had squash bugs, Anasa tristis. These insects (true “bugs”) suck the plant juices through their needle-like mouthparts. Look for the colorful adults, more than half an […]

Special garden takes shape at Harper Junior High

A small army of shovel-toting Davisites gathered at Harper Junior High School on Saturday for a groundbreaking that was more than ceremonial. School staff, as well as students and their families, were joined by Davis Rotarians, UC Davis community service volunteers, and representatives from Yolo Energy Watch and the Davis Farm to School Connection to […]

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