Author Archives: Lee Miller

Some of the good fungus among our plants

On January 13 National Public Radio presented a segment on forests investigations by Suzanne Simard, a forestry ecologist, who worked out how trees in the forest can communicate and share resources by use of underground connections via fungi mycelium. It was very fascinating and the presentation is on TED  http://www.npr.org/2017/01/13/509350471/how-do-trees-collaborate.  One has to wonder if [...]

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Time for seed searching.

A newspaper mulch for onions keeps winter weeds at bay. Lee Miller photo

These past few days the plant and seed catalogues are starting to arrive to remind us that spring is just around the corner. With all the rain lately it is not timely to be in the garden. Walking on wet soil can cause soil compaction, so it is a good time to stay inside. That [...]

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Is a greenhouse in your gardening future?

My greenhouse constructed mostly of salvaged materials.

It will soon be time to start seeds in my greenhouse. I built the greenhouse from material that I scrounged over several years and finally got around to putting it all together about 10 years ago. I have enjoyed my greenhouse so much that I wish that I had built it much sooner. There is [...]

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Please no crepe murders

Crepe myrtles are best left natural or pruned correctly

Winter is almost here and time to dormant prune ornamentals, roses and fruit trees. I am disturbed to see how some people despoil crepe myrtles (Lagerstroemia indica) when they prune them. The pruning technique used is called pollarding and it is defined as a tree cut back nearly to the trunk, so as to produce a [...]

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Water Water, oh if it were only everywhere

A 1000 gallon tank used to water spring greenhouse plantings

The rainy season is here and it is a good time to think about conserving and saving whatever befalls us this season. NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center gives a 70 percent chance of La nina conditions to develop this fall and a 55 percent chance that it will persist through the winter. La nina conditions are [...]

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Be a joiner to enjoy better gardening experiences.

Several years ago, after I had retired, I read a notice in the Linden newspaper that there would be a presentation on ‘Pruning Camellias’ at the local garden club meeting in Linden. I went because I wanted to learn how to prune Camellias. I learned much from expert, Harry Dedini, on pruning Camellias and he [...]

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Autumn garden chore time is here

An enjoyable chore-cutting Dahlia bouquets. Lee Miller photo.

It is time for fall plantings of all kinds of vegetables. In August, I started lettuce, fennel and onion seeds in flats and I also direct seeded beets, collard greens, lettuce, fennel, turnips, kale, carrots and Kohlrabi. Bok choy and Chinese cabbage are other good fall vegetables. The broccoli, cauliflower and cabbages I had planted [...]

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What is Integrated Pest Management?

What is Integrated Pest Management? Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is an approach to prevent pests or manage pests in a less harmful manner than just reaching for a toxic chemical. It was developed by scientists in the 1970’s and the University of California program started in 1979. IPM helps homeowners, gardeners and farmers deal with [...]

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Garden for bounty and health.

Some of the bounty from my garden.

I grew up on a farm and have enjoyed both the outdoors and seeing things grow. As a kid, I would get home from school and take my dog for a hike in the 40 acres woodlot that was part of our farm. This early exposure to nature shaped my later life as an ecologist [...]

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Dispelling some garden Myths

The following is a description of common garden myths that gardeners can and should avoid. Drought tolerant plants don’t need water. Well, yes, they do need water in their first year until they become established which will encourage roots to go deep. Once established they become drought tolerant. When it comes to fertilizers and pesticides, [...]

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  • Blog Authors

    Lee Miller

    Lee Miller is a University of Delaware graduate and retired fisheries biologist, he gardens on 10 acres and makes wine each year with the help of a cadre of friends. However, his first love is gardening and he grows various fruit trees, heirloom ... Read Full

    Marcy Sousa

    Marcy Sousa is the San Joaquin County UC Master Gardener Program Coordinator. She is a Stockton native and enjoys teaching others about gardening. She has her bachelors from Stanislaus State in Permaculture. She has been with the program since 2007. Read Full

    Nadia Zane

    Nadia Zane is a UC Master Gardener, a landscape designer and Stockton native. She has a fondness for California native plants and sustainable landscaping, which she utilizes in her work for Native Beauty Garden Design. She is a member of the CA ... Read Full
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