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Comments made by Nan Sterman

KPBS Explore Winners Announced

Congratulations to SnapShot and Animal R&R! We welcome you to the family of Explore San Diego programs and wish you as much success and excitement as we've had this past year.

Nan Sterman and the crew of A Growing Passion

October 8, 2013 at 6:43 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Expert Offers Winter Gardening Tips

It's 2 pm and I have a garden consultation up in Oceanside so I'll check out for now. I'm sure we'll do this again next time I'm on Midday Edition, which should be sometime in March. Thanks for your questions and stay tuned!

And remember to support KPBS

December 5, 2011 at 2:02 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Expert Offers Winter Gardening Tips

Re hibiscus and plumeria
They should have absolutely no problem outside all winter along the coast. Do watch the hibiscus for giant whitefly - its a real nuisance! If you see it, get some insecticidal soap and start washing....

December 5, 2011 at 1:49 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Expert Offers Winter Gardening Tips

RE camellias - how and how often are you watering? How old are the camellias? How much sun or shade do they get? What part of San Diego County are you in?

December 5, 2011 at 1:47 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Expert Offers Winter Gardening Tips

More information on Seed Starting Workshops:

I provide all the supplies, you just show up to learn and have fun. The workshop lasts about 2 hours (and the time flies fast!) at the end of which, you'll go home with your entire spring/summer vegetable garden planted - tomatoes, eggplant, cucumbers, basil, melons, and so on.

I'll be offering the workshop at several locations around the county between mid January and the end of March (your seedlings will be ready to go into the ground mid March through May).

If you are interested, please send an email to and put "seed starting workshop" in the subject line.

I have several locations set for North County coastal, North County inland and one for Central San Diego. There are still some openings for host sites in central and south county. All that's required is a well-lit space that can get dirty, with tables and chairs, and a ready water source. Want to host a workshop? Email me!

December 5, 2011 at 1:46 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Expert Offers Winter Gardening Tips

Re squirrels - sounds like you are on the right track. Just remember that you'll never get rid of all of them. That's just not possible, especially in a rural area like yours. Let me know if you come up with a method that seems to work for you. I love to share good information. My email is

December 5, 2011 at 1:35 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Expert Offers Winter Gardening Tips

Re Lavender -

John, pruning lavender is a real challenge. The pruning itself isn't challenging, its the "when" that's a challenge. Lavender takes to pruning best if you start the first year it is in the ground. If you wait too long (which is sounds like you have) plants become really woody. You can't cut into the wood, nor can you cut *back to* the wood or you'll lose the plant. Once it gets that woody, it tends to split too and look really terrible. Honestly, I'd remove those old plants and replace them with fresh new ones, then establish an annual schedule to prune back maybe a third of the growth right after the lavender is done flowering.

December 5, 2011 at 1:33 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Expert Offers Winter Gardening Tips

Re blueberries - Misty is early season while Emerald is mid season. You might want to try Chandler or Sunshine Blue, both of which are mid to late season harvest. That will give you the longest blueberry eating season!

December 5, 2011 at 1:29 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Expert Offers Winter Gardening Tips

Back to squirrels. Get a cat. Really, my cat kept the squirrel population at a minimum. That said, he also got birds, lizards, and other critters that I really didn't want to lose from my garden. So, absent a cat, your other options depend on the type of squirrels you have. There are some that are threatened so you can't destroy or trap them. Some require a hunting license (no kidding).

The best information is on the UC Cooperative Extention's Integrated Pest Management site:

There's tons of info so take your time. Perhaps the most important statement (in terms of non-toxic control) is this:

**Natural Control**
**Many predators, including hawks, eagles, rattlesnakes, and coyotes, eat ground squirrels. In most cases, predators aren’t able to keep ground squirrel populations below the level at which they become pests for the home gardener. Dogs might prevent squirrels from entering small areas, but they can’t control established squirrel populations.**

December 5, 2011 at 1:26 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Expert Offers Winter Gardening Tips

Re blueberries - I hope you purchased one of the Southern Highbush Blueberries which are the ones suited for our climate. They do really well in large pots, in full sun. Yes, you can prune them now. You'll find good directions on this page:

If the leaves have started turning colors, go ahead and strip them off. That will ensure that they go dormant which is necessary for good fruiting next year.

December 5, 2011 at 1:16 p.m. ( | suggest removal )