Home & Garden

Tips for a tranquil garden

Kate Russell

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

Latest posts by Kate Russell (see all)

Your garden can be a bright, cheery, busy place, or it can provide the tranquility you need after a busy day. Transform your garden into a tranquil refuge with these easy tips: Keep it simple. Get rid of clutter. Remove plants that are not thriving. Use simple decorations. Leave [...]

Garden themes

Kate Russell

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

Latest posts by Kate Russell (see all)

Avoid compacting your wet clay soil by staying indoors and planning a themed garden. Traditional garden themes include floral cottage gardens, manicured Renaissance gardens and classic kitchen gardens, with their successive plantings of vegetables, fruits and herbs. Garden [...]

Trees must be properly cared for during winter

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
Winter begins Dec. 21, which means it’s time to batten down the hatches. Homeowners should clear gutters of any debris, make sure their heating system is in top working order, and stock food and other supplies in the event of a power outage. But what about those trees in the [...]

Holiday plant care

Kate Russell

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

Latest posts by Kate Russell (see all)

Most holiday plants receive too much water and heat, and not enough sunlight, to make it through January. Poinsettias, Amaryllis and miniature Christmas trees make delightful gifts, but they need special care to last. Poinsettias are fascinating. The bright red blooms are [...]

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
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 [...]
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