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  1. OaklandCityFarmer

    What is this plant?

    This is growing in my backyard, in partial shade. It's doing pretty well, but it has a tendency to dry out in the summertime, making it not too tolerant of the drought we're experiencing here... It's big, about 6 feet tall. The flowers look like daisies, and smell like almond/honey. I...
  2. OaklandCityFarmer

    Graywater Kitchen Sink

    I've been meaning to put in a graywater system for a while now (10 years now?) but the recent increase of drought conditions in California and the talk of rate hikes has encouraged me to seriously consider doing it this summer. Anyone have any tips about a kitchen sink graywater system ideally...
  3. OaklandCityFarmer

    Citrus Scales

    Hey folks- It's been a while since I've been on here! So nice to see so many new faces :) and some of the old ones too ;) The issue I'm having is that with the unusually warm and early "Spring" weather we're having here in California my citrus trees kicked into full gear in January. I typically...
  4. OaklandCityFarmer

    Powdery Mildew

    I am absolutely at my wits end with the powdery mildew this year! (I tested and was positively identified as Sphaerotheca pannosa and is not downey mildew). I have tried a sodium bicarbonate and water mixture, diluted whole milk, sulfur, copper, and neem with little to no effect. I've pulled...
  5. OaklandCityFarmer

    Pear Variety Recommendations

    We run an urban mini-farm in Oakland. One of our newer properties has about 140 feet of frontage and we were thinking of planting a row of pear trees to both add some beauty to the neighborhood and provide fruit for our operation and neighbors. So, I'm looking for some good recommendations...
  6. OaklandCityFarmer

    Small Tree Suggestions?

    So we're looking to redo the front garden and need some suggestions for small trees. Criteria: 1. Will be close to the house, within 10 feet, so roots need to be considered. 2. Shouldn't grow too tall since it's more of an accent piece than anything else. 3. Preferably would flower or...
  7. OaklandCityFarmer

    Spotted Cucumber Beetle

    Last year we had a mild Western Spotted Cucumber Beetle Diabrotica undecimpunctata infestation that caused some damage to a lot of our curcubits and other plants. We took care of most of the beetle problem and removed and destroyed any wilted plants that were infected by the bacteria they...
  8. OaklandCityFarmer

    Neighborhood Kids

    So, I thought I'd share this with all of you. A few months ago, when we started building our chicken coop, the hammering and sawing an drilling attracted a few neighborhood kids. This was great! Free labor! Well over the course of several weeks they helped us put the coop together and do the...
  9. OaklandCityFarmer

    Corn Suckers/Side Shoots

    I have never removed side shoots from my sweet corn. I don't have the time nor the energy and it really never seems to make a difference in the production. We always have more corn than we can eat, freeze and give away. That being said, I am curious to see what others have done? So do you...
  10. OaklandCityFarmer

    Succulents and Cactus

    In an effort to expand what we already have and not trying to make it just be too much, would a Succulents and Cactus section be too much? Anyone else think it's a good idea?
  11. OaklandCityFarmer

    Peppers Yellowing and Leaves Curling

    So I noticed a couple of weeks ago that the leaves on my peppers were starting to curl. Checked for obvious signs of pests or disease and couldn't find any. I'm not exactly sure what's happening. Any suggestions? I've though it might be a lack of magnesium? What does anyone else think...
  12. OaklandCityFarmer

    Common Purslane

    AKA Portulaca oleracea or verdulaga in Spain, is a weed we have LOTS of in the yard this year. I know my grandparents (being from Western Europe) have eaten this for years. Does anyone else find a use for this plant? Any recipes? Here's a pic of what the plant looks like: It's really too...
  13. OaklandCityFarmer

    Orchard Mason Bees

    Does anyone maintain homes for these? I was thinking about doing so since I know honey bees would be out of the question. Building a house seems simple enough but I'm not sure if we have them in the area or if there's a certain time of the year I should put out the house. Also, if we don't...
  14. OaklandCityFarmer

    Eastern Black Nightshade

    So, we've discovered little seedlings beginning to sprout all over the area where our chicken run is going to be. Is there anyway I can get rid of this without using a herbicide or having to till the whole area? Can I let the chickens just have at it? Or are the leaves and berries both...
  15. OaklandCityFarmer

    Japanese Maple Victory!

    So, a couple years back, I took a clipping of a friends beautiful Red Japanese Maple and have been trying to get it to grow. We've had our ups and downs. I cam out this morning and was looking around the cuttings and WOW it has leaves everywhere and seems to be doing better than ever! :weee...
  16. OaklandCityFarmer

    Fig Trees

    So I've propagated some fig tree cuttings from a giant tree on our property in Southern California and they finally have taken root and are growing nicely. How many years are they going to take to actually produce fruit? The tree in So Cal has been there forever and has always given giant fist...
  17. OaklandCityFarmer

    Advice for Clay Soils

    We have very clay soils here, I mean, you could mold with this stuff and it retains it's shape with no problem. Dries out and it's hard as a rock. We've been able to do some great stuff by adding TONS of compost to our soil and having it get much better. Are there any tricks or tips anyone...
  18. OaklandCityFarmer

    Starting Plugs

    Well, originally I posted for ideas in starting plugs but now I will let you know about what happened and what I did. So I started plugs in flats with 4 inch walls. Lining the bottom with newspaper then lining the first 2 inches with quality top soil. I then put a thin (about 1/8 inch) of very...
  19. OaklandCityFarmer

    Lawn Alternative?

    We live in USDA Zone 9 and I am not a huge fan of lawns in general but we do have a small patch of land that I have convinced to put a lawn in. Is there something other than grass, that acts like grass, that I can plant there? Something not invasive hopefully but something that people can walk...
  20. OaklandCityFarmer

    Help With Canning Basics?

    We grow our own fruits and vegetables in a small lot in the San Francisco Bay Area. We are wanting to start canning some of our produce. The only issue is that our knowledge of the matter is very limited. Does anyone know any good resources for a newbie to this? Thanks