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The Backyard Gardener blog

Beat the Cheat! (Part I)

Bromus tectorum. Photo by Joseph DiTomaso

Beat the Cheat! Part I:   Why cheatgrass is so very bad! Each year, my number one garden task is working to get rid of all the cheatgrass that moves in. Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) is an aggressive invasive species that thrives in...

Posted on Monday, August 19, 2019 at 12:21 PM

Florida's Botanical Gardens

One of the ponds

I recently returned from a vacation in Florida, and a highlight was our visit to the Florida Botanical Garden. It is located in Pinellas Country, near Saint Petersburg. It was approximately a 20-minute drive from Tampa. The garden is on several acres...

IMG 9714
IMG 9714

Posted on Friday, July 12, 2019 at 11:45 AM

Demystifying Pluots, Apriums and Other Stone Fruit Hybrids

Pluot of unknown variety

  Many new hybrids of stone fruits have been appearing in catalogs and on supermarket shelves in recent years resulting in a plethora of new terms many of which are defined below.   The most common hybrids are those between apricots...

Flesh of typical pluot
Flesh of typical pluot

Posted on Sunday, July 7, 2019 at 2:36 PM

Iron Cross Blister Beetles

It's always fun when clients bring insects into the office to be identified. Although I'm pretty good at recognizing common pests, I'm not an entomologist. That makes it a little more work to figure out what I'm looking at.  This insect was...

Posted on Wednesday, June 26, 2019 at 2:56 PM

Another Fun Insect Pest!

I know you'll be glad to hear that there is a new garden pest in the Eastern Sierra. Well, it's native and so not technically new, but as far as I know, gardeners haven't had to deal with it in recent memory. This insect is a stink bug with the gnarly...

Posted on Friday, June 21, 2019 at 10:44 AM

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