How To

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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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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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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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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Acidify Your Soil for Blueberries

Reposting of article from They have additional articles on this topic. Blueberries are known for their love of acidic soils, preferring a pH level of 4.8 to 5.5. If you’re discouraged from growing blueberries because of chalky or alkaline soil, take heart. Your soil can be altered both before and after planting to create and maintain the low pH …

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Growing from seed

In the dark, dark days of winter, you are visited by the sirens of seed catalogs. Instead of tropical beaches, you see lush produce. I used to use peat pots for the seedlings but now I use coconut coir pots. The Coir people make the case that peat is a relatively finite resource. Both peat and coir providers tell you …

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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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Growing in Containers

When you don’t have much ground soil, use containers.   A minimum container size is a gallon. The largest containers can grow a 10 foot tree. Smaller pots can easily be moved for better aethestics, better sunlight. Key issues for containers are water, drainage, and nutrients. 16×7 = 6 gallons 14×12 = 8 gallons

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