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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Do It Right! LA City Christmas Tree Pickup and Recycling

My friend, Keri Dearborn, over at Animalbytes has pointed out this great information for City of LA residents about Christmas tree pickup, dropoff and recycling.

In the past, many Christmas trees were simply dumped curbside, on lawns or in empty lots. They would often site there for a month or more until someone decided to clean them up.

The best action to take, of course, is to cut up, or chip/shred your tree for use as mulch in your garden or compost pile. While I have the ability to do that here, I realize some other city dwellers might not be equipped for such things.

If you can't mulch or compost your tree, the City of LA has 3 different ways to dispose of your Christmas Tree.

  1. Cut it up and place it in your standard green garden bin

  2. Leave it curbside, if it is too big to fit in the bin (or you are unable to dismantle it)

  3. Take your tree to a long list of drop-off sites around the city incuding various Parks and Recreation and Fire Station locations. This is a limited time option, though. You will only be able to do this on Saturday, January 2, 2010 and Sunday, January 3, 2010.

Here is complete information on City of Los Angeles Christmas Tree Recycling Program. Dispose of your Christmas tree properly!

Photo Credit: Flickr picture by Shira Golding

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Monday, December 29, 2008

Makes me yearn for seasons again

This timelapse video makes me yearn to live somewhere where there are defined seasons again.

The creator also provides a "making of" video explaining how he created it.

Be sure to click over to Vimeo to see it in HD.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

End of the season

This article appears today as part of the Troy-Bilt gardening newsletter.

See more content from the newsletter

Fall colorsI know it may seem a bit off to be writing about the end of the gardening season at this late date, but here in California we are just seeing our first real taste of Fall. Many of you have probably already buttoned up your gardens for the season, while we were just receiving the first of our Winter rains on Halloween. Still, garden cleanup is a must here, just as it is in your gardens. I sometimes wish, though, that I had the hard deadlines that killing frosts and falling snow provides.

Instead, I deal with mature trees that drop their leaves over a 3 month period, sometimes setting new buds before the last leaf falls. How are you supposed to decide when to sweep up all those leaves when there are so many more to fall? Cleaning the leaves off the roof several times a season complicates the equation. At least I don't have to deal with putting my roses and shrubs to bed for the season. Besides a heavy pruning sometime in January, the roses tend to take care of themselves, although the process can leave me looking a bit like the loser in a late night cat fight.

Like all things, gardening in California has it weird moments. While I am struggling to clean up the Fall leaf drop, bulbs are already pushing up through the litter. They start their season as soon as we get the first substantial rain and continue well into the New Year. In my garden it starts with Paperwhites, progresses through drifts of Snowbells and ends with showy daffodils. While the previous owner planted most of the others, I try to add more daffodils each year. They do seem to like it here and the drifts of yellow against the purples of the lantana and lavender is a good combination. Fall is planting time here in Los Angeles for everything. It is the one time where you can (usually) depend on enough rain to allow transplants to get a good start. I have a few beds that I want to refurbish. Now I only need to carve out the time to get it down.

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Being surrounded by gardens rather the typical Los Angeles lawn, allows me to experience one important part of the season...the smell. There is a a particular odor...equal parts wood smoke, composting leaves, damp earth and soggy trees...that always makes me stop and say, "Hmmm, feels like Fall." People say we don't have seasons here in California, but we really do. You just have to look more closely to see them. Fall and Spring pass in an instant, while Summer and Winter can linger long past their time. The surrounding hillsides are a good guide. With our Winter rains come verdant, grass-covered hillsides dotted with green California Live Oak trees. In Summer, the same hills turn golden, the oak trees providing dark-green punctuation to the landscape. Still, for me it is the smell that marks the changing seasons.

Like elsewhere, I am enjoying working in the cooler days. Temperatures in the 90s don't make for pleasant gardening, wherever the location. Now I feel like I can put in a few productive hours before the heat drives me into my garden chair with a cool drink. It also means that I must do the California equivalent of "making hay while the sun shines" and try to get as much done as I can.

Having spent my childhood living in rural Ohio, I can understand the longing for Spring that accompanies the dark Winter days. For gardeners this is felt even more keenly. If you are stuck in the depths of snow and slush, hopefully you can take a little solace in my gardening adventures and live vicariously through my daffodils until the ground thaws and you can once again return to you favorite spot...the garden.

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Saturday, October 04, 2008

Rain has passed us by

I was so excited to think we might get some rain today. We haven't seen any here in Los Angeles since about last February and I am so ready for Fall. The Summer heat has lasted longer than I wanted and I am ready for a change.

Today's storm was supposed to being a little moisture, but looking at the radar it appears that is went around us on the north and east. This happens all the time. I assume it is the configuration of the mountains and the air currents that break up the weaker storms before they can get into the San Fernando Valley where I am.

