Nematodes, Avocados and Berms

In this December episode Ellen and C.L. talk about nematodes (harmful and beneficial), and the amazing sex life of the avocado flower. C.L. gives her opinion about putting small berms in a landscape, and tells a story that her berm rant sparked from someone in her audience. We answer Ellen’s question about gardening when high…in an upper altitude, that is.

:27 Did You Know? What the heck are nematodes, and should gardeners care?
6:00 Eat/Drink/Grow: All about avocados. A pretty cool sex change for the flowers, and a fun houseplant to grow from a pit.
15:20 Story time: C.L. tells a story about garden design and berms, plus how this sparked a tale from an audience member that made us laugh.
18:40 Love Letters and Questions: Ellen wrote about growing plants when you’re in a Rocky Mountain high.

When you shop at a local farmer’s market in California you might be lucky enough to find a range of avocado varieties such as this one. Many types of avocados don’t ship well, but are delicious, so don’t miss your opportunity to buy some when you’re in an area where they grow well.

Some avocados are large and others are small. In most parts of the country you won’t find these for sale but they can be found in California.


This is a typical berm in a small landscape. It is so small that it looks just like what it is: a mound of soil that was dumped in this location. As such, it’s hard to plant it in a way that looks natural.

This is a mega berm! Not natural looking, and hard to keep mulched because the rain washes all mulch off. It’s also prone to drying out quickly and the plants on the top have reduced root systems, so are more apt to come down in heavy snows and wind.

When I heard the story told by the woman in my audience, I pictured her mother working in a garden bed like this small berm. This one really does look like a burial mound!

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