Davis Garden Show

Nursery pro Don Shor has been gardening and selling plants in Davis for more than three decades. Join Don and co-host Lois Richter as they discuss and answer your questions on all things for the garden. To submit a question (or a brag!) send to gmail.com for DavisGardenShow.

Replays Saturday 9-10am
Live Thursday 12-1pm
Podcast
Music programs are only online for two weeks after they are broadcast.

Davis Garden Show, Sept. 16, 2021, Brassicas -- a one-plant wonder

'Tis a time of CHANGE!  Weather is cooler, season is later ... For some folks, it's time to cut down the cucumber vines and plant some brassicas. For others (like Don), there are still tomatoes ripening to harvest into October. What's your plan for a winter garden? Now is a good time to plant peas, lettuce, brassicas, and other cool seaon vegetablees.  You can also plan to put "cover crops" on the portion of your summer garden that you don't plan to plant for the winter -- to keep down weeds and improve your soil.

Don's Davis Enterprise article "Of Cabbages and Kings" explains why we can have such a wide diversity of vegetables from JUST ONE SPECIES! -- Brassica oleracea. Here is its little-known history ...  "Strolling along the windswept limestone cliffs of southern and western Europe, in places where salt spray limited the growth of other plants and temperatures were usually mild but cool, one of our forebears evidently noticed that the leaves of a common plant were edible. Bitter, a little skunky smelling, fibrous, but edible. ...  "

Davis Garden Show, Sept. 9, 2021, Houseplants and water

Today's topics:

  • Tomato problems this year
  • Water needed for growing food is more than water needed to just grow foliage
  • Almond trees
  • Nematodes -- what are they and what to do if you have them
  • House plants that are, and are not, easy to grow
  • Don recommends for new gardeners: Golden pothos (and relatives), Easy ZZ, and Snakeplant (Sanserveria)
  • Growing trees indoors
  • Ficus benjamina  = flexible about lighting, but fussy when you move it.
  • Is it too late to plant tomatos? Pepper? Pumpkins? YES, those get planted in the spring to be HARVESTED in the fall.
  • Now is the time to start planning (and planting) your winter garden! (More details next show.)

Davis Garden Show, Sept. 2, 2021, butterflies and hanging baskets

Many, many questions this time!  (Some carried over to the next show.)

Gardening for butterflies,

hanging baskets for coastal zones,

time to plant brassicas (cabbage-family) and a winter garden,

persimmon trees struggling to establish,

tomatoes that didn't do well,  and more.

To send in questions, brags, comments, or commendations; write to Don Shor and Lois Richter at  DavisGardenShow@gmail.com

Davis Garden Show, August 12, 2021: Questions

Lots of listener questions today! 

Wide-ranging answers keep returning to common themes: beneficial insects -vs- applying poisons, hosing things off -vs- applying poisons, saving bees and other beneficial insects -vs- applying imidacloprid (a neo-nicinoid systemic poison that makes flowers poisonous to pollinators), thwarting phytophthora by watering deeper but less often, and conserving water in this drought year.

Specific discussions about:

plants for a dry front landscape [with LOTS of ideas!];

Colocasia ["elephant ears"] and taro root [for poi] CAN grow here!;

what ethylene gas is and what it does (ripening bananas and apples, strenghtening tree trunks) [including Don's suggestion for some kids' science fair projects!];

spider mites, predatious mites [which are small and red but are not chiggers!], and other beneficial insects;

'What causes leaf burn on maples?'; and

more about phytophthora [a word which traslates as "plant death"].

Davis Garden Show August 05 2021, Plant Death

Lots of science today!  Phytophthora [fi-TOF-thir-a] is an organism [no longer considered a fungus] that has invaded world-wide.  Many species exist. The one of concern in Davis and inland California attacks plants when ground conditions are HOT AND DAMP! (That is, high humidity and high temperature at the crown or roots for 48 hours.)  Since we don't have rain here for eight months, the only way there can be enough moisture to allow Phytophthora to grow is if HUMANS  apply water too often -- that is, they don't give the area time to dry out between waterings!  Luckily, Don Shor has studied this organism extensively and helps us understand Phytophthora's life cycle and so learn how to reduce our risk.  PS:  That word "Phytophthora" literally translated to "plant death"!!!  PPS: It's already here -- in the ground, on plant roots -- you can't avoid it if you garden.

Even old, established trees can be killed by Phytophthora if the watering changes.  This photo is Dr Milton Hildebrand standing beside a cork oak he planted in 1949. 

Davis Garden Show, July 29, 2021: Water 50% for ornamentals, 100% for food producers

NEW, EASY WAY to figure out your drought watering! Don shared the research from the University of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources -- Center for Landscape & Urban Horticulture, showing how little water different plants can survive on. Not be happy, but survive.

Lots of info about watering -- trees, shrubs, food plants, and beneficial insects. (Lois asked about making an insect watering hole with wet sand.) One listener writes about her "spider mite apacalypse" and wonders how to keep her melons alive until harvest. 

Why do plants look stressed the third year in the ground when "they did fine last year"? How much water a plant needs depends upon how big it is! So as a young plant grows bigger, you need to give it more water (either water longer or add another sprinkler head).

"Grad Students Help with Soil" is the Davis Enterprise headline; "providing soil diagnosis [texture and pH test] and advice to gardeners" is the service; Saturdays (9:30-11:30) at Davis Farmers Market is the when/where. The service will continue every Saturday thru August 21.