Oh well, I guess it is time to do the rain dance a little longer this year and keep the drip and soaker systems running.

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Friday, September 19, 2008

Drip irrigation line is...well...dripping

On Thu, Sep 18, 2008 at 9:45 AM, Bette wrote:

Hi! I saw your UTube video on repairs for drip lines...it was fantastic..thank you! I have another question, though..I hope this site is still active and that you can get back to me. I have a drip line leak at the site where the emitter line is plugged into the 1/2' drip line. The water is coming out pretty good around the site - but yet the feed tube line is not easy to pull out so I'm guessing that the hole isn't overly big???. I'm not sure what to do about this. There is always enough water to puddle up so it's a significant leak. Thanks for any help. bette

Thanks for writing. In my experience, this happens when the emitter is not quite seated all the way into the 1/2" tube. The little barb edge on the emitter has to go all the way into the tube in order to make a seal. I typically push the emitter in and then tug on it to make sure the barb has gone through the wall of the larger tube, basically wiggling it around to make it seal against the side of the tube.

It could be, too, that the whole is just a bit misshapen. If adjusting the emitter doesn't work, it might be easier to simply plug that existing hole and punch a new one nearby. The make little plugs to do that, although is the hole is the issue then even the plug might not work well.

I hope this helps. Give it a try and let me know.

Here is the YouTube video mentioned in this email...

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Bird Nest with paint chips

Bird Nest with paint chip

Bird Nest with paint chip,
originally uploaded by dewelch.
One small sign of how our actions can effect the world around us.

It looks like someone in the neighborhood was scraping and re-painting their house and this bird made it part of their nesting materials.

I believe this was a hummingbird nest judging by its size and design. I noticed it today as I was typing up some vines on one of our arbors.

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Saturday, September 13, 2008

A slow Saturday

It was a High-Tech/High-Touch day today. (See this Career Tip for a further explanation) I walked to do some errands and grab lunch and then came home to do some more work both at the computer and in the garden. After that I found myself alternating between the computer and the garden. I think this helps me keep fresh and productive. Too much of any one thing can burn you out.

I had walked up to get some new address numbers for the house at the local hardware chain. That was a simple task and then it back to the computer for a while. Then, looking out my office window, I saw a bird feeder that had been broken for months. I had noticed how I could fix it, but never got around to it. So, off to the garage for the drill and a screwdriver. It didn't take long so I took the time to clean the feeder and re-stock all the feeders before returning to the computer.

A short time later, I wanted to turn on the soaker hoses in the front garden, so I grabbed my wiggle hoe and spent some time getting the grass out of the walkways in the front garden. This is always such a chore and this year it seems even worse. We haven't had much rain, but I think my wife has been running the sprinklers (which spray paths and beds alike) more often. This helps with the shrubs but leaves us with a lot of grass, too. After a few painful minutes hoeing the paths I had had enough. I cleaned the few weeds out of the new lavender bed and then headed back inside for dinner.

One concept that has been rattling around in my mind lately is that of slowing down. Too often, in the garden, I find myself rushing to complete the task instead of engaging in it. Slowing down means I might not finish a task completely, like pulling all the grass, but I do a better job and enjoy it more. I tried to apply that a little today. While I didn't do it all, I certainly got something done and no one says you have to complete the task in one sitting. As long as it gets completed, what does it really matter.

I am going to try and do a bit more tomorrow in the same fashion -- a little here and a little there -- and see what happens. Wish me luck!

Keep digging!

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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Video: Taking out a Tree

Time to remove a small pine tree that was in the wrong spot in the garden. This is a continuation of the "editing" since we bought this house 12 years ago.

I had to go out and buy a bow saw to complete this job. My wife, Rosanne, had trimmed off all the limbs., but couldn't get through the trunk. It was quick work once I had the right tool.

All the debris from the tree was run through out chipper/shredder and the mulch is already spread on the tomato and rose beds.

Not a bad days work overall.

iPod Ready Video

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Saturday, July 26, 2008

Video: Rose Montage from the O'Connell's Garden

We were visiting friends today -- sitting around the pool and munching on summer foods -- and their roses caught my eye. I spent a few minutes capturing the video for this montage, just wandering from bush to bush and taking it all in.

iPod Ready Video

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Sunday, June 22, 2008

Elsewhere Online: Summer reading for gardeners from Digging

The high heat here in Los Angeles has been keeping me inside, just like Pam, the author of the "Digging" blog. I highly approve of her selections for garden reading and I find that I have already read many of them myself.

If the weather is keeping you out of the garden, engage in some virtual gardening via these books.

You can find some of my own recommendation for gardening books, in The WelchWrite Bookstore.

