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Everything you wanted to know about growing tomatoes in your garden

The tomato is the most popular garden crop today by far, but this was not always the case. For nearly three hundred years, from the time explorers brought tomato seeds from Mexico — where they had been hybridized by the Aztecs – to Spain, they were regarded suspiciously from Europe to colonial America. Tomatoes were utilized as ornamental curiosities for table arrangements and other decorative purposes, but were otherwise shunned as poisonous. The word tomato comes from tomatl, its Nahuatl equiv...
Tags: Europe, Gardening, Greece, Mexico, Spain, Sport, Things To Do, Soccer, United States, Southern California, Thomas Jefferson, Huntington Beach, Rachel, Epsom, Upstate New York, Aztecs


How to prevent rabbits from attacking your garden

It’s that time of the year again when I get all kinds of questions about ground squirrels, gophers, and bunnies. This week’s column is about rabbits. Don’t worry, squirrel- and gopher-haters! The next two columns will be for you! As soon as your spring vegetables and flowers go into the ground, it seems as though they are under attack. At one time I thought bunnies were cute until they devoured (in one night!) over 100 pansies I had planted in our front yard. I don’t think they’re cute anymore. ...
Tags: Gardening, California, Sport, Things To Do, Soccer, Orange County, Riverside County, Southern California, Los Angeles County, San Bernardino County, San Fernando Valley, Garden Party, Top Stories LADN, Top Stories OCR, Top Stories PE, Home + Garden


Why are we gardening more during the pandemic? The answer may be in psychology

As the pandemic has raged over the last year, it isn’t just sourdough that’s been getting Instagram closeups. Thriving gardens and show stopping houseplants have been a common sight on social networks as people all across the country show off their newfound green thumbs. But what is it about those activities in particular that people turned to? Why would growing carrots or filling your apartment with so many house plants it resembles the Amazon rainforest be an attractive thing to do during a pa...
Tags: Gardening, China, Sport, Things To Do, Soccer, United States, Wuhan, Ucla, Chiapas, Southern California, Trump, Greenfield, University of California Riverside, Chiapas Mexico, Rhode Islanders, Garden Party


What you need to know about growing orchids in Southern California homes and gardens

We tend to think of orchids as delicate plants that need to be kept indoors because of their fragility. Nothing could be further from the truth. Most orchids suffer when grown indoors and will refuse to flower due to lack of light. Whereas the habitat of most orchids – like that of most common houseplants — is the tropical rainforest, there is a significant difference between the niches they inhabit.  Common indoor plants live on the forest floor where light is limited while orchids are typicall...
Tags: Gardening, California, America, San Francisco, Sport, Things To Do, Soccer, Orange County, Southern California, San Fernando Valley, Sherman Oaks, Garden Party, Top Stories LADN, Top Stories OCR, Top Stories PE, Top Stories IVDB


How to get started with herb gardening and how to keep cilantro from bolting

Q: I’m interested in growing parsley and rosemary as my first herbs, are they hard to maintain? A: Herb gardening is an excellent entry point into edible gardening. They don’t take up too much room, they are (generally) less fussy about growing conditions, and fresh herbs really add a lot to home cooking. Perennial herbs such as rosemary, sage, thyme, bay laurel, marjoram and oregano produce all year round, but their flavors will be strongest during the summer and early fall months. These herbs ...
Tags: Gardening, Sport, Things To Do, Soccer, Orange County, Riverside County, Mediterranean, Los Angeles County, San Bernardino County, San Fernando Valley, Garden Party, Top Stories LADN, Top Stories OCR, Top Stories PE, Home + Garden, Top Stories SGVT


7 essential tips for organizing your hair and makeup supplies, according to the pros

It’s possible that you’ve barely left the house over the past year, but now, after months of scrolling through Instagram makeup and hair accounts, you find yourself inspired to try a fresh look to go with your new vaccinations. The problem? You can’t find where you stowed your mascara or haircare products during lockdown. So, it’s time to get organized. To break it down, we talked to four makeup and hair professionals on how they keep their gear accessible and in good shape. 1. If pos...
Tags: Hollywood, Los Angeles, Sport, Things To Do, Soccer, Long Beach, Perez, Ramirez, Whittier, Burwell, Tom Perez, Frogtown, Garden Party, Tanya Ramirez, Top Stories LADN, Top Stories OCR


