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09 September 2010 @ 01:59 pm
I have a shady spot in my shady yard, it gets very little sun. I'd like to plant some sort of perennial there, that is hardy enough to not get crowded out by weeds if I neglect it for awhile, is somewhat drought resistant since it gets hella dry in the summer, is not overly enthusiastic (I don't want it to take over the place!) and is good looking.

anyone have any suggestions? it's for a north facing yard in san francisco on the edge of the fog zone.
11 June 2010 @ 08:19 am
I have two trees that I've been told are ornamental plum trees. The are beautiful shade trees and produce lots of fruit. Wherein is my question.

Can this fruit be eaten? Let me add, that yes - I know it can be eaten, because I've done it. But the fruit is always tiny (about the size of cherries) and always bitter. Is it safe to use this fruit for preserves, chutneys, etc.? I'm wondering if eating too much of it can make one sick, because I don't understand what an 'ornamental' tree is for, or how it's different from a 'real' fruit tree.
26 February 2010 @ 06:31 pm
Has anyone used those Topsy Turvy tomato planters? I have a smallish balcony and do all my growing in pots. The area gets lots of sunlight. I thought maybe those planters that hang upside-down might be a great use of the space I have available. I've seen the ads, but I'd like to hear from people who've actually used them. Are they as good as the advertisements claim they are? Any problems with them? Are there particular kinds of tomatoes that would be better grown in these as opposed to being planted in a right-side up planter or in the ground (eg, cherry tomatoes vs full-sized)?

I'm in Oakland, and it's usually sunny in my neighborhood.

06 December 2009 @ 11:05 am
What do you do?
18 October 2009 @ 11:44 am
I had some store bought potatoes that had started to sprout so I stuck them in the ground.
Now I have harvested some super delicious and creamy potatoes.
I have a small pile of tiny potato-lets I'd love to plant next spring, but how can I overwinter them?
This is not a request for donations, just an effort to spread the word on how you can help the Master Gardener Program in Contra Costa County by buying pizza. :)

16 Round Table Pizza locations in Contra Costa County will donate 15% of the payment for your order on June 29th to the Contra Costa County arm of the UC Cooperative extension, if you bring in a copy of this flyer. This is at no additional cost, beyond the paper and ink needed to print the flyer. If you eat pizza and you can get to one of the locations on the back of the flyer between 11am and 10pm on June 29th, please make the effort.

For those unfamiliar with the Cooperative Extension in Contra Costa County, it runs the Master Gardener Program, which provides volunteers for school gardening education projects, booths at most farmer's markets in the area, the Master Gardener Helpline (which offers gardening help for anyone in the Bay Area), support for 4H, and more. As a Master Gardener myself, I can tell you this program does a lot more than most people think, and its funding has been completely cut as of June 30th. We've got some help to continue to at least December while we search for new funding sources, but we still need some operating expenses for the second half of this year, and the Round Table fundraiser could help a lot.

Master Gardener programs in other counties have also had funding cuts, but I'm not sure most of them have had funding completely cease at the end of this fiscal year. If you're concerned about the program in your home county, please call the Cooperative Extension in the county government section of your phone book and ask. They may need your help too. :)

Check out the flyer and the participating locations, and help out if you can, even if it's only by spreading the word. Thank you!
22 March 2009 @ 01:24 pm
We have fusarium wilt in our garden, so I've been researching resistant melons, and tossed together this list:

listCollapse )

If you don't mind, of these, what are your favorites? Why? We want to plant 2-4 varieties, probably Alaska for earliness, but others for scheduling, flavor variety, and hardiness (SF Bay Area, mediterranean climate, USDA zone 9b, Sunset zone 15.
17 March 2009 @ 03:10 pm
I plan on going to the carnivorous plant society meeting coming up however I was wondering if anyone has tried going VFT here in the Bay Area? I have one East facing window that gets good sunlight however it only gets good sunlight for like 4 hours a day. Is that enough for the VFT?
03 February 2009 @ 08:34 pm
I am a beginner gardener, so bear with me...

I am planning on planting tomato seeds and garlic cloves in pots with 6th graders next week.

I have twelve very small (like about a measuring cup in size) ceramic pots and I was wondering if it would be okay to start tomato plants from seeds in such small pots. If I can avoid buying starts, I want to, because I am very poor.

Also, is it better to grow garlic straight in the ground or start it in pots too? I read that I should put the garlic in the fridge before I plant it to trick it into thinking it's colder. I didn't realize that I probably should have planted the garlic sooner.

I plan on starting a bunch of plants with all different elementary school grades in the upcoming weeks and I would love any tips!!
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