Davis Garden Show, July 22, 2021: Tree roots, watering, and redwoods

Watering in  a drought. Reducing lawn water while keeping your trees alive. Root distribution of trees, "circle watering" strategy.

Coast redwoods in interior California. Many redwoods were planted in Davis years ago; should we add new ones now? What might we substitute for them?

What's wrong with these struggling tomato plants? 

Compacting soils can cause problems.  

"Mulch is for on top, not underground."

And more answers to listeners' questions. Submit yours for inclusion in a future show by emailing Don Shor and Lois Richter at DavisGardenShow@gmail.com

Davis Garden Show July 15 2021, Summer Pruning

Don Shor and Lois Richter talk about July pests -- what 's around now and how to handle things -- and lots about fruit trees -- including broken branches, thinning possibilties, reduced size method, and summer pruning. From that Facebook @ re feeding squirrels -- just don't!

And, of course, we talk about the GLORIOUSLY WONDERFUL WEATHER this week.

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Comments

I just discovered you as a replacement for the now-defunct Farmer Fred radio show. I listen to the podcast. It's extremely useful to have timely and local garden coverage again. Thanks! John, Fair Oaks, March 2021

Don and Lois,

Hi! I am back! I was recently given a little beet seedling along with a strawberry plant that I had bought at a yard sale. Before I go on, I want to let you know that this woman did a great job taking care of her plants and the ones she was selling also looked great. However, I forgot to ask her how to take care of the beets. I have never grown them before. Anything you can tell me that I should know about beets? I also would like to know how long these plants can live. I want them to do well. I may not harvest them, but instead enjoy the pretty plants that they are. I am, however harvesting the strawberries.

-Robin in Southern California

Don and Lois,

Hi! This might be unusual to ask, but can you tell me how to take care of Hulda Klager Lilacs here in Southern California? I had requested some from the author of a book I read. This author wrote about Hulda Kalger and all she went through in her life and to hybridize plants, especially lilacs. I have two small ones that the author shipped me through the mail along with some seeds. The plants will be possibly the creamy white blooming ones and the seeds pink blooming ones. I have the plants in a nice plastic pot of miracle grow infused potting soil. They are located in part sun and part shade. Anything you can tell me would be so helpful because I want to keep these plants alive. They have great meaning to me.

Thank you so much and it is great to ask you another question.

-Robin in Southern California

just wanted to say that Don has been excellent fill-in host and guest for Farmer Fred lately. Esp good was when he and Debbie Flower hosted together but he needed to let Debbie talk a little more. Have not heard the 1 hour show yhet on this Davis station but will start listening now. Its difficult to remember about a Thursday show but i see there's a Saturday rebroadcast, which is great because there is now almost a solid block of gardening shows to listen to on Saturday from 9 AM to 2 PM. Too bad this Davis radio station seems to be a little left of center and anti-business though from what i can see at first glance. Maybe Don can take over FF's show if/when he ever retires.

Don and Lois,

Hi! Miss me? I know I have not written in awhile, but I have been busy. But not too busy to really work on our new back yard garden. And not too busy to listen to the podcasts of your show. I know that tomatos are very popular lately, but do you have any advice on strawberries, such as how much water do strawberries need? Also, how do I keep my cat grass lasting a long time. The lady at the pet shop I bought the cat grass at said that it should last me a long time, but my last pot of cat grass died after about 2 months. It had been slightly chewed on by my neighbors' cat whom I bought it for in the first place. Would this shorten the grasses life expectancy? Your advice, as always, is welcome. Our back yard is turning out beautiful (with some help from Eric and my daughter.)

Looking forward to your next podcast and many more,
Robin in Southern California

What can you do about nutsedge?

HELP

Lois and Don are the BOMB! This is my favorite radio show!

I'm in Sacramento and found this show on Itunes podcasts. I started listening to the DGS podcasts and now I have to listen every week LIVE during lunch hour. It has helped me with my gardening. Because the Sacramento valley is so full of microclimates, there really no replacement for this show for us gardeners here. And the hosts are so delightful and interesting to listen to. I wish Don and Lois would write a book about gardening here! I would buy it! Keep up the good work KDRT!

YAY, Davis Garden Show!!!

What a nice note! Thanks so much for posting it, and thanks for listening!

Don and Lois,

Hi! Thank you so much for answering my African Violet pot question. Your answer was very helpful when I chose a special pot for the varigated African Violet leaf that I had rooted. It looks so cute in the pot with the resievor and wick.

As for my next question, Eric suggested that I ask you if it is ok to prune some plants and trees in wet weather. I do not mean a deluge, but either after a rain storm, between rainstorms, or during a light rain. I do some of my weeding during this weather because the weeds pull up easier, though they do stick to my hands which is not fun.

Thank you for answering my past questions. My ears always perk up when I hear mine and Eric's questions/comments on your show. Very exciting for us both. That is partly why I listen to your podcast first in my lineup of gardening podcasts to listen and watch. The other reason is that your show has the most useful gardening information.

Robin in Southern California

I think it depends upon the species. Some of our California native shrubs (like Ceanothus and Redbud) should NOT be pruned when the cut might get wet. (That's whether in the winter OR in the summer just before the sprinklers come on.) But lots of fruit trees are regularly pruned in winter and then get rained on. I'll ask Don to explain more on our show next week.  -- Lois

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