Let’s talk tomatoes with our Garden Party newsletter and virtual event series

Spring is here; the birds are chirping; and it’s tomato time. Garden Party, our free newsletter, is packed full of tips for growing great tomatoes. Let Alex Groves guide you on this eight-week tomato journey that includes everything from how to eradicate common tomato pests to tasty recipes to show off that bountiful harvest. Visit http://bit.ly/GardenPartyNewsletter for more information and to sign up. We’re also talking tomatoes on the next edition of the Garden Party Zoom series. Join Alex an...
Tags: Gardening, Laura Simpson, Sport, Things To Do, Soccer, Alex, San Fernando Valley, Garden Party, Top Stories LADN, Top Stories OCR, Top Stories PE, Top Stories IVDB, Top Stories RDF, Top Stories Sun, Home + Garden, Top Stories Breeze


How to prevent weeds from taking over your lawn

Now that spring is here, everyone is paying attention to their lawns again. Unfortunately, fescue is not the only thing that is growing in many lawns. Bermuda grass, crabgrass and poa annua are some of less desirable species of grass that can appear in an otherwise beautiful lawn. (Yes, I do realize that Southern California is not an ideal climate for large, lush green lawns, but some of us East Coast natives still appreciate a bit of green. I just wanted to put that out there.) If you are plant...
Tags: Gardening, California, Sport, Things To Do, Soccer, Orange County, Riverside County, East Coast, Bermuda, Southern California, Los Angeles County, San Bernardino County, San Fernando Valley, Garden Party, Top Stories LADN, Top Stories OCR


Recipes: 3 ways to showcase your homegrown tomatoes

With thousands of varieties, tomatoes come in a wide range of striking shapes, sizes, and hues. Flavors vary, but at their home-ripened best, tomatoes pack an irresistible wallop of sweetness, tinged with perfect acidity and an herbaceous edge. The grow space in my small garden is limited. Every year there are favorites that I can’t resist sticking into the soil, but I also include new-to-me varieties. In her new cookbook “Lush Life”  (Prospect Park Books, $35), author Valerie Rice offers some g...
Tags: Cook, California, Sport, Things To Do, Soccer, Recipes, Ramadan, Bell, Rice, Gemma, Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall, Garden Party, Capers, Cathy Thomas, Top Stories LADN, Top Stories OCR


What to do to help a sad avocado tree

Q: We have an Avocado tree that is not doing well.  It was planted last spring and is on a drip system, however it is looking “sad.” What can we do to save this tree? A: Avocado trees are a popular choice for home gardeners who live in frost-free areas of California. One of my fellow master gardeners remarked that every time he picks an avocado, he’s saving a dollar. Gardening resources Learn how to grow great tomatoes with the Garden Party newsletter Join the Garden Party! Sign up for our...
Tags: Gardening, California, Sport, Things To Do, Soccer, Orange County, Riverside County, Los Angeles County, San Bernardino County, San Fernando Valley, Garden Party, Top Stories OCR, Top Stories PE, Home + Garden


Want pandemic relaxation? Here’s why spending time in outdoor garden spaces might help

As a CEO for a multimillion dollar company where he spent hours in front of a computer screen, Abhi Arora battled stress and anxiety attacks. He found a remedy and refuge in the serene garden spaces designed by his friend Rishi Kumar. Now, Arora and Kumar started Healing Gardens, a business that lets people rent their own garden spaces AirBnB-style. Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, more people have been spending time outdoors. But it’s not just exercise that can make us feel better. ...
Tags: Garden, Gardening, California, Sport, Yoko Ono, Things To Do, Soccer, Pasadena, Arlington, Lila, Spokane Washington, St Francis, Goldy, Claremont, Temecula, University of California Irvine


Why ‘Fearless Gardening’ advocates pushing the limits with ‘cramscaping’

A book replete with horticultural wisdom and inspiration has just been published. In addition to vibrant text and glorious photos that are highly instructional where garden design ideas are concerned, it offers the friendly message that gardeners can do no wrong. Entitled “Fearless Gardening” (Timber Press, 2021), author Loree Bohl is not fazed by the sight of dead plants in her garden. She quotes J. C. Raulston, a highly acclaimed horticulturist who founded an arboretum in North Carolina that b...
Tags: Gardening, Texas, California, Sport, Things To Do, Soccer, North Carolina, Santa Barbara, Montecito, Van Nuys, Garden Party, San Diego Freeway, Primrose, Lavandula, Ganna, Raulston


