What’s the best kind of avocado to grow?

This question is unanswerable in an absolute sense. For who has tasted, let alone grown, every kind of avocado? Certainly not me.  But I'm game to attack it with a more fun and more practical twist. I'm imagining that I just moved into a new house with a blank yard ....

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Rain is coming! How do I garden?

I get frantic when rain is forecast. Southern California doesn’t get rain often, so I really feel the need to take advantage of each event. Rain provides ideal conditions for certain garden tasks. Some are best done just before the rain starts, some during the...

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The Quetzal and the Wild Avocado

Our guide through the Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve in the highlands of Costa Rica had just picked up a fallen orchid to show us when we heard a whistle. He put the orchid down and started walking briskly toward the whistle. We followed. He turned back to...

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The sucker frost

Both my plants and I got suckered by this week’s frost. I had gone up to Oregon and Washington, not thinking any plants in my yard would need protection while I was gone. It was snowing up north, and I thought of returning to Southern California as returning to...

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Don’t judge a tree by its first fruit

My Pixie mandarin tree is carrying its first fruit, which look pitiful. They’re small, warped. If I didn’t know better, I’d say Pixie mandarins are no good, and I’d replace it with a different mandarin. Luckily, I've had fruit off of mature Pixie trees. They're...

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Master Gardener Spring Seminar, San Diego

You are invited! Each spring, the Master Gardener program of San Diego County holds a day of classes and workshops, plus a marketplace. This year's Spring Seminar is called "Garden Spaces: Growing Outside the Box." It will be held on March 17, 2018 at the San Diego...

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Pruning avocado trees

I call this tree the Japanese Fuerte. I’d seen many pruned avocado trees, I’d pruned many avocado trees, and I’d read much about others’ pruning of avocado trees, but I’d never encountered an old tree that had been so consistently and artfully molded to a shape and...

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Should you prune a bare-root fruit tree?

Whether or not you should prune a bare-root fruit tree depends on two things: One, what the tree looks like when you buy it. And two, what you want the tree to look like when it's all grown up. This being mid-January, heart of bare-root season in Southern California,...

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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 morning.

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My book

My first garden was in Lesotho, Africa. I invite you to have a look at the book I wrote about the years I lived there: