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By Ron Vanderhoff | December 15, 2006
Healthy soil equals healthy plants. Every gardener eventually succumbs to this fundamental principle. Soil is alive. These are the three most important words to understand if you're going to have a successful garden. Many of us grew up in an era when we understood soil as just a sterile, lifeless accumulation of bits of rock, minerals, mud and other unknowns. We all thought that the more sterile and lifeless, the better. As gardeners, we mistakenly believed that soil just held our plants upright.
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By RON VANDERHOFF | September 22, 2007
“Heaven is under our feet, as well as over our heads.” — Henry David Thoreau   As odd as it may seem, digging in the soil — on hands and knees — is nearly a lost art. A generation ago whole families would put on their jeans, lace up some old shoes and head out into the garden to plant — real planting. They may have started out standing up. With a shovel in hand, dad would turn over the soil while others grabbed the weeds and other undesirables and cast them aside.
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By Ron Vanderhoff | April 29, 2011
Growing plants in containers has never been more popular. It couldn't be easier, right? Just put some pebbles in the bottom of the pot, pour in the potting soil, add the plants and you're done, right? Well, that's not exactly how expert gardeners go about it. Here are a few tips that I and many others practice when dealing with potted plants in their own gardens. Perhaps these techniques will help you be an even better gardener: Drainage, Drainage, Drainage If you read two sentences into any plant caresheet, review the cultural information in a reference book or get advice from any expert, the word "drainage" will surely come up. Good drainage simply means that water should move through the soil, from top to bottom and out of the root zone quickly.
NEWS
February 3, 2004
Marisa O'Neil Take two plastic two-liter bottles, do some creative cutting, add some dirt, seeds and water and -- voila -- you got your own little ecosystem. At Killybrooke Elementary, Lisa Edwards, who has been named teacher of the year, is helping her fourth-grade students create a world in a bottle. When they're done, they'll have a terrarium and aquarium full of life, including sprouted seeds, guppies, sea snails and crickets. To start, students paired up and focused on their terrariums, made from a bottle with the bottom cut off. For the first order of business, Edwards showed them how to work together and cover the bottle opening with a screen.
NEWS
April 7, 2002
Young Chang Gardening can be enjoyed alone, but it's also a pastime that lends itself to good company and shared wisdom, said Bob Denman, owner of the garden tool specialty store Denman and Co. There's a reason green-thumbed enthusiasts join societies and rose clubs and attend events like the 13th annual Southern California Spring Garden Show, to be held Friday through April 14. "You get to see an awful lot of...
FEATURES
By Ron Vanderhoff | September 15, 2006
The fragrance of gardenias, a mix of vanilla, jasmine and nutmeg, is well known to most gardeners. The unmistakable scent floods a person's senses so thoroughly that, once smelled, it is forever remembered. Originating in China, where it was grown and admired for more than 1,000 years, gardenias were first described by botanists in 1761. "Gardenia" was chosen as the name for this fragrant group of plants, not on behalf of a garden, but in honor of Alexander Garden, a well-known naturalist living in the Carolinas at the time.
NEWS
By Alicia Robinson | July 6, 2007
Scott Yard may have to find a new place to grow his mangos, apricots, plums, cauliflower and other assorted produce now that Costa Mesa may sell the parcel where Yard and 41 other gardeners work the soil. The Hamilton Street garden may be relocated — two suggested places are Fairview Park and the farm next to IKEA — but it's not clear how soon that would happen or where it would go. The Costa Mesa City Council on Tuesday voted to open negotiations with Red Mountain Retail Group, which is developing a Walgreen's store and 14 town homes on several parcels next to the garden.
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October 3, 2013
I cannot understand the reason for letting dogs on Balboa Island beaches. Very often I see dogs on the beaches before 9 a.m. and after 5 p.m. (and after 9 and before 5) on leashes (or not), peeing and pooping in the same sand that, a short time later, unaware children will be sitting in, digging in and using to build castles. Parents, too, seem unaware. Isn't this just plain nuts? I am trying to understand why this health hazard exists and how it might be remedied. Dariela Wilson Balboa Island * Going to press doesn't help As a resident of Costa Mesa, I am having some difficulty understanding where we are heading with regard to our local militia, or Police Department, and our city's governing body.
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By Lauren Williams | February 6, 2013
A man who twice ejaculated into his co-worker's water bottle began serving 180 days in Orange County Jail Wednesday, a prosecutor said. Michael Kevin Lallana, 34, will serve 180 days for two 2011 misdemeanor battery convictions, said prosecutor Brock Zimmon. Lallana's attorney asked for home confinement, a request Judge Walter Schwarm denied, Zimmon said. Lallana and the co-worker met at Northwestern Mutual Financial Network in Newport Beach. Twice while the two worked together he left semen-laced water bottles on his female co-worker's desk - the first time in Newport, the second time in Orange.
NEWS
By Lauren Williams | September 16, 2011
COSTA MESA - What caused a 10-ton tree to fall on a woman's car while she waited at a stop light remained unclear to public safety officials and seismic and horticultural experts Friday. But theories - from moist soil to trimmed roots to this week's earthquake - emerged from the tragedy that claimed Haeyoon Miller, 29, who died following the impact on 17th Street and Irvine Avenue on Thursday afternoon. A 3.5 earthquake that took place off Newport Beach about 2:56 a.m. Thursday may have played a role, though there easily could have been other contributing factors, according to Lisa Grant Ludwig, a UC Irvine seismologist.
NEWS
By Ron Vanderhoff | April 29, 2011
Growing plants in containers has never been more popular. It couldn't be easier, right? Just put some pebbles in the bottom of the pot, pour in the potting soil, add the plants and you're done, right? Well, that's not exactly how expert gardeners go about it. Here are a few tips that I and many others practice when dealing with potted plants in their own gardens. Perhaps these techniques will help you be an even better gardener: Drainage, Drainage, Drainage If you read two sentences into any plant caresheet, review the cultural information in a reference book or get advice from any expert, the word "drainage" will surely come up. Good drainage simply means that water should move through the soil, from top to bottom and out of the root zone quickly.
FEATURES
By Ron Vanderhoff | November 6, 2009
Passing by the bulb department at the nursery, a young shopper asked me: “How do I grow tulips with long, strong necks and big sturdy flowers?” Being the expert that I am and full of endless gardening wisdom, I asked: “Have you grown tulips before?” “No,” she said. But they just seemed like the obvious bulb to her, because they are so widely promoted, readily available, and seem to be the poster child of the bulb world. She was eager.
NEWS
By Alicia Robinson | July 14, 2007
IRVINE — If you go up in the big orange balloon that rises 500 feet above what may someday become the fabled Orange County Great Park, take a look at the panoramic view. To the north are the San Gabriel mountains; to the southwest is Newport Beach — some say you can see to Catalina if it's clear. And immediately below is a whole lot of dirt and construction. It's a nice view, but if you're from Newport Beach, beware — you'll see something that might reduce you to tears, or at least heavy sighs.
NEWS
By Alicia Robinson | July 7, 2007
Scott Yard may have to find a new place to grow his mangos, apricots, plums, cauliflower and other assorted produce now that Costa Mesa may sell the parcel where Yard and 41 other gardeners work the soil. The Hamilton Street garden may be relocated — two suggested places are Fairview Park and the farm next to IKEA — but it's not clear how soon that would happen or where it would go. The Costa Mesa City Council on Tuesday voted to open negotiations with Red Mountain Retail Group, which is developing a Walgreen's store and 14 town homes on several parcels next to the garden.
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