Spider mites and whiteflies wreak havoc on tomatoes — here’s how to prevent them

Q: For the past two years I have fought either spider mites or whiteflies on my tomato plants. I have tried home remedies and everything the nursery has recommended, including neem oil. They end up having to be sprayed or treated in some way every week and ultimately they succumb to these awful pests. Could you suggest something that would really keep them from destroying the tomato plants? A: Both whiteflies and spider mites are difficult to control once their populations become established. Th...
Tags: Gardening, Sport, Things To Do, Soccer, Orange County, Riverside County, Los Angeles County, San Bernardino County, San Fernando Valley, Garden Party, Top Stories OCR, Top Stories PE, Home + Garden, San Fernando Valley LA


What every gardener should know about daffodils, society garlic and ginger lilies

The famous trumpeting, cupped receptacle on daffodils is called a corona, and botanists are confounded as to its function. However, the presence of the corona does assist us in explaining why daffodil flowers nod as opposed to staying upright. Were the cupped corona to face the sky, rainwater would collect in it, causing the pollen on the anthers inside of it to rot, preventing pollination and seed formation from taking place. It is worth noting that daffodil species that bloom in the fall have ...
Tags: Gardening, Mexico, Los Angeles, Sport, Things To Do, Soccer, Ohio, Himalayas, Mediterranean, Musa, Garden Party, Narcissus, Top Stories LADN, Top Stories OCR, Top Stories PE, Top Stories IVDB


How to tell which critter is eating fruit out of your trees

Q: Some critter has been peeling & eating the rind off my lemons & leaving the fruit hanging on the tree. Same thing has happened to another neighbor’s avocados. I don’t know if it’s the neighborhood squirrels, an opossum, or rats. Next door neighbor’s dog did catch & kill an opossum recently. Have you ever heard of this? A: Squirrels, opossums, and rats can all wreak havoc in the garden, each in their own way. Squirrels will visit your fruit trees just as the fruit is ripening, then take a bite...
Tags: Gardening, Sport, Things To Do, Soccer, Orange County, Riverside County, Los Angeles County, San Bernardino County, San Fernando Valley, Garden Party, Top Stories OCR, Top Stories PE, Home + Garden, San Fernando Valley LA


Top 10 garden and outdoor décor trends for 2021

For most of the last year, the outdoors was totally in. Our backyards and garden spaces became havens, ways to connect with nature and a sense of life beyond limitation. Landscape designers say gardens also took on new identities as clients yearned for “outdoor rooms” — dining spaces, play areas, offices or oases for spread-out outdoor gatherings. “We’ve asked a lot of our yards the last few months,” says Allison Messner, CEO of Yardzen, an online landscape-design platform. “For a lot of us, our...
Tags: California, Sport, Things To Do, Soccer, John, Oakland, Berkeley, Houzz, St John, Moore, Orinda, Garden Party, Messner, Home + Garden, Patricia St John, Allison Messner


How dwarf tomatoes have become a trendy addition to garden spaces

For thousands of years, home gardeners who have wanted to grow unique heirloom tomato varieties have had to contend with massive, sprawling plants. But dwarf tomato plants, which pack full-size fruit on compact stalks, are growing in popularity. As home gardeners picked up growing plants during the coronavirus pandemic but didn’t necessarily have the space for a full-size garden, dwarf tomatoes found their way into containers on patios and balconies. And while a couple decades ago you’d be hard-...
Tags: Gardening, Australia, Sport, Things To Do, Soccer, North Carolina, Tomato, Lowe, Raleigh North Carolina, Bonnie, Phelps, Garden Party, Top Stories LADN, Top Stories OCR, Top Stories PE, Top Stories IVDB


Grow with our Garden Party newsletter and virtual event series

Whether you love big heirloom tomatoes on a BLT or the sweet pop of cherry tomatoes in a pasta salad, Garden Party wants to help you grown them better. Sign up for our free weekly newsletter and for eight weeks reporter Alex Groves will guide you to growing great tomatoes and help you avoid the pitfall of pests, diseases and more. We’ll even include some recipes for when those tomato babies are ripe. Visit http://bit.ly/GardenPartyNewsletter for more information on this free newsletter. If you p...
Tags: Gardening, Sport, Things To Do, Soccer, San Fernando Valley, Garden Party, Top Stories LADN, Top Stories OCR, Top Stories PE, Top Stories IVDB, Top Stories RDF, Top Stories Sun, Home + Garden, Top Stories Breeze, Top Stories LBPT, Top Stories WDN


