Home & Garden

Fuel breaks offer false sense of security

By Dwight Good Editor’s note: This is the next installment in a series of articles on wildfire preparation. There has been a lot of effort put into the creation of fuel breaks around high fire hazard communities. Fuel breaks are usually a strip of land where flammable [...]

Keeping costs covered

Erik Chalhoub

Erik Chalhoub is the editor of South Valley. Prior to joining the magazine in March 2019, he worked for seven years at The Pajaronian in Watsonville, the last four as managing editor.
Erik Chalhoub

Latest posts by Erik Chalhoub (see all)

In the 1970s, Harry Last built an indoor pool for his British Columbia home. But the humidity of the room, the result of the warm indoor temperature from the pool and the cold weather outside, caused molding and other problems as the room sweat. Last installed a dehumidification [...]

Reptiles can be useful

Kate Russell

Kate Russell is a UCCE Master Gardener in Santa Clara county.

Latest posts by Kate Russell (see all)

Reptiles in gardens? Let’s hope so! You may see a lizard scurrying for cover under your lettuces, or a snake slithering across your strawberry patch, but what are they doing in your garden? Are they pests or helpers? And what’s the difference between reptiles and amphibians? [...]

Luring pests away

Kate Russell

Kate Russell is a UCCE Master Gardener in Santa Clara county.

Latest posts by Kate Russell (see all)

Every year, we plant our garden favorites. And every year, the same pests come, causing damage and carrying disease. What if there was a way to lure those pests away from your plants? There is. It’s called trap cropping. Trap cropping is a form of intercropping that uses other [...]

Landscape do’s and don’ts

By Dwight Good Editor’s note: This is the sixth installment in a series of articles on wildfire preparation. No matter where you live, the most common reason homes burn during a wildfire is because embers land on something easily ignitable around the home.  Make changes [...]

Vulnerable vents

By Dwight Good Editor’s note: This is the fifth installment in a series of articles on wildfire preparation. Most people believe that wildfires ignite homes through direct contact with flames, but it is rare to have a home ignite this way. Flaming brands and embers can travel [...]

Reduce deck danger

By Dwight Good Editor’s note: This is the fourth installment in a series of articles on wildfire preparation. Will your home survive when the embers arrive? Wind-driven embers ignite many of the homes destroyed by wildfire. Your home could be at risk! Be ember aware and make [...]

Move that wood pile

Editor’s note: This is the third installment in a series of articles on wildfire preparation. By Dwight Good Will your home survive when the embers arrive? Wind-driven embers ignite many of the homes destroyed by wildfire. Your home could be at risk. Make changes now to reduce [...]

Unclutter the gutter

No matter where you live, the most common reason homes burn during a wildfire is because embers land on something easily ignitable around the home. Remove leaves and pine needles from your rain gutters. Make changes now to reduce the ember threat to your home.   Most [...]

Wood roofs burn like kindling

Most people believe that wildfires ignite homes through direct contact with flames, but it is rare to have a home ignite this way. Thanks to effective defensible space campaigns, very few homes are in direct contact with traditional wildland fuel models (e.g., uninterrupted [...]
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