Home & Garden

Landscaping: Getting rid of the grass to be green

Auburn resident Ellen Stephens has always loved gardening — and her yard is a reflection of that dedication. “Touching the soil, caring for plants, creating beautiful ...

Want cleaner air? Get some houseplants

Question: I am concerned about the air quality within our home, especially in the winter when windows are not left open. A friend advises that houseplants could help purify the ind ...

Local home cooks, chefs discuss their take on stuffing

The star of the Thanksgiving table is the turkey. But stuffing plays a strong supporter role. And its also a dish that’s perfect for improvisation. There are practically endl ...

Making the most of mandarins

The bags of fresh-from-the-tree citrus are the star of the annual Mountain Mandarin Festival in Auburn. But the festival’s recipe contest gives entrants an opportunity to ...

When to harvest the perfect pumpkin

Q: I successfully grew six pumpkins this year in my garden.  Of course I wanted ripe pumpkins for Halloween, but I wasn’t sure if they were ready to pick for Oct 31 - I ...

A front row seat on nature’s big show

There are glimpses of reds and yellows through the greens right now. But the show is just beginning. In a few weeks, the foothills will be ablaze with fall color. In fact the cha ...

Know how to recognize black widow spiders

Question: How do I know if I have black widow spiders in my garden? Answer: The western black widow spider (Latrodectus hesperus) — a native species — is quite common ...

Auburn's Wild Bird Station marks 20 years of retail, advice and swapping stories

For two decades Roger and Carol Strahle’s Wild Bird Station has been the local spot for birders to purchase seed and browse for nesting boxes, books and gifts. Often those vi ...

Managing ants key to controlling aphids in crape myrtles

Question: What is the best way to get rid of aphids in 30-foot crape myrtles? I tried using a power washer to hit the upper branches and knock them off the leaves — but that ...

Master Gardeners' calendar discusses ways to garden in the drought

The Placer County Master Gardeners’ calendar for 2015 is putting California’s drought front and center. Under the theme “California Dreaming  … Beau ...