Squirrels: Cute and Fuzzy, or Destructive Rats in Pretty Coats

A desperate gardenerd writes in:

"Help! Squirrels are devouring the fruits (or vegetables) of my labor. My sweet little tomatoes, my succulent squash--all gone. They're cute little animals and all, but they're not that cute. How can I deter them?"

Alas, I hear your cries.  I've gone toe-to-toe on a few occasions with our well-dressed woodland friends, and my mother has shared stories of the same decimating her yard as well.  They stare defiantly at me (sideways out of one eye) as I threaten them with death, seeming to say, "bring it on."  There are many reported techniques that work - some better than ...

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Our Landscaping Project – Part 1

Some of you may know that we bought the house we live in a couple of years ago.  It took almost a year to renovate, and we finally moved in last April.  Now that we've been living in the house for a year - and tackling indoor projects as well as building the raised bed garden, it has come time to give some much needed attention to the outside of the house - namely the front and back yards. 

We have been scheming and planning for awhile now, and interviewing contractors.  We found a great landscape designer who could ...

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…3 Potato

It's harvest time for potatoes.  For those of you who missed the previous entry about our potato growing project this year, click here to read all about it.  We continue here with part 2: potato harvesting.

It begins with a glance.  Just as one tries to avoid looking at roadkill while driving along the highway, a gardener tries to avert her eyes from dying potato foliage in the garden.  The anticipation is too great.  The promise of comfort food is too palpable to stave off the desire to investigate withering branches.  "Just a little longer," we say to ourselves, trying to ...

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Re-purposing a Lawn

Last week something happened to Sandy Young's front lawn.  It got smaller.  Or rather, part of it became a vegetable garden. 

Sandy had been wanting to decrease her carbon footprint for awhile and decided that she could save some gas money driving to and from the grocery store (even though she already drives a Prius) by growing vegetables on her front lawn.  She had been entertaining the idea of ripping out part of her lawn, and after taking a class from the Gardenerd Organic Gardening Series, she decided to put what she learned into practice.  

Sandy is a do-it-yourself kind of woman. She already ...

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Building a Compost Sifter

Back in the middle of winter, we purchased a subsidized compost bin from the City of Los Angeles.  Our Bio Stack has been hard at work in the back yard, thanks to my husband's new fascination with composting.  When I say fascination, I mean obsession.  He's become obsessed with adding kitchen waste and yard trimmings to the compost bin at any opportunity.  Forget about waiting until there's enough for a layer of green or brown.  Anytime the kitchen waste bucket is half-full, it's "time to feed the compost bin".  It's cute actually.  My husband has never really been ...

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