February 14, 2013
I have two orange trees that were planted 12 years ago. They bore beautiful fruit until four years ago, when my gardener pruned them rather severely. Since that pruning, no more fruit at all. But the trees appear healthy -- very green, with few yellowing leaves. Please advise as to how we can get them to bear fruit again. Frances Berlin Palm Desert For answers on if or how gardeners can revive a badly pruned citrus tree, we turned to Frank McDonough, botanist at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden in Arcadia.
January 29, 2013 |
Restaurants typically do their best to keep their establishments clean. And in Los Angeles, we even grade our restaurants based on cleanliness. So it came as a surprise to see a restaurant in Japan serving actual dirt on the menu. And we're not talking about the small remnants that can cling to a piece of produce after it's been washed. Nor the trendy "dirt" -- made with ground nuts and malt flour -- popularized by the Copenhagen restaurant Noma. It's real dirt. Ne Quittez Pas , a restaurant in Tokyo, is serving an entire menu devoted to dirt, reported Asian news site RocketNews24.com . The first course consists of a potato starch and dirt soup; the second, salad with dirt dressing, then an aspic with oriental clams and a top layer of sediment; and the fourth course, a dirt risotto with sea bass and burdock root.
December 7, 2012 |
Steven Wynbrandt sticks his hand deep beneath the layers of straw that blanket his enormous compost heap and pulls out a fistful of black gold, sweet and earthy. “Look at this soil,” Wynbrandt says with excitement as his fingers open, revealing his secret recipe for compost: decomposed dairy cow manure, alfalfa, yarrow, camomile, stinging nettle, oak bark, dandelion and valerian flowers. “I'm an alchemist.” PHOTOS: The Wynbrandt backyard As further proof that compost is to gardening these days what grass-fed beef and gluten-free gourmet foods are to the world of food, the Wynbrandt compost heap photographed by the Los Angeles Times would later sell through word of mouth for $1 a pound.
December 3, 2012 |
After much hype, NASA's Curiosity rover just may have found signs of organic compounds on the Red Planet. But not so fast, Mars Science Laboratory researchers said Monday. The rover has scooped and sampled what appear to be chlorinated organic molecules at a site called Rocknest, but scientists are not yet sure if the part that makes them organic is native to Mars or is a molecular hitchhiker from Earth, said Paul Mahaffy, lead investigator for Sample Analysis at Mars, one of the lab instruments in Curiosity's belly.
November 24, 2012 |
Why is it that people go crazy for carrots but ignore parsnips? They're among the sweetest of the root vegetables, particularly after they've gone through the first frost. With the first deep chill, enzymes in the root begin converting stored starches into the sugar the plant will need come spring. It's the vegetable equivalent of transferring money from savings into checking. Like other root vegetables, parsnips are covered with a corky skin that serves to protect them from any soil-borne foes, and they have a hard core that is actually the plumbing that transfers water from the soil up to the plants' leaves.
November 18, 2012 |
Lewis Hamilton wanted to make Formula One's return to the U.S. something special, for him and for racing. The Briton did just that Sunday, using a thrilling pass of Sebastian Vettel at the end of a long straightaway to take the lead, then holding off the German for the final 14 laps to win the U.S. Grand Prix at Austin, Texas, the first Formula One race on American soil since 2007. Hamilton won that race five years ago and made the move of the day to capture his fourth victory of the 2012 season.
November 16, 2012 |
In a sense, Ken Burns' new documentary is the photographic negative of the one he delivered in 2009: Instead of swooning full-color shots of azure lakes and soaring mountains, his new film is made of images that could come from the dark side of the moon. In some of them, the parched land tells its own silent story. In others, we see bleached-out shots of people, in overalls, scowling. Or children in gas masks, looking like humanoid visitors from another world. And while "The National Parks," from 2009, recounted the tale of triumph, his new film is not nearly so life-affirming.
October 5, 2012 |
For the Mars Curiosity rover, it's one "first-ever" after another. The 1,982-pound explorer is now at a spot in Mars' Gale Crater called Rocknest, ready to use its robotic scoop for soil samples. Scientists hope the samples will provide information crucial to the project's central mission -- determining whether there were conditions on the planet at some time that could have fostered life. That's microbial life, to be exact, but still -- alien life. Four scoops of Martian dirt should be about right to provide new data to help solve this mystery.
October 2, 2012 |
Jimmy Hoffa -- the legendary labor leader -- is still missing, authorities said Tuesday after tests failed to detect any human remains in a sample dug up from a suburban Detroit driveway. The negative results mean that Hoffa's final resting place still ranks with such notable mysteries as the whereabouts of aviator Amelia Earhart and the disappearance of Judge Joseph Force Crater . All have become fodder for theorists seeking to resolve unexplained endings. Scientists at Michigan State University recently tested two samples cored from the ground beneath a driveway in Roseville, Mich., as part of an investigation prompted by a tip from an unidentified man who said he thought he saw a body being buried beneath a driveway years ago. The tests came back negative, according to police.
August 24, 2012 |
[ UPDATE : A copy of a letter obtained by the Times, sent by Sam Unger, executive officer of the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board, to Disney, states: "Regional Board staff has reviewed the Report and finds that heavy metals, including hexavalent chromium, are within regulatory guidelines for an industrial and commercial land use scenario - the current designated zoning of the site. " The letter states that the determination by the board applies to soil only. "The Walt Disney Co. shall contact the Regional Board immediately if additional soil and groundwater contamination is discovered during any future site activities, or if The Walt Disney Company plans any changes of land use scenarios at the Site.