Vegetables & Fruits – Page 2

New Zealand Spinach

Tips And Hints For Growing Easy-Care Warm-Season Crops Planting months: March-July Spacing: thin plants to 12 iches, rows 2 feet Special Tips: Soak seeds overnight Harvesting:Cut top sprouts 4 to 5 inches long, plants regrow, are invasive inland. Steam, stir fry, or eat raw. May continue to grow year-round. Recommended Varieties: just one kind. Step-By-Step […]

Vegetables, Eucalyptus, Clay Soil, and Fruit Trees

Question from Christian: I live in Del Mar near Fairbanks Ranch, and I’d like to get some of your thoughts on gardening and adding some new organic fruits, herbs, and vegetables to my house to feed us!  My goal is to turn a portion of my property into a full blown garden.  The challenges are […]

Birds & Tomato Cages

Question from Fred: We took your advice and have a number of Sweet 100 plants in large containers in our yard. Everything looks good except we now have a problem w/bird droppings on those plants w/tomato cages. What can we do to stop the birds from perching on the metal cages or, alternatively, from dropping […]

Carrot Germination by Boiling-Water Method

Question from Matt: I was fortunate enough to attend your presentation at the last SD Master Gardener Seminar. At that time, you suggested speeding up the germination period for carrots by pouring boiling water over the freshly-sown seeds. Although you said that boiled-water germination would likely occur within 3 days, I have not seen any […]

Swiss Chard

Tips And Hints For Growing Easy-Care Warm-Season Crops Planting months: year round Spacing:Thin to six inches, rows 18 inches apart Special Tips: soak seeds 24 hours prior to planting Easy to grow, huge roots, not much fertilizer, compost is best or aged manure. Harvesting: begin harvest as soon as leaves mature, take outer leaves and leave […]

Chicken or Horse Manure

Q. I’ve heard you talk about the benefits of horse manure.What is your opinion of using chicken instead of horse manure? I was told recently chicken is stronger than horse. A. Chicken manure is superior to horse manure but needs longer aging and less is applied. Well-aged chicken manure makes an excellent vegetable fertilizer, especially since […]

How to Do a Stawberry Test

Question from Bonnie: I heard you say in a speaking engagement that the “Chandler” strawberry is your favorite. Is this correct? I really like Chandler strawberries, too. I decided to plant four types, and compare them. Chandler is hard to find sometimes, but I got some plants this spring. Answer from Pat: Yes Chandler is […]


Question from Gabriella: As always I enjoy seeing you speak, as well as reading your books (I have them all) and your blog. I don’t find anything in your latest organic book about growing edamame in southern cal. Should they be treated like string beans and growing in the spring/summer or like peas and grown […]

Peppers, Tomatoes, and Epsom Salts

Question from Barbara: I saw you at the San Diego Horticultural Society meeting and I’m a bit confused. Can you explain why one should spray pepper plants with Epson Salts? What does it do? And, what are the proportions? I can’t remember for the life of me! Answer from Pat: No problem! It’s difficult to […]

Tips for Building Raised Beds and Planting Vegetables with the Seasons

Question from Sagar: I was brainstorming/talking with Robert Abe of Chia Nursery in Carpinteria a few days ago, and he mentioned how inspiring and informative your talk and stories of your adventures in your vegetable garden at the SB Horticulture society meeting was. I hear you are full of garden wisdom and simple tools that […]