Do you know the leaves in your garden?

"Did you see any kitties in the backyard?" my mother-in-law asked my son. "No, they were hiding in the avocado tree," he said. They were. Only it wasn't an avocado tree. This was a backyard in Oregon. But the leaves of the tree were similar to those of an avocado. See...

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Where and how to buy good avocados

I’ve been buying avocados the last couple weeks. This is embarrassing because I have more than a dozen avocado trees growing in my yard. We have no fruit off our own trees at the moment due to a combination of some trees having an “off” year, plus the record-breaking...

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Using wood chips as mulch for fruit trees

Almost any mulch under a fruit tree is better than no mulch, but there are many ways in which wood chips are the best of mulches. Wood chips are what comes out of a chipper machine when a tree trimmer puts branches through it. Wood chips are bits of leaves, twigs,...

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Where to get wood chips for mulch

It had been about a year since I'd replenished the wood chips throughout my yard and the mulch was wearing thin. I was having trouble finding a convenient source. I started to get anxious. Then a couple weeks ago my neighbor offered a pile that had been sitting in his...

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Summer is on its last legs, I've bought my seeds for fall vegetables, but before we start talking about the next season let's look back and update some stories about the remarkable past winter and passing summer. Click the title links below and you'll find that at the...

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Protecting fruit from birds

Up until this summer I’d always shared with the birds. Their pecking the first ripe apricots was like a beacon showing me it was time to start picking. I almost appreciated it. And then they ate some nectarines and we ate some nectarines; there was plenty of...

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Growing bananas in Southern California

Among the first words out of my two year-old son’s mouth every morning are, “Can I have a banana?” He’ll eat five a day if allowed. So I’m hearing the call to get better about growing them in the yard. Here in Southern California? Can they really produce?   Good...

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Food gardeners are . . . different

I took this picture of a banana peel and an orange rind because they made me realize how weird I am, how weird we are as food gardeners. The banana peel and orange rind were lying on the floor mat of my truck; I was taking them home with me. There was a trash can in...

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I'm Greg. My goal is to help others grow some food at home, with a focus on vegetables and fruits -- especially avocados -- in Southern California. I write a new "Yard Post" every Friday.

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Get cool signs for fruit trees

Tree sign for Gwen avocado