How to Remove Bees From a Tree

...er decided to cut down himself appeared to have codominant stems. This probably caused a crack leading to disease which, in turn, led to a cavity to form. Perfect habitat for bees! This was entirely preventable with judicious pruning. Leave the bees alone. If they are way up in the tree and not bothering anyone, take a chill pill. Hire a beekeeper to remove the hive. What Kirk has done with tree hives is to come at night when all the bees are in...

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How to Plant a Fruit Tree

It’s bare root fruit tree planting season here in California and this video, from the Dave Wilson Nursery, shows you how to plant your trees once they arrive in the mail. One quibble–it’s been proven to be not a good idea to amend soil when you’re planting a tree. Other than that, this is how we’ve planted our trees and they’ve all grown well. And I wish that I had done the radical pruning you see at the end...

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Loquat season is here!

...vergreen trees with thick, glossy leaves that remind me of citrus leaves and magnolia leaves and avocado leaves all at the same time, meaning it’s vaguely tropical looking. They don’t seem to require much water or pruning–so they do well under benign neglect, though I’d suspect the fruit is best on trees which are not completely ignored.  This is the time of year when the fruit comes ripe, and it’s always kind of an...

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Is Urban Homesteading Over With?

...growing dissatisfaction with our industrial agriculture system. Gardening It seems that searches for gardening of all kinds–I tried “vegetable gardening,” “vegetable seeds,” “rose pruning” and “lawn care,” are down. I think this may reflect a demographic shift–an older generation dying off. We need to get young people gardening! Bread Baking No wonder I can’t seem to o...

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Accidental Garden Design: Pomegranate and Prickly Pear

...l’) against our overgrown prickly pear cactus (Opuntia ficus-indica). These two plants have a lot in common. They both produce abundant and nutritious food in a dry climate with little or no attention other than yearly pruning. They combine beauty and free produce with no work. Both are rich in symbolism. I could go on, but the photo says all that needs to be said....

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The Pinnacle of Permaculture: Tending the Wild

...to-mouth sort of way. Tending the Wild, a highly readable dissertation, takes this mythology apart. Anderson’s argument is that the native people of California were active stewards of the land. “Through coppicing, pruning, harrowing, sowing, weeding, burning, digging, thinning, and selective harvesting, they encouraged desired characteristics of individual plants, increased populations of useful plants, and altered the structures and...

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Vertical Vegetables

...le garden strategies where that $1,000 would go a lot further. How about simply favoring fruits and vegetables that either grow vertically naturally, say pole beans, grapes, peas or kiwi or that can be convinced with a bit of pruning to go vertical, such as tomatoes, melons and winter squash? Mel Bartholomew has some nice vertical gardening tips in his classic book Square Foot Gardening: Grow More in Less Space! . Build some raised beds next to a...

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More Medlar Mania

...– 20 miles inland from the coast. If you have an existing pear tree you may want to graft medlar onto that so you don’t have to plant a whole tree to see if they will do well in your area. Make sure you sterilize pruning tools and grafting knives between cuts and do not share infected scion wood. This will help to control fire blight. If it does develop cut it out a couple of inches down into non-infected wood before it takes further...

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