Home gardening

We’re expanding into a new territory after moving. Our property comes with a garden and drip irrigation system, so I guess we’re going to start an organic garden. Tips on trying to organically keep away pests and vermin or any advice you can offer would be greatly appreciated. We’ve already made some progress by adding lime, Meyer lemon, pomegranate, and Pink Lady apple trees to the yard. Herb garden is in progress. Going to try to keep a select variety of lettuces and greens (kale, Swiss chard) and blueberry plants in addition to a line or two of grapes (one for eating and one for the winemaking coop in the neighborhood).


Good for you @attran99. I grew up with a garden as a kid in the 60s, and there is nothing like it. When we wanted a snack, just pulled fresh fruit off a tree. Or an avocado- with or without toast :joy:.

I’m in Laguna now with limited space, so I ordered a metal pig trough and mainly grow lettuces and tomatoes since we have salad every night. No pest problems after 5 years, but it is such a confined space and above ground.


Make a defensive line using cilantro, cilantro, and more cilantro. Bugs despise it.

Bigger vermin will need bigger deterrents. Puma piss works well (I shit you not), but it’s on the costly side.

Grow one or two hardy and fire-resistant pacay (Inga feuillei) plants for their fruit. Their shade will benefit neighboring plants which may prefer partial sun. More importantly, pacay is leguminous, and its rhizomes will fix nitrogen for the soil.


I wish that were true. Aphids love cilantro. On my balcony, anyway. Insecticidal soap is some help, but in a perfect world, I could rent ladybugs.

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We use Diatomaceous Earth Food Grade as a form of organic pest control.

Works wonders. And it’s cheap. You can buy it on Amazon.


Backyard chickens love that stuff too.

Humans as well.

I didn’t get any bugs on my cherry tomatoes this year, which I accidentally surrounded by a lot of basil plants that grew into a tall, happy, jungle. That may have kept the bugs away.

On the other side of the garden, my purple cherokees got a few worms, so I sprayed the heck out of them with this stuff. It took only one dose, and I didn’t see any more worms right through harvest.


My ‘garden’ is minimal but I do get aphids - none this year for some reason - and a blast from the garden hose takes care of them. But they’re sturdy plants.

Running a garden hose out to my balcony from the kitchen would be a lot of trouble. It’s also probably not a good idea to be spraying water around from the fifth floor. People walking below might object.

True :slight_smile: I wonder if a hairdryer set on cool might work.

I don’t know if you have slug/snail issues, but if so, I had good success using coco bean shells. They have sharp edges so they don’t like going over them, and as an added bonus, your yard will smell like chocolate for an afternoon

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Backyard Kyoho grapes are coming in. These are ridiculously sweet table grapes. So good…



That’s a stunning photo. I’ve thought for a few years about including tiles of good food photos in a kitchen backsplash.

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Thanks for the kind words.

My pleasure. Just look at the drops of water :slight_smile:

Jim Lahey has a great recipe for a pizza Bianca with grapes that would be amazing with those beauties.
If you have his no knead cookbook, it’s in there. If you don’t, PM me and I’ll copy it for you.

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Today’s harvest. Had to give one up to the dogs due to tree-borne pest. Hard to believe that we lived here for 3 years before we even knew we had a tree.


How big is your property that you didn’t know/?? What a treat. Our old Airedale Terrier, Gypsy, loved them but I’d only give her a slice or two.

Typical tract home. The tree is in the side yard with a very tall, narrow trunk between two palm trees. Plus it didn’t bear any fruit for the first few years. Imagine our surprise when the started falling out of the sky during heavy wind last year.