An Alameda Garden

Sunday, January 17, 2016

What to Do in the Garden in January

I always feel like January is like a reboot of the garden. Time to wipe away whatever didn't work last year or what you may be tired of this year and start fresh. El Nino rains are helping to ease the effects of the drought but they may also be presenting challenges of their own. Let's get busy planning, planting, pruning and more to make this our best garden year!


  • This it the time to think about what you want to accomplish in your garden this year. What problem do you want to solve? What new feature would you like to add? What new plant would you like to try growing? Then take stock of how your garden looks right now--winter is a great time to really see the bones of your garden--and make a plan for how you're going to move closer to having the garden of your dreams.
  • If you're going to be growing from seed, you should be reviewing seed catalogs and putting in your orders. But before you order, maybe you better sort through the stock of seeds you already have. Toss out the seed packs that are too old and test the viability of those that are of a questionable age.
  • If you still have a lawn, this is a good time to clean and tune-up your lawn mower.
  • Shop your local nurseries or mail-order nurseries for bare-root roses and trees.
  • Are you seeing areas of soil erosion? Make a note to address these spots by planting groundcovers or taking other action in the spring.

Thursday, January 07, 2016

Gardening Flow Chart

To get your gardening year started:

H/T: Coffee for Roses

Monday, November 09, 2015

Books on Sale

There's a great sale going on this week at the bookshop at Quarto (the parent company of my publisher, Cool Springs Press). You can get California Fruit and Vegetable Gardening for $18.39 (down from the regular price of $22.99) and California Month-by-Month Gardening for $19.99 (regular price $24.99). Plus you can enter the promo code VETS15 to save an additional 30%. Plus, there's free shipping on orders of $50 or more. Lots of other books are on sale so it might be a great time to do some early Christmas shopping! (Promo code expires 11/16/2015.)

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Talking About Fall Edibles

I had big fun this afternoon at Orchard Nursery in Lafayette picking out edibles for my talk this Saturday morning--like a kid in a candy store! What a great nursery this is! I can't believe I haven't been here before. If you're in the area, please join us on Saturday!

Topic: The Best Edibles for Fall and Winter
When: Saturday, October 17, 10:00 a.m.
Where: Orchard Nursery, 4010 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette, CA

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Ohuhu Expandable Garden Hose: Product Review

Who's tired of lugging around heavy rubber hoses to water the garden? I know I am! I've been trying out the Ohuhu expandable garden hose the last few months and you can read my review of it at

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

What to Do in the Garden in October

With any luck, El Nino rains will start kicking in in another month or so, but it's likely we have at least one more month of dry, dry, dry. For October, let's focus on cleaning up and preparing for the hoped-for rainy season as well as beginning the first plantings for next spring.


  • Your soil may be pretty tired after a productive summer. This is a good time to run a soil test to see what, if any, nutrients are lacking.
  • Make sure your garden is ready for whatever amount of rainfall and winter storms El Nino may bring. That means clearing debris, removing dead or damaged branches, and securing or protecting garden furniture and ornaments.
  • Update your garden journal or make notes on your calendar regarding what worked and what didn't work in your summer garden. You'll be glad next year to have these reminders so you can adjust your garden plans and avoid repeating mistakes.

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