Gardening Tips

How to Build Monarch Butterfly Habitat in Tiny Garden Spaces - by Mary Sotelo, Alameda Backyard Growers Alameda Sun - Thursday, October 11, 2018 Sadly, the monarch butterfly population is declining. One of the primary reasons is the loss of open space where the monarchs’ host plants, milkweeds, grow. Alameda gardeners can help increase the monarchs’ numbers by building habitats in even the smallest of yards. Encourage monarchs to multiply by offering them food, drink, a place to stay and a milkweed patch where they can lay eggs. The first step Continue Reading
Tips to Create Gardens That Will Benefit Bees - by Alison Limoges Alameda Sun - Thursday, September 13, 2018 According to “The Super Bowl of Beekeeping” an article by Jaime Lowe in the Aug. 9, New York Times Magazine, “About one in every three mouthfuls of food we eat wouldn’t exist without bee pollination.” While local gardeners may not be feeding the world from here in Alameda, the Island City does have a farming history and it does host a lot of fruit trees. So providing pollen for bees, Continue Reading
Take the Food Waste Challenge On a Mission to Reduce Food Waste - by Linda Carloni, Alameda Backyard Growers Alameda Sun, Thursday, August 9, 2018 Summer is an especially wonderful time to enjoy fresh produce. Tomatoes, green beans, peaches and berries all beckon us to enjoy them. But fresh produce spoils more quickly than other food. So summer is a good time to talk about preventing food from going to waste. It’s hard to believe, but 40 percent of all food produced in the United States is wasted. We can do something to Continue Reading
Powdery mildew Powdery Mildew – Bane of Alameda Food Growers - by Linda Carloni, Alameda Backyard Growers Alameda Sun, Thursday, June 14, 2018 Powdery mildew may well win the race for “most common problem in Alameda food gardens.” Here’s what happens. It’s June or July, and the vegetable plants in the garden are getting big. They look lush and green and are starting to produce. But then the leaves of a zucchini plant start to get funny, white, powdery spots on them. The spots are blotchy and won’t brush off. At Continue Reading
Gardening in Small Spaces Gardening on Balconies or Small Spaces - by Alison Limoges, Alameda Backyard Growers Alameda Sun, Thursday, May 10, 2018 Although the city of Alameda and Bay Farm Island historically had considerable farm land, and still have some large yards, many of us live in multifamily units that, at best, have small patios or balconies. With some thought and planning, these areas can still provide adequate space for gardening. There are a number of things to consider when planning a garden for a small space. Since all plants Continue Reading
Spring Fruit Tree Prunning Fruit Trees 101, Part Three: Spring Tasks - by Marla Koss, Alameda Backyard Growers Board Member Alameda Sun, Thursday, April 12, 2018 As Alameda’s deciduous fruit trees have come out of dormancy, passers-by might be forgiven for having simply enjoyed the beauty of their blossoms, unaware of the dynamic little miracle advancing the tree’s true mission. In super-slow-motion and from the ground up, reproduction takes place in the form of juicy, sugar-laden fruit. With the help of a root system in a new cycle of growth, and the Continue Reading
Fruit Trees 101: Part 2, Midwinter Chores - by Marla Koss, Alameda Backyard Growers Published in the Alameda Sun - Thursday, February 8, 2018 Here comes Valentine’s Day, that 24-hour celebration of hearts, flowers and chocolate overkill. But more than a frolic, Valentine’s Day is a handy marker on the Bay Area gardener’s calendar for midwinter chores. For instance, the mnemonic device for yearly citrus feeding lists Valentine’s Day, Memorial Day and Labor Day. So the first scattering of fertilizer should hit the dirt under the citrus before Continue Reading
Fruit Trees 101, Part 1: Which Tree to Plant and Where - by Marla Koss of Alameda Backyard Growers Thursday, January 11, 2018 It’s bareroot fruit tree season! Many fruit trees can be successful in Alameda if planted now, but there are pitfalls when choosing both a suitable tree and the best spot to plant it. In the spirit of Alameda Backyard Growers’ (ABG) 2018 initative “A Year of Sustainable Gardening” we’d like to share some of what we’ve learned over the years growing fruit in Alameda. Thankfully the professionals at local Continue Reading
Five Things Vegetable Gardens Need in November - by Brigitt Evans, Alameda Backyard Growers Alameda Sun, November 9, 2017 November is a transition month in Alameda. Warm sunny days may be punctuated by rainstorms, but the nights are cooling down. Plant growth is slowing down and planting begins now for late winter or spring harvests. Here are some things Alamedans might want to do in vegetable gardens during November. 1) Plant garlic. Garlic should be planted in the fall so that it develops a strong root system and Continue Reading
Cover Crops to Prepare Next Summer’s Garden - by Linda Carloni, Alameda Backyard Growers October 12, 2017 Fall has arrived, and the end of our warm-season vegetable gardens has arrived. Alameda has such a moderate climate that we can plant cool-season gardens, but many gardeners choose to give their vegetable plots a rest in the rainy season. When a garden isn’t producing a food crop, it can profit from a cover crop, which: Adds nitrogen, an important plant nutrient, to the soil; Adds organic matter, that also increases Continue Reading