Gophers and Bird of Paradise

Gardening Question From Carolyn: I have a raised planter bed that has become a popular nibbling ground for gophers.  I’m removing the purple fountain grass that has succumbed and thinking about planting bird of paradise.  I live in San Diego about 2 miles inland from the ocean. Thank you!   Answer From Pat: You mention […]

Organic Control for Pillbugs

Gardening Question from Judi: I recently attended a talk by you on soil, and I have a question. We prepared our beautiful raised beds and planted our zucchini, cucumbers, lettuce, etc. before the rain came. Discovered dozens of pill bugs that have eaten mainly the zucchini and cucumbers. We read on the internet that one […]

Clover Attracts Ladybugs

Question from Olivia: Do you think Lady Bugs are attracted to clover? I am a landscape designer and landscaper. I have a client in Clairemont, California. I just finished her garden. She told me that her garden was overgrown and not taken care of for many years. (She just bought a foreclosure house.) She said […]

Avocado Trees, Mites, and Gophers

Question: I’m on a fast mission, quite desperate. I’m pulling my hair out. I have an avocado tree that has mites and is definitely languishing. Too much rain, and even though I composted loads before planting, not enough to balance out the clay. Pray I don’t get/have root-rot. Went around with a 1 inch pvc […]

Getting Rid of Citrus Pests

Question from Jon: I have something here that I need some advice on. I have attached 3 photos of a branch on my Meyer Lemon tree. I have a steady stream of ants crawling on just 1 branch. When I inspected it much more closely, I could see something of a small yellow oval shape. […]


Question from Vicki: I have nematodes in my garden. is it safe to eat the vegetables if there are nematodes in the roots? Are there any vegetables tht nematodes are less likely to invade? Enjoyed your seminar in San Diego a few months ago! thanks! Answer from Pat: It is fine to eat the vegetables […]

Fungus (black spot) on Tabebulia Leaves

Question from Ellen: Every year our pink Tabebulia leafs out nicely then immediately starts losing its leaves to this black spot business. First the leaves’ tips turn brown, then the leaves get covered in black spots. The leaves dry up and fall off and turn black. The whole while it’s sprouting healthy new growth. It’s […]

Citrus Leaf Miners

Question from Dave: Thank you very much for writing your books – I read and refer to them every week. I’m trying to shift from conventional to organic gardening. All of my citrus trees have citrus leaf miner – some worse than others. I’ve spread worm castings and shifted over to chicken manure based fertilizer. […]

Potted Key Lime Tree with Tiny Black Ants

Question from Brenda: I have a potted key lime tree, new, and all of sudden tiny black yard ants have made a home in the pot, and are crawling into the blooms. How can I get rid of them without hurting the tree? Answer from Pat: Purchase a bag of dry earthworm castings and put […]

Organic Snail Control

Credits: Genevieve Schmidt & Ester the Chicken Question from Tressa: I love your month by month gardening book and have read it almost cover to cover. My problem is armies (literally of snails) I live in Claremont, Ca. (new Pomona not San Diego) in the foothills and have snail attracting ground covers which I can’t […]