What missing bark on a guava tree means

Q: In the past few years, several sycamore trees died in the green belt near me. Last year, my apricot tree and then peach tree died. I believe the causes are the same, as I read from news: some fungus infection caused by bark beetles. I noticed on the bark there are small holes and they tend to align longitudinally along the branches. I left a few trimmed guava tree branches against my fence, and found in 3 months, these dry branches are full of tiny holes and pulverized under its bark. I remov...
Tags: Gardening, Sport, Things To Do, Soccer, Orange County, Riverside County, Southern California, Los Angeles County, San Bernardino County, San Fernando Valley, Garden Party, Top Stories OCR, Top Stories PE, Home + Garden


This plant matchmaker wants to help you plant the seeds of love, or even just a flora fling

Don’t be intimidated by the beauty of exotic tropical plants. Go ahead and swipe right on your timber profile — you may find an exciting summer fling or perhaps the leaf of a lifetime if you follow the advice of this plant matchmaker. “People are confused by tropical plants, they think they have to approach them one way and they think that they’re too exotic and too difficult, and I want it to make it accessible for everyone,” said Marianne Willburn, a former Pasadena resident, plant expert and ...
Tags: Books, Gardening, Sport, Things To Do, Soccer, Pasadena, Southern California, Corona, Kimberly, Garden Party, Roselle, Top Stories LADN, Top Stories OCR, Top Stories PE, Top Stories IVDB, Top Stories RDF


Garden Party Plans Help Push up UK Retail Sales

LONDON (Reuters) - British retail sales rose in February, helped in part by consumers buying outdoor furniture ahead of a partial relaxing of...
Tags: UK, London, Reuters, Garden Party


What you need to know about crop rotation in Southern California

Q: In Southern California (and other warm-winter areas), we have two growing seasons instead of one per year. Do we still have to rotate our vegetable crops on a four-year schedule, or can we reduce that to a two-year schedule because of the additional winter growing season? A: Many gardening guides will tell you that you should wait four years before planting the same crop (or same family) in the same garden space. For example, if you plant tomatoes in one section of your garden, you should pla...
Tags: Gardening, Sport, Things To Do, Soccer, Orange County, Riverside County, Southern California, Los Angeles County, San Bernardino County, San Fernando Valley, Cal State Northridge, Garden Party, Top Stories OCR, Top Stories PE, Home + Garden, San Fernando Valley LA


How to protect your trees from strong winds

No matter where you are in Southern California, strong winds can become a problem for your trees. In some cases, wind can cause plants to dry up, bend, break, or fall down. This week, I will share some tips on how to protect your trees from these misfortunes. When planting a young tree, choose a site that is protected from strong winds. If the prevailing wind is coming from the west, you may want to plant on the east side of your house. Usually, young trees have too much top growth for the size ...
Tags: Gardening, California, Sport, Things To Do, Soccer, Orange County, Riverside County, Southern California, Los Angeles County, San Bernardino County, San Fernando Valley, Cal State Northridge, Garden Party, Top Stories OCR, Top Stories PE, Home + Garden


There is a gardening comic book, and it aims to help you grow your food

“The Comic Book Guide to Growing Food” is ideal for beginners, offering clear and concise information with a lot of enthusiasm for the subject. And, yes, it’s a comic book, out now from Ten Speed Press. With it, author Joseph Tychonievich and artist Liz Anna Kozik take readers step-by-step through the process of starting and maintaining a garden. “I wanted to reach a different audience, and present gardening information in a different way,” says Tychonievich, whose previous books include “Plant ...
Tags: Books, England, California, Los Angeles, Sport, Things To Do, Soccer, Harry, Macmillan, Oprah, Meghan, San Fernando Valley, Rachel Carson, Brady Bunch, Growing Food, Kozik


