The Scary World of Garden Sculpture

...8217;t tell. Perfect for an age of “zombie” banks–a zombie for your garden. Also seen in the Sky Mall catalog, a favorite shopping resource for zombies. Stick this on one of your trees and you’ll soon find hair sprouting on the tops of your feet. Depicting smiles is always a tricky one in the world of sculpture. At least you get a stand with this masterpiece. You could argue that greys are the malevolent ele...

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Laundry to Landscape 2.0

...for you). The calculator basically gives a range of outlet sizes and numbers so that you can get an even flow to the outlets but not risk burning out the washing machine’s pump. With nine outlets Ludwig suggests a 3/8-inch hole. We simply drilled 3/8-inch holes in the bottom of the PVC pipe that we ran out into the garden. The outlets flow into mini-mulch basins along the side of some perennial shrubs and a few small fruit trees. Altogeth...

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Pop Quiz Answer: Pineapple Guava

...eapple guava has pretty silver grey foliage, evergreen foliage, as I said, so can make a really nice addition to the landscape. I’ve heard of folks planting them in rows to form a hedge. It’s a great plant for small spaces. The fruit forms late in the year, which is also nice, since so few other fruit trees bear so late. But yes, I’m sorry, like so many things we mention here it is plant that prefers a warm climate. It’s h...

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The Pinnacle of Permaculture: Tending the Wild

Book review: Tending the Wild: Native American Knowledge and the Management of California’s Natural Resources by M. Kat Anderson, University of California Press, 2006 When the white man came to California, he found a verdant paradise: meadows thick with wildflowers and clover, stately groves of nut trees, abundant, healthy game and rivers full of fish. It was a land of endless bounty. The natives, often derogatorily called “Diggers...

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Spigarello: Nature’s way of saying that broccoli is so over

...oli sprouts. Or a cross between broccoli and kale. Let’s just put it this way–I fell in love with it the first time I took a bite of it a Winnetka Farms. The texture of the leaves is sturdy but tender. It’s very easy to grow. If you don’t give in to temptation and eat it prematurely, each seedling will grow into a big, sturdy plant. I think of them as broccoli trees. You harvest the leaves as you need them, leaving the pla...

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Avocados

...! Avocados like a thick layer (6 to 12 inches) of course mulch. Once you mulch you have to keep mulching because the shallow roots of avocado trees will often grow up into the mulch. Avocados like a well drained soil and won’t tolerate wet feet. So if you dig a hole and fill it with water and that water sticks around for a day, plant something else. Avocados use a lot of zinc and may need supplemental applications of zinc sulfate placed in...

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Greywater Precautions

Before we continue our greywater series, we have a few precautions to lay down. The dangers of greywater have been exaggerated in the past and it’s important to remember that nobody in the US has ever gotten sick from exposure to greywater. The plumbing codes in this country are overly cautious in their restrictions on greywater use, as the Man, quite simply, wants you to throw perfectly good water down the sewer. On the other hand, a lot...

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Sunflowers and Squirrels

...he used the adjacent tomato cage for extra leverage. Maybe this bag worked because the Whole Foods logo scared the squirrels away with the thought of high prices and angry Pruis drivers. I thought I had solved the problem by putting one of those ubiquitous and annoying cloth eco bags over the sunflower. Not even the City of LA logo on that eco bag scared them off. So what to do about the squirrels? Tight bird netting on fruit trees works bu...

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Showers to Flowers

...that the best greywater systems are the simplest, and involve the least amount of effort and maintenance. One of the easiest and more permanent greywater solutions is simply rerouting your shower straight out a pipe and into the garden. Here’s how to do it: 1. Confirm that your shower is higher than the point you are watering. The minimum fall for waste pipes is 1/4 inch per foot — any less and you’ll risk a backup. 2. Cut the w...

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All Politics Are Local

...d our immediate environment: our household, our block, our school district, our city. All politics are local and the good thing about local politics is that you can make a difference. For instance you can: start a community or school garden volunteer to teach gardening or food preservation plant trees build neighborhood resilience and tolerance create bike lanes and walking paths legalize backyard poultry and bees Not that these local goals are...

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