Category Archives: Gardening

DIY Codling Moth Traps – How I Made Them

Last year, I made some codling moth traps and I went from almost 90% codling moth infestation the year before to roughly 40% infestation. This year, I’m doing the same thing. In addition, I have sprayed neem oil a couple of times since the end of the last season. I’m hoping for 0% infestation this year. We’ll see.

I have learned from the below youtube videos:

Trap Recipes

Other options:


Another Water Burst in My Drip Irrigation System – How I Repaired It

Last Friday (February 20, 2015), we drove out a big banquet right after work to celebrate Chinese New Year – the year of Ram/Goat/Sheep. Upon coming home and getting ready to sleep, I heard the sump pump underneath the bedroom was activated on and off. It hadn’t rained for several weeks already, how could there be enough water for the sump pump to turn on, I asked myself. My heart just dropped when I thought of the word: “burst.” Is it another water pipe burst? It’s the horror of most homeowners as the consequence is normally some kind of serious water damage and a huge water bill. I took my flashlight out to investigate in the cold night in my pajama.

To my relief, there was no standing water outside next to the house but the flower bed was very wet and the lead hose that connects to the drip irrigation valve came off – disconnected. The water had been shut off. Wonderful! The good news was that this happened outside the house – no water damage to the house. The bad news was how long was the water running before it was shut off.

Mmmm, did my good neighbor shut it off? I walked to the front door and saw a note attached to the door handle. Sure enough, my good next-door neighbor had shut it off after seeing the water flowing to the street, pumped out by the sump pump. On the next day, I walked over to thank my good neighbor of the good deed. I would’ve done the same for them too.

In this video, I went over how I re-arranged the sequence of the irrigation valve, the anti-siphon and pressure regulator. Hopefully, this configuration would keep me from encountering the dreaded water burst again, having learned the expensive lesson.

Sprinkler Valve Leaks – How I Repaired and Replaced them

My neighbor and I have been chasing down the root cause of the water leaving out from the water meter into the street. It’s a serious offence now we’re in a serious drought here in California. We originally suspected that it was coming out of his main faucet. The water company (San Jose Water Co.) came out to inspect in the summer and fixed some gasket. Now it’s happening again. I then noticed that water was leaking out of my sprinkler valve. So I decided to fix it once and for all. I thought it was a simple task of cleaning the diaphragm. After I opened it it, I determined that the diaphragm was pretty worn out. Upon checking out the price of the diaphgragm (~$8) and comparing it to a new valve ($14), I decided to replace the entire valve instead. No sense replacing a sub par parts when I can get a brand new one. The challenge is to adapting the valve to the copper piping as PVC pipe is much easier to work with. Then I discovered the adjacent value was leaking very badly too. And it got more interesting…
Check out my video how I got the valve(s) replaced here: