Comment Archives: stories: Life + Outdoors: Down and Dirty

Re: “Going Natural

This is a very helpful article. The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) has a backyard certification program with tons of resources and incentives on their website to help wildlife by landscaping sustainably--just as Donna suggests in her very cool article. We are hoping that as many backyards, porches, balconies, school yards, the HSU campus, and our places of worship register their spaces as NWF Certified Wildlife Habitat by providing the 4 habitat requirements food, water, cover, and places to raise young and commit to gardening sustainably, so that Arcata can qualify as the fifth NWF Community Wildlife Habitat in California. Three of the four habitat requirements can be provided just by planting native plants! If you're interested in certifying, please visit NWF's website and click the links that lead you to their section "gardening for wildlife." Or if you're on Facebook visit, "Arcata Community Wildlife Habitat." Thanks, Donna, for providing inspiration and expertise to help us help wildlife from our homes.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by John Griffith on 01/08/2017 at 9:48 PM

Re: “Kicking Gophers and Moles to the Curb

The gopher sonic stakes along with a few gopher gas bombs did away with what seemed to be a family of gophers with a pretty extensive system that originated on the golf course that my back yard borders. Within 2 days at maximum I have been gopher free for about 9 months now and just today I helped my neighbor put some in the ground surrounding his property. Results will be posted. Wish us luck

Posted by Henry Washington Jr. on 12/13/2016 at 3:43 PM

Re: “Lying Low in the Garden

An additional advantage to having low maintenance plants is that, if they are also native plants, they will give shelter to the wildlife you want in your garden -- birds, butterflies, pollinators. Donna designed our front garden and it is not only beautiful, but hospitable. Where our neighbors' pristine lawns stretch without expression around their homes, our variegated landscape is alive with birds rustling in the shrubbery, hummers zipping around like busy punctuation, and the air is often buzzing with bees. Many of the plants flower. so we have a festival of sensation: sight, sound, smell.

Posted by Alineglish on 11/10/2016 at 7:22 AM

Re: “Gardening Under the Redwoods

Thank you for this. I am about to move a little redwood volunteer to a permanent spot and needed guidance on what would thrive underneath it. I also like having a list of native plants I can look for as well.

Posted by Patricia K Barr on 06/20/2016 at 11:32 AM

Re: “Not Your Grandma's Marigolds

Correction! The photo caption on the single Tagetes erecta flower says "double." But it ain't.

Jeff Strehlow! yes i think they will do fine, but if you live in a cooler microclimate, maybe grow them in a pot?

Quicksilver! I did not know that about T. signata!!! Thank you!

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Heather Jo Flores on 04/22/2016 at 5:54 PM

Re: “Not Your Grandma's Marigolds

Hi Heather. I'm considering planting Mexican tarragon in the Eureka/Arcata area about 3 miles from the ocean. I'm wondering if it's warm enough here in the summers to get adequate growth. The average summer high is about 65 degrees fahrenheit .

Also, I'm wondering whether snails/slugs are an issue with this type of marigold. Thanks.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Jeff Strehlow on 04/22/2016 at 12:18 AM

Re: “Not Your Grandma's Marigolds

UC Davis IPM says this:

Nematode-suppressive Plants

Certain marigolds, Tagetes species, suppress root knot and lesion nematodes. French marigolds (varieties include Nemagold, Petite Blanc, Queen Sophia, and Tangerine) are most effective. Avoid signet marigolds, T. signata or tenuifolia, because nematodes will feed and reproduce on these. Marigolds don’t work well against the northern root knot nematode, Meloidogyne hapla, a species common in areas with cool winters. The effect of marigolds is greatest when you grow them as a solid planting for an entire season. When grown along with annual vegetables or beneath trees or vines (intercropping), nematode control usually isn’t very good. To prevent marigold seed from getting in the soil, cut or mow the plants before the flowers open. As with other cultural control methods, nematode populations rapidly will increase as soon as you grow susceptible crops again.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by quicksilver80 on 04/21/2016 at 11:15 PM

Re: “Beautiful Broccoli

Thank you Ms Flores. This article is very helpful. Broccoli is one of my favorite vegetables.

Posted by Jeff Strehlow on 04/06/2016 at 11:26 AM

Re: “Beautiful Broccoli

Broccoli should never be included in the human diet. See http://www.broccoli-info.info/

0 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Russell Eaton on 03/31/2016 at 3:05 PM

Re: “Beautiful Broccoli

How long does it take from planting to harvest?

