Garden

Bamboo and More
’Tis the season: aloes about to bloom in my garden

’Tis the season: aloes about to bloom in my garden

Leaves are falling from the trees and many plants are getting ready for a long winter’s nap. Many aloes, on the other hand, are doing the opposite: They’re gearing up to bloom. Here’s a quick look at the aloes in my garden that are sending up flower spikes.

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The Farmer Fred Rant
Hard Freeze in the Forecast? Here’s What To Do, Before and After

Hard Freeze in the Forecast? Here’s What To Do, Before and After


Frost, Freeze, Hard Freeze: Yes, they are all words that can make you shiver. But for gardeners, the preparation level in the yard goes from not stepping on the lawn in the morning (grass blades can break under your weight, even during a light frost) to madly rushing around the premises to protect...

Bamboo and More
@%$& mealybugs on barrel cactus

@%$& mealybugs on barrel cactus

I’m fond of this barrel cactus. I brought it home from Mariscal Cactus & Succulents in Desert Hot Springs on our February 2011 trip to the Southern California desert. The guy at the nursery said it was a “fishhook cactus,” which I took to mean Ferocactus wislizeni. However, when...

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Bamboo and More
Arizona dreamin’

Arizona dreamin’

All the leaves are brown and the sky is gray
I've been for a walk on a winter's day
I'd be safe and warm if I was in Tucson today
Arizona dreamin' on such a winter's day

With apologies to The Mamas & The Papas (John Phillips, Michelle Phillips)

We spent Thanksgiving at my...

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The Farmer Fred Rant
Saving the Tomatoes of Late Fall

Saving the Tomatoes of Late Fall

Kathy writes: "I have a ‘Better Boy’ that after a lull over the summer started producing again! It’s full of green tomatoes in various sizes. Since it looks like the temps are going to dip pretty low in the next few days, should I pick the larger ones and let them ripen inside? Enquiring minds...

Bamboo and More
White Thanksgiving in Mount Shasta, CA

White Thanksgiving in Mount Shasta, CA

In yesterday’s post I mentioned that it was trying to snow as we were arriving at my mother-in-law’s house in Mount Shasta in the mountains of far northern California. As I went to bed last night, I was hoping to find a winter wonderland in the morning.

And to...

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Bamboo and More
Wednesday Vignette: en route to Thanksgiving

Wednesday Vignette: en route to Thanksgiving

Like many of you, we’re traveling to spend Thanksgiving with family. Today, while my wife was driving, I took pictures of the clouds that seemed to be following us. My favorite was this cloud that looked like a very large bird:

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Look,...

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The Farmer Fred Rant
Rain, Frost, Freeze? Welcome to Late November, Citrus Tree Owners!

Rain, Frost, Freeze? Welcome to Late November, Citrus Tree Owners!

Heading out for grandma's house for Thanksgiving Week? We are now officially entering the shivering season for the Central Valley, Bay Area and low foothills. Late November through mid-February is the most critical time here for protecting frost-s...

Bamboo and More
Fall color around town

Fall color around town

Our part of California isn’t exactly known for stunning fall color. Most of the trees native to the Sacramento Valley simply turn a non-descript brown. Fortunately, there are plenty of non-native trees planted all over Davis that do provide pops of color. Many of them are at their peak, as you...

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Bamboo and More
Front yard bamboo transformation

Front yard bamboo transformation

California is in year 4 of the drought. and the state is subject to mandatory water conservation. This summer I switched to a once-a-week watering regime. I knew the succulents and perennials would be able to handle it, but I wasn’t sure about the bamboos. While the running bamboos in the stock tanks...

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