Summer reading for gardeners

With Austin on track for our hottest summer on record, I’ve sworn off any real gardening for the pleasures of garden book reading—inside, preferably under a ceiling fan with a cold Diet Dr. Pepper in my hand. Recent trips to Barnes & Noble and Half-Price Books have netted me about 10 lbs. of eye-candy-filled garden [...]

(Via Digging.)

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Sunday, March 30, 2008

Tearing down the trellis

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Elsewhere Online: Trench composting saves the day

Jane Perrone, over at Horticultural has a post on trench composting and it sounds interesting. I have much more waste than a typical compost pile can accomodate, so I might think about adding a trench or two to my garden instead of sending out tons of leaf mold, etc in the garden bin.

Googles Search: Trench Composting

Trench composting saves the day As fellow composter Simon Sherlock pointed out in the comments to my previous post, it will be some time before my new worm composter can take all my kitchen waste. Add too much in the early stages and the worms won't be able to eat it before some of the stuff putrefies, making the worms unhappy, and possibly dead. I forgot to say earlier that my solution to the excess kitchen waste problem, now that my allotment site has banned it from compost heaps, is trench composting. I am assuming the powers that be won't object because in trench composting,...

(Via Horticultural.)

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Sunday, January 20, 2008

Wisteria trim and other small tasks

Finally took a few moments this afternoon to clean all the "whippy" growth off the wisteria before it starts it growth for the year. I have been meaning to do this for a while, but circumstances finally provided the time and I provided the inclination. I wanted to get outdoors for a little today. It is cool, but very nice outside and it seemed a waste to spend the entire day indoors.

I saw a few more things I have to attack in the next couple of days. After a long time, and 2 new full compost bins, I am finally getting down to the compost at the bottom of our old bin. There is some good stuff there, I will probably sift out what I can and use it to top dress the roses for their Spring growth, too. Some might go on the new lavender bed, too. I bought the wire cloth to make a compost sifter ages ago and it looks like I am finally ready to put it to use, I will take some video when I am making/using it.

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Sunday, October 14, 2007

Video: Garden Fork TV - http://gardenfork.tv

A few weeks ago, after finding nothing on broadcast television I wanted to watch, I went in search of more video podcasts to fill the void. One of the shows I have fallen in love with is Garden Fork TV with Eric Rochow. He covers everything from making Pasta Carbonara to fixing the shackle on his old pickup to building raised planting bed.

This is exactly what television should be -- engaging, educational and comfortable. To many traditional media shows are over-produced and glassy and lose any real heart they might have. Garden Fork TV is the antithesis, while still being great entertainment. Erik is more personalable than almost any host on television today and he's never afraid to show the everyday reality of gardening, video production and life.

Then, of course, there are the dogs!

Check out Garden Fork TV directly from the web site or subscribe using iTunes.

Watch this compilation video from the first 50 episodes and you'll get a great idea what the show is about.

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This guy has way too much fun with pumpkins!

I came across Tom Nardone and his ExtremePumpkins.com while wandering the Internet for Halloween ideas. As I said in the title of this post, he has waaaaaay to much fun with pumpkins.

Stop by and check out his website for a few ways to get into the Halloween spirit this year.

Along with his pumpkin carving hints he shows you how to have your pumpkin belch fire, how to carve a pumpkin in one swing of a hammer and more. Nardone even as a book of the same name -- Extreme Pumpkins: Diabolical Do-It-Yourself Designs to Amuse Your Friends and Scare Your Neighbors.

Check out this video with the author!

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Saturday, October 06, 2007

Autumn in the Garden and more! - October 6, 2007

by Douglas E. Welch, agn@welchwrite.com
Reader/Listener Line - 818-804-5049

In this show, I talk about our long, dry summer, an early rain, Autumn beginning and a rat in the compost (Oh, my!)

What's happening in your garden? Let me know by calling the listener line at 818-804-5049 and leaving a message. I just might use it in the podcast.

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Theme Music: The One by The Woodshedders, aka the Hot Club of West Virginia, courtesy of the PodSafe Music Network

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Join AGN Mailing List | iTunes Review | Digg.com | Podcast Alley | Call the Reader/Listener Line @ 818-804-5049

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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Introduction to Cottage Gardens - VideoJug.com

I have often contemplated a cottage garden retrofit to my garden and this video offers some great insight.

VideoJug: An Introduction To Cottage Gardens

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Monday, July 09, 2007

Summer Sun(s) - PaD 7/8/07

Summer Sun(s) - PaD 7/8/07
Originally uploaded by dewelch
These flowers caught my eye as I walked around the campus of Stephens College. We are here for the Stephens College Summer Film Institute, where I am teaching about podcasting and Rosanne is the writer-in-residence.

More photos from the workshop and our time here in Columbia, MO on Flickr. Click the photo to see more.

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