Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

November, 2010
Regional Report


Gardening with Conifers by Adrian Bloom (ISBN 1-55209-633-5) is a complete, illustrated guide to coniferous trees and shrubs that are available to the North American gardener.
Conifers are versatile shrubs that hold a strong presence in our gardens. Planted and selected correctly, they can be the backbone of a well designed garden. The plants range in style from weeping, dwarf, formal or ground hugging. No other family of plants is as versatile as the conifer. Think of the amazingly long-lived bristlecone pines and you will begin to understand how hardy these plants are.
This book details size and growth rates, site and soil preferences, tips on pruning, pests and diseases and provides instruction for growing conifers in containers. 192 pages, illustrated with index and glossary.

Clever Gardening Technique

Favorite Deer Repellent
Deer are moving down from the hills in search of water and food. If you live in a rural area, you may experience the "amazing disappearing garden trick" unless you come up with a plan to deter hungry deer from foraging in your yard. My friend Thais Powers swore by this recipe for home-made deer repellent;
One egg - beaten
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon oil
1 teaspoon liquid soap
hot chili peppers*
1 quart water
Mix ingredients in a blender, strain through cheesecloth, store in the refrigerator. Apply by pouring the mixture into a sprayer and misting susceptible plants frequently, especially after a rain or irrigation.

*(The amount of chili peppers depends on the variety. If you use habenero, you only need one and should wear gloves. I use the dried red chilies you buy at the market and toss in a handful. Ground chilies that you get at the pizza parlor work just as well. I would use 5 or 7 small packets or about 1/4 - 1/2 cup.)


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