Articles & Blogs

BEYOND ALOE VERA

December 1, 2020

My fascination with Aloes began during visits to the San Diego Zoo with my grandchildren. Most of you know that both the San Diego Zoo and the Zoo Safari are homes to collections of plants as well as animals. I was drawn to the variety of colors and sizes I saw. I have since learned that the 600 species that exist range in size from a few inches to 20-foot Aloe trees. Their sensitivity to frost limits garden usage to frost-free zones. However, for those of you in locations prone to frost, many can be grown in containers so you can move them to safety when frost is predicted. An option for those grown in the ground is to cover them with a large plastic container that is higher and wider than the aloe or with a sheet or blanket. Entrepreneurs are now even offering ‘plant blankets’. It is important ... Read More

No Holiday Reindeer On This Roof

December 1, 2020

In Downtown Fallbrook, facing Mission Road, many pass a special green roof-top garden, and hardly ever take notice. This eco-roof belongs to everyone and it’s planted atop the town’s Library! It’s actually the first ever innovative and award-winning rooftop garden constructed in the San Diego Library system! The Fallbrook Woman’s Club, originally named The Saturday Afternoon Club, helped to establish the San Diego branch Fallbrook Library in 1913. It opened with only 250 books and occupied a small corner of Hardy’s Drugstore. The public was eager to withdraw books and did so in amazing numbers. There was truly a need for a library. Since then, the Library has moved a total of eight times and has undergone many changes, including an arson fire in 1985 that completely destroyed the building and its contents. The present day location boasts a state-of-the-art building. The architect designer described it as a modern “Fallbrook ... Read More

CATTAILS ON THE FALL MENU?

October 30, 2020

Pandemics, politics, protests, and then there’s ponds. Making it a point each day to pass a certain pond to pause and reflect seems to drive all negativity from the other P-words away. The view there changes daily. The color of the water, the wildlife it brings, and the beautiful plants growing in and around its perimeter are new with each visit. This may be a strange way of introducing you to one certain swordlike perennial plant that can be found there. But I have to set the scene. Right? It’s the cattail. Typha latifolia, also known as bulrush, reedmace, and corndog grass, is spread by rhizomes underwater and is not actually a true grass. Each of the tall slender leaves wraps around the main stem underwater or under the soil. They too spread from the rhizomes. Found in ponds or marshes, it’s considered an herbal plant because every part is ... Read More

Crop Rotation in a Home Vegetable Garden

October 30, 2020

In a home vegetable garden, crop rotation involves changing the planting location of vegetables within the garden each season. Crop rotation is used to reduce damage from insect pests and to limit the development of vegetable diseases by interrupting pest and disease cycles. Crop rotation also helps manage soil fertility by returning nutrients to the soil without synthetic inputs. Although crop rotation is usually geared toward large conventional farms, the lessons are the same for the home vegetable garden. As many large commercial farms plant the same crop, year after year, more chemical fertilizer, insecticide, fungicide, spectracide, and herbicides are needed. This will happen in the home garden as well. A three-year cycle can be used, but even this can become complicated for those with limited planting areas, so moving your plants even a few feet from where they were last season will be beneficial for the plant's health. A ... Read More