Author Archives: Nadia Zane

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 Native Plant Society.

Managing Weeds Without Herbicides

Weeds. What would spring be without them? For some, weed-pulling is calming and meditative. For others, it is a loathsome task leading to feelings of anger, frustration, and orneriness. How can we maintain a weed-free garden and our mental health? Like illness in the human body, weeds are often a sign that something has gone [...]

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Worms Turn Food Waste Into Garden Gold

One of the best ways to improve your soil and plant health is to apply compost, which is decomposed organic matter full of beneficial microbes. However, managing a pile takes time, space, a strong back, and the right kinds of organic materials to achieve the characterstics of quality compost. For those of you living on [...]

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Why Soil is Better Than Dirt

  We’ve all heard the words “soil” and “dirt,” but what’s the difference? Both have the same basic components: particles of sand, silt, clay, and organic matter. The difference lies in how they function: dirt is where we stick our plants and dump water, fertilizers, and pesticides in the hopes of keeping plants alive; it [...]

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Diagnosing Plant Problems Is Key to Success

Every gardener encounters problems at some point. Nature is our host, greeting gardeners’ hubris with humble pie served by drought, disease, and pest invasions. In the old days one could blame ignorance for missteps in managing pests and diseases; fortunately, our increased understanding of nature’s rules has allowed us to move beyond “spray and pray” [...]

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Irrigation 101: Back to Basics

Few elements surpass water on your plants’ list of requirements. While some plants aren’t terribly picky about their watering schedule, some are more exacting and dislike irrational irrigation choices. The added complications of drought and water restrictions are enough to make your head spin. Can’t we simplify and pop outside to water whenever there’s nothing [...]

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Improving Soil Health With Cover Crops

Cover crops are plants grown for the direct benefit of the soil rather than human consumption. They were known in ancient China and India and have been standard practice in many agricultural regions of the world, including colonial America. This changed in the 1940s when our WWII infrastructure was redirected toward the production of fertilizers, [...]

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Indoor Plants Help Clean the Air

Many people are drawn to the aroma of a new car, a recently varnished cabinet in all its unscratched glory, or “spring fresh”- scented cleaners. We may revel in newness and hygiene, but the smells associated with “fresh and clean” are often due to toxins in a variety of household products. When released into the [...]

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Tune In To Radio Show For Great Garden Tips

  Finding garden advice is easy, but scientific research has raised awareness of our impact on the environment, challenging many traditional practices. Accessing and interpreting this information can be difficult; one place to go is the airwaves, where you can listen to California native and long-time gardener Fred Hoffman, known to many as radio personality “Farmer [...]

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Managing Leaffooted Plant Bugs in Your Garden

The garden’s bounty is in full swing, offering humans and insect pests a full buffet of goodies to munch on. One such pest of the Leaffooted Plant Bug (LPB), an insect related to the stink bug and lover of both edible and ornamental garden plants. While most veggies and fruit can handle light feeding by [...]

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Nectar Guides: How Bees Find Food

Humans love flowers because of their beautiful colors, intriguing shapes, or lovely fragrance. From the plant’s perspective, however, these qualities are more about function than aesthetics. Plants dependent upon pollinators such as bees must make themselves attractive; insects dependent upon plants for nectar or pollen must be attracted to their source. This last point seems [...]

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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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