Gardening Tips

Boysenberries (by Bill Bamberger)

San Diego's Kensington and Talmadge communities provide an excellent climate for growing boysenberries. Winter is a good time to buy bare root plants, available at many area nurseries and home centers. Boysenberries grow rapidly in our climate, producing a profusion of berries in May and June. The tart-tasting berries are perfect for pies and jams.

Growing Better Veggies (by Harriet Fukuda)

I am always trying different things to increase the yield in my vegetable garden.  Since I garden organically, I concentrate on building up the soil every chance I get in the portion of my yard that I use for vegetables.  Last year, I tried something new:  worm castings.  I used worm castings mixed with the usual compost to prepare the ground where I planted half of my tomatoes; half had only compost.  I also added organic fertilizer to both.  The tomatoes where I had used worm castings were gigantic, with tons of fruit.  The yield was much higher than for those grown with compost and fertilizer only.

Worm casting are available at Walter Anderson nursery, about $17 for 20 dry quarts (.7 cu ft).

Watering Geraniums (San Diego Geranium Society)

Water geraniums thoroughly when the soil is fairly, but not completely, dry. It is better to give one or two good waterings a week than a little every day. Pots should be given enough water to run out the bottom, and then no more until the soil becomes dry again on the surface.

Saving Your Favorite Tomato Seeds for Next Season? (Submitted by Kay Quijada)

When harvesting tomato seeds for next year, allow the tomato to rot before harvesting the seeds. The rotting process produces a mild acetic acid which sterilizes the seeds.

Source: Professor of Agricultural Plant Pathology, UC Berkeley, August 2004