Why this Southern California botanical garden is unlike most others

If you walk briskly, you could traverse the winding path that runs through the Manhattan Beach Botanical Garden in a very short time. Yet the fact that the garden is small makes each plant that much more precious to behold. Unlike most botanical gardens, where one day is never enough to appreciate everything there is to see, it’s different here. You can take long looks at each specimen on display and not feel you might be missing out on something if you linger more than a few moments over any pa...
Tags: Gardening, California, Israel, Sport, Rome, Things To Do, Soccer, Harry, Baja, Oprah, Mediterranean, Catalina, Meghan, Dead Sea, Studio City, Brady Bunch


How to diagnose why a citrus tree is struggling

Q: I’ve been trying to find someone I can ask about what this little guy needs. More water, less water, nutrients, etc.? The other brothers and sisters around it are doing quite well. A: Citrus problems can sometimes be quite perplexing, especially when your other trees look just fine and one tree looks sad. Yours is indeed a very sad-looking tree. The first factor to look at is irrigation. If you have a drip system, inspect it carefully to ensure there’s no leaks or blockages. It’s often said t...
Tags: Gardening, California, Sport, Things To Do, Soccer, Orange County, Riverside County, Southern California, Los Angeles County, HLB, San Bernardino County, San Fernando Valley, Garden Party, Top Stories OCR, Top Stories PE, Home + Garden


How to safely release a bird that’s trapped in your house, according to experts

Interior designers have popularized the notion of bringing the outside in. Folding and disappearing doors can create a seamless transition to the great outdoors. The connection to nature adds a sense of calm and serenity to the home, they say. But what happens when the connection gets a little too close and nature actually comes inside? Tony Capparelli recalled the day nature flew in. He and his wife, Pam, had enjoyed a warm day in the backyard of their Lake Forest home. The family room doors ha...
Tags: Sport, Birds, Things To Do, Soccer, Anna, San Pedro, Pam, Lake Forest, John Welsh, Fountain Valley, Garden Party, Top Stories LADN, Top Stories OCR, Top Stories PE, Top Stories IVDB, Top Stories RDF


Sign up for our Garden Party newsletter and virtual event series

It’s almost tomato time! In Southern California, mid-March is when you’ll see tomato plants pop up in local nurseries. We want to help you grow great tomatoes this year so we’ve put together a tomato-growing cheat sheet in the form of a weekly newsletter. It’s called Garden Party and for eight weeks we’ll guide you through growing great tomatoes, from how to get started to battling pests to offering great recipes to make from the bountiful harvest. Visit http://bit.ly/GardenPartyNewsletter for m...
Tags: Gardening, Sport, Things To Do, Soccer, Southern California, Garden Party, Southern California News Group, Top Stories LADN, Top Stories OCR, Top Stories PE, Top Stories IVDB, Top Stories RDF, Top Stories Sun, Home + Garden, Top Stories Breeze, Top Stories LBPT


How to attract beneficial insects to your garden

Early spring is a time of hope, optimism, and figuring out what to plant in your vegetable garden. As you decide what kind of tomatoes, peppers, and herbs you want to grow, you may want to consider planting some flowers with those vegetables. Flowers add color and visual interest to vegetable gardens. Try planting purple alyssum with Japanese eggplants. Marigolds and nasturtiums look great with bell or chili peppers. Purple basil with tomatoes and white alyssum next to dark cooking greens can re...
Tags: Gardening, California, Sport, Things To Do, Soccer, Orange County, Riverside County, Los Angeles County, San Bernardino County, San Fernando Valley, Garden Party, Top Stories OCR, Top Stories PE, Home + Garden, San Fernando Valley LA, University of California ANR


What to know about planters and flowerpots for your plants

When it comes to buying pots for your plants, you have to think like Goldilocks. The container you choose should be just the right size. “You don’t want to oversize the pot for the plant,” said Lou Coy of Boyle Heights shop Latinx With Plants. “People say that when you repot a plant you should put it in a really big pot so that it will encourage it to grow. That’s actually not true, I find. If you put it in a pot that’s too large, it’s going to take longer to drain and dry out, and you risk drow...
Tags: Gardening, Sport, Things To Do, Soccer, Glendale, Portland Oregon, San Fernando Valley, Boyle Heights, Garden Party, Top Stories LADN, Top Stories OCR, Top Stories PE, Top Stories IVDB, Top Stories RDF, Top Stories Sun, Home + Garden