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Corn and Cover Crops

August 19th, 2009

Much of the garden summer crop is now in full bloom, including the colorful variety triple play corn that we are featuring this season. Because corn depletes a high amount of nutrients from soil, it is a good idea to rotate a cover crop into your garden – the cover crop is an organic way to replenish nitrogen.

Here you can see our gardeners discussing plans for the fall; they are going to plant red clover after the corn has been harvested. Red clover is an extremely effective cover crop and also yields lovely scarlet flowers!

Pictured here is the triple play corn. This variety of corn is mainly used for decorative purposes, although it can be eaten if picked early when the corn is still white and sweet.
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Quick How-to Compost Video

August 17th, 2009
Check out this super easy way of creating a compost bin in your backyard! We found this video on Sunset Magazine’s website, its less than two minutes in length and totally worth it. Compost is just decomposed organic matter at its various states and can be used as fertilizer or mulch because it will return nutrients to the soil. This then saves you money because you dont have to buy fertilizer or nearly as many trash bags since you can throw most of your kitchen waste into your compost. All in all, compost is good for your wallet and for your garden– who doesnt love that!
Stay tuned after the first video is over and learn how to make an inexpensive, efficient compost bin out of chicken wire!

Sign up for the UC Davis Good Life Garden newsletter on the home page of our website for up-to-date information on all the “Growings-On” in our garden!

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Beautiful gardens, less water

August 13th, 2009

We love the Sacramento Master Gardeners’ website; especially the Fair Oaks Horticulture Center’s water-efficient landscape garden. Check out photos of the beautiful space that incorporates not only water-efficient plants, but also drip irrigation, swales to capture water, and permeable concrete walks and patios.

The Horticulture Center has two more workshops this year – including one about composting and an open garden day that will also include information about water conservation. Check the schedule here.

The website also has an extensive list of garden-related sites. A great resource!

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Must Have Garden!

August 11th, 2009

Are you interested in growing your own vegetable garden, but do you not have space in your yard? The Experimental College at UC Davis has the solution – they rent 200 square foot plots for just $25 per year. The rental fee includes water, tools, mulch, manure, and gardening advice, and renters can even plant perennials such as fruit and nut trees. Gardeners can also do volunteer work around the garden or at the Davis Farmer’s Market to earn credit toward the rent on their plots.

Visit the Experimental College Garden website for more information about rentals and how to apply.

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Garden Pollination Guide

August 11th, 2009

Done all the reading you can on good gardening practices and still can’t get your garden to go from the ground to your table? Take five mintues to read this article put out by Vera Stader, UC Davis Master Gardener from Tuolumne County, which talks about the importance of pollination–another one of those topics not always considered when planting a garden. Her tips might just give your garden some life.
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UC Davis Researchers Prove Fresh Fruit in the Fridge Keeps Longer

August 4th, 2009

See this video, orginially on the HowStuffWorks’ website, about how UC Davis researchers prove that fresh fruit can last up to nine days longer and not lose any of its nutritional value when stored in the fridge!

Sign up for the UC Davis Good Life Garden newsletter on the home page of our website for up-to-date information on all the “Growings-On” in our garden!

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Apple Tree Trellis

August 4th, 2009

It is possible to have an orchard of fruit trees in your backyard if you keep the trees small. At the UC Davis Good Life Garden we trained a Fuji apple tree to grow on a trellis. See the photo to the left.

Here is a how-to link with information on developing your own trellis support system for apple trees.

Our fruit tree was donated by a local nursery, Dave Wilson Nursery. Check out their website for a veritable plethora of information for home gardeners interested in growing backyard orchards.

Sign up for the UC Davis Good Life Garden newsletter on the home page of our website for up-to-date information on all the “Growings-On” in our garden!


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