September 2015: Fight the Drought…and Leafminers!

Humanity has eaten over 80,000 edible plants over the course of its evolution. More than 3,000 have been used consistently. However, we now rely on just 8 crops to provide 75% of the world’s food. – Dr. Vandana Shiva

Mulching is our ace against late summer heat. Mulch can be comprised of peat, hay, wood chips, compost or grass clippings. Spread it generously over the soil and around the plants. Using less water is important, but so is effectively using the water we do use. Mulch helps with both. Here’s why we mulch:

    • Blocks weeds. Weeds steal water from your plants.

    • Prevents evaporation by covering the soil.

    • Prevents soil compaction. Compaction prevents water absorption.

  • Encourages microbial activity, which adds nutrients to the soil.

Lately we’ve been picking: tomatoes, corn, peppers, melons. If you loved any of the varieties you grew this year, consider saving their seeds!

Simple fermentation helps separate tomato seeds from their sugary insides. We found a great how-to from Rodales Organic Life. Currently on our minds: fall garden refreshes and cool-season crops. Do you dream of sweet broccoli and tender lettuce in October? Give us a call now for a consultation: (619)-563-5771

The city of San Diego subsidizes compost bin costs for residents! Apply with your contact information and choose from: a basic “soil saver” compost bin, a worm bin, or a tumbling compost bin. Coupons save up to 40% off retail costs. Fine print: you must show proof of residency and buy the bin from a Dixieline ProBuild in San Diego. Vouchers will be mailed 2-4 weeks after applying, if qualified. The city and the environment benefit when you reduce your food waste. You and your garden benefit from fresh, rich, homegrown compost! More information, including a guide to composting, can be found on the San Diego website.


Have you seen this on your citrus tree? This winding tunnel damage is sign of a leafminer. The larvae eats its way through new citrus leaves and eventually becomes a small brown moth. Insecticides are ineffective and usually kill natural predators to the leafminer. Instead, use a pheromone trap, a sticky blue card that attracts and immobilizes the male moths. More in depth information can be found on the UC Davis website.


California has put aside a cool $24 million to encourage residents to tear out their lawns and replace wasteful toilets.  The turf replacement program awards $2/sq ft of turf replaced, up to $20,000 per household. Bare earth is ineligible but both living and dead grass are eligible for the program.

Available San Diego rebates include rain barrel rebates and free mulch from Miramar Greenery with proof of residency.


UP & Green Building Conference September 22nd, 2015 California Farm and Garden will be speaking at the San Diego Green Building Council ‘s Conference this month! The Expo and Conference theme is “The Value of Sustainability”. Our talk is titled “Urban Agriculture: Who, What, Where, Why & ORI”. Tickets may be purchased here.