Posted by jtimmons on 03/31/2016 at 10:44 AM

Re: “High-Value Veggies:

Excellent article. I don't think of my garden as an economic venture, rather as a sole source of tomatoes that taste like tomatoes. Since supermarket tomatoes are an abomination, I focus there.

Posted by Steve Rider on 03/03/2016 at 3:12 AM

Re: “To Bamboo or Not to Bamboo

Vina...I'm sorry and have to disagree on Heather Jo's knowledge, but I am sorry for your problems. Vina, it's not the plant, it's the humans not tending to it. All running bamboo in suburban situations must be planted in the confines of a properly installed bamboo barrier system. Simply mowing the shoots when they started coming into your yard would have done the trick. I have written on many of these threads and I am out in the open. You can contact me. People in your situation I offer no charge consultations, maybe I can help.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Anthony Poveromo on 02/22/2016 at 8:17 AM

Re: “To Bamboo or Not to Bamboo

What the article says is true! Our neighbor had a lovely pond with a small container of bamboo near our shared fence. They sold the house to a new couple who, for whatever reason, chose not to tend to the plants near the pond. That was 18 years ago. Today the bamboo runs the length of the fence (30 feet), under the fence and now well into our lawn. The root of a bamboo is just as tough as the bamboo itself. I used to dig and pull the roots cutting them with a good sharp set of clippers. Today, I am older and just don't have the energy to keep up with the digging. My only hope is to cut any green sprouts that come to the surface. I just don't know what I'll do when it starts to grow under the redwood deck. I would advise to NEVER put this plant in or near your yard. There are so many other choices out there. Choose one that will not turn into a nightmare.

Posted by Vina on 02/22/2016 at 6:45 AM

Re: “To Bamboo or Not to Bamboo

I planted four varieties of clumping bamboo eight years ago and am not having any problems with invasiveness. I have Chusquea curleou as a hedge to block sight of the next door property, plua a Himalayan blue bamboo, Alphonse Karr and a timber bamboo that struggled in one spot, moved it and seems to be getting going in light shade. Of course the "clumpers" spread, but there's absolutely no comparison to what a running bamboo wil do. Unbelievable that anyone who considers themselves qualified to write about gardening and plants would recommend "a super toxic herbicide" at all, much less first on the list.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Reynard on 02/20/2016 at 10:03 AM

Re: “To Bamboo or Not to Bamboo

Other than the last 2 paragraphs I find it hard to find fact here. I find Heather Jo Flores highly uninformed and making statements that are not true. People, before going to print, please, please check facts.

2 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Anthony Poveromo on 02/18/2016 at 10:26 AM

Re: “Medicinal Flowers

This year I planted Anaphalis Margaritacea, a.k.a. Pearly Everlasting. Somebody gave me a little plant in the fall, and it's spreading underground. I sent for seeds online but will wait until it's a little warmer to plant them. Tea made from it significantly reduces the symptoms of colds - and if I drink it as soon as I can tell I'm getting a cold, the cold doesn't happen. I'm not an herbalist, either, nor even a health nut. In fact, Pearly Everlasting is the only wild herb I believe in...

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by quicksilver80 on 01/21/2016 at 9:23 PM

Re: “Seed Saving Made Simple

Another good idea for tomatoe seeds is to spread them on a paper towel to dry.
Make sure to spread them out on the paper - not just on one clump.
Then store the piece of paper towel and plant it directly in the ground when ready next season.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Philip Krieg on 10/29/2015 at 7:22 PM

Re: “Wisdom of the Weeds

Build soil with..cardboard,kitchen scraps etc.& a good compost..let area sit for six months to yr.worms will love it....

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Bajan Braddo on 10/24/2015 at 11:09 AM

Re: “Wisdom of the Weeds

Or, test your soil. It's not expensive.

Some things wrong with this:

Bindweed grows in most local garden soil types.

The aggressive thistle weed species we get here occur primarily in low-tillage soil.

Vetch prefers slightly acidic soil and is well-adapted to high nitrogen content.

Some things right:

Yes, plant ryegrass and hairy vetch aka green manure.

Garden advice is nice and everything, but this stuff doesn't apply to our climate. Most of our soil problems are related to being too acidic and stripped of boron, not what kinds of weeds are growing. Getting a proper soil test will let one know accurately how to amend these issues.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Ian Ray on 08/11/2015 at 6:05 PM

Re: “Wisdom of the Weeds

What suggestion do you have for invasive bamboo (courtesy of my neighbor's water garden). It's roots are as dense as the bamboo itself and they spread under the ground and sprout up shoots everywhere.

Posted by Vina on 07/19/2015 at 9:31 AM

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