How To

Bird Seed Feeders

another bird seed feeder with squirrels doves and finches

When you have a bird seed feeder, the birds drop a large volume on the ground: some of it are whole seeds, others are empty shells. The birds also leave a lot of bird droppings. A whole-seed Feeder with six openings

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Hummingbird Feeders

disk-shaped hummingbird feeder

I have tried several types of hummingbird feeders. The key issues are ease of cleaning and preventing other critters from interfering. Avoid feeders that have to be cleaned with special bottle-brushes. The disadvantages of the feeder below are: The small opening to the bottle requires bottle-brushes Larger birds like orioles pry off the yellow screens or just knock the whole …

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First Line of Defense – Plan Ahead

Garden planning using pencil and pad

You should start prevention of garden problems before a single seed is planted. Resist the temptation to just start digging. Instead, observe your garden. What parts receive sun and for how long? Where does water accumulate or drain?

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Second Line of Defense – Prevention Strategies

autumn leaves on ground

Most of the defensive actions discussed here are organic remedies for a host of diseases and animal pests. Plant Maintenance Avoid deep planting Water from below Water before noon Don’t work around or touch wet plants Don’t touch healthy plants after working with diseased plants Avoid high-nitrogren fertilizers Feed the soil with compost Mulch in spring and fall Control weeds …

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Dry Farming of Tomatoes

Early Girl is well suited to a technique known as “dry farming”. Researchers at the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems at the University of California, Santa Cruz, are among those who have described the technique: not watering tomatoes after transplanting, forcing the roots to grow deeper to seek out moisture, producing more “concentrated flavor,” and saving water. Dry-farmed …

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Submersible Pump

submersible pump 1200gph

When we decided to fill in the swimming pool in our backyard I had to first drain the pool. The Little Giant submersible pump worked well. It pumped at 1200 gallons per hour. It took 10 hours to drain the 12,000 gallon pool. I also used the pump during the torrential rains of 1995. The interior courtyard on the Bahl …

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Drainage for Pots

flooded pot

Each of your pots should have a drainage hole. If the hole gets clogged, your pot will retain all the water and drown your plants. See the featured image. Ignore the myth of placing gravel or broken pottery over the hole. It will just clog it up.

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Vegetable Planting Guide

planting chart

Use these warm and cool season vegetable charts at to decide when to plant your vegetables in Santa Clara County for best results, whether you are seeding into pots, transplanting as seedlings from pots into the ground, or seeding directly into the ground. Y stands for Yes, should work. N stands for No, not recommended. P stands for Possible, …

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Drought Tolerant Gardening

There are many great perennials and California-native plants that can beautify your yard for little water The whole Salvia genus Star jasmine Lantana Ceanthos

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