Think Twice before Installing a Fake Lawn

With our draconian water restrictions in place, many people are swapping out their front lawns for artificial grass. Hailed as a sustainable alternative to the traditional lawn, is it really? It’s true that you’ll reduce your water use, eliminate the need for fertilizers and pesticides, and no need for power tools to keep it looking …

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Reptiles, and Especially Lizards are Great Pest Controllers

Some of the BEST pest controllers you can have in your yard are reptiles.  Yes, those things that might slither past your feet on the patio are REALLY GOOD for the garden.  Lizards, skinks, toads, and snakes are all reptiles – cold-blooded animals that breathe with lungs, and have dry, scaly skin.  One of the …

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Look for this gorgeous spider in the garden

The black and yellow orb weaver spider is one of the most colorful in California gardens. The female is large (body often over an inch long) with the signature black abdomen with broad yellow bars. Hanging in the middle of their intricate web, they’ll patiently sit and wait for the vibrations of a flying insect …

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Get ready for National Lemon Meringue Pie Day

It’s almost National Lemon Meringue Pie Day, celebrated annually on August 15.  The holiday is dedicated to a pie that has been around since the late 18th century and through various points in American history was either an extremely popular pie or a pie that few people thought of making.  It’s a great way to …

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Watch out for invasives!

Some of the worst invasive plants in California, brooms and yellow starthistle, have caused substantial changes to California’s wildlands. The organism that causes sudden oak death was inadvertently introduced to California forests on nursery stock and is estimated to have killed more than 1 million oak and tanoak trees during the last decade. Insect-carried diseases …

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National Moth Week is July 17 – 25

Given their muted colors, their unjust reputation as just pests, and their night flying nature, most people fail to take notice of moths. Yet they outnumber butterflies, their nearest relative, by more than 10 to 1. And there are upward of 11,000 moth species in the United States alone — that’s more than all the …

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