White powder on avocado branches

White powder on avocado branches

Is it a disease? Is it a beetle boring into the tree? It looks scary when your avocado branches have volcanoes or streaks of white powder on them. What is that white stuff? It is the dried sap. When a branch is injured in some way, the sap runs just like your blood...
Dealing with squirrels in a food garden

Dealing with squirrels in a food garden

When we moved into our house six summers ago, no one had lived here for a few months, and squirrels dominated the yard. The boulder in front of the house (pictured above) had oranges filling its crack. I soon learned that this was the squirrels’ stash. Over the course...
Managing rabbits in the garden

Managing rabbits in the garden

Five Octobers ago I planted 24 seedlings of broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and brussels sprouts. By mid-November only two hadn’t been eaten down to stems by rabbits. This was my first fall in a new garden and I hadn’t known how much those cute cottontails like...
Protecting fruit from birds

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...
The best gopher trap: it’s a Cinch

The best gopher trap: it’s a Cinch

In my yard, the most damaging, relentless, and challenging pest to control has been gophers. Birds peck plums and squirrels may steal plums, but a gopher will kill a plum tree. While I haven’t lost any plum trees to gophers, I’ve lost other fruit trees and innumerable...
Eating the rabbits that eat my garden

Eating the rabbits that eat my garden

I shot the second rabbit, but not as cleanly as Chance had shot the first one. It was bleeding on the driveway next to the passion fruit vine and the vegetable garden, from which it had occasionally dined, and I felt terrible. Chance felt bad too, which is why he is...
Chickens eat bugs in the garden

Chickens eat bugs in the garden

Joel Salatin advises that you wake up every morning aiming to attack the weak link on your farm. That could be soil fertility, irrigation, labor efficiency, anything. The weak link in our yard has been — for a couple years now — a proliferation of earwigs...

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