Scale – Not the Weighing Kind

A question came in this week about scale:

"I have two large tree mallows (grown as shrubs) with a very heavy scale infestation. A local nursery recommends using a petroleum oil spray. Is there another effective, greener solution?"

Yes, I can definitely suggest an alternative to petroleum sprays, but first - a little understanding about what scale is:

Scale is an insect, but it looks and behaves more like a mollusk. There are soft ...

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15-year old Strawberry Pie

Have you ever had a recipe lying around that you keep for years, just knowing that someday you'll make it?  Year after year, I've flipped through my binder of torn-out recipes from magazines that I've collected over time. My eyes have landed on this one page a hundred times, and each time I've promised myself I'll make it. This week I finally made good on that promise - 15 years later.


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Quick Garden Refresher

Have you ever planted mint, thinking that it would be a nice addition to your vegetable or herb garden, only to find that in no time at all it had taken over your garden and choked out your veggies?  Well that's what happened to Joan Wilner in Beverly Hills. She called me up to rescue her waning vegetable garden from the claws of the overwhelming mint patch a couple of weeks ago.


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Spring Green Expo 2010

Summer is nearly here and the rain barrels are running dry. What will you do this summer to conserve water in your garden and home?  Well, come to the Metropolitan Water District's Spring Green Expo 2010 to find out ways to conserve not only water, but energy and time as well. Gardenerd will be hosting a booth, so bring your gardening questions and get them answered.

I will ...

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Kumquats R Us

Let it be known that the kumquats are here. Lots of them. More than we know what to do with.

We planted a kumquat tree as an appetite suppressant for my husband. During "snack attack" moments, instead of opening the refrigerator, he wanders out to the front yard and eats a few kumquats. (He also drinks grapefruit juice for the same reason). The flavor is so powerful - that combination of tart and sweet - that he desires nothing for several hours after ...

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Woolly School Gardens Needs Your Vote!

Yes, Woolly School Gardens needs your vote, and I'll tell you about that in just a minute, but first a little story:

On Tuesday, June 1st, I had the opportunity to help install two Woolly School Gardens at two neighboring schools in downtown Los Angeles. Together with a team of Woolly gardeners, we filled Pockets with soil and planted food gardens for students to enjoy. We planted herbs like sage, chives (which some of the kids pronounced chee-vess), thyme, basil, rosemary and ...

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Testing Sunlight

Here's a recent question that came in last week:

"I have lots of shade but some sun in my front yard. Combination of city trees, large bushes I don't want to part with etc. I seem to remember a device that one can put in a spot to determine the amount of sun it gets per day. I want to try to incorporate veggies into the landscape and this would help tell me where. Do you know where I might find this and ...

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Quicker Compost

Here's a question that came in last week:

"How can I speed up composting without spending a lot of money. Cover it with a tarp?  Helga"

Hi Helga,

There are a few things you can do to try and speed up your compost production, and none of them cost money: 

The first is to build a bigger pile - at least 3 x ...

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Paying Your Gardening Skills Forward – by guest blogger Greg Holdsworth

Awhile ago, when I referenced a really cool article about using household supplies in your garden, I heard from the author himself, Greg Holdsworth of Plano, Texas. Since then we've been trading emails and sharing cool garden stuff. I asked Greg to be a guest blogger some day and he just sent me his latest publication.  He's got some really good ideas to share here. Take ...

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