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Clay & hummingbirds   2009
 

Clay & hummingbirds 2009

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This lecture was given in May, 2009 as part of the California native plant gardening series ‘Out of the Wilds and Into Your Garden’

This lecture was given in May, 2009 as part of the California native plant gardening series ‘Out of the Wilds and Into Your Garden’

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    Clay & hummingbirds   2009 Clay & hummingbirds 2009 Presentation Transcript

    • Out of the Wilds and Into Your Garden Gardening with South Bay Native Plants Project SOUND - 2009 © Project SOUND
    • A HummingbirdGarden in Clay Soils C.M. Vadheim and T. Drake CSUDH & Madrona Marsh Preserve Madrona Marsh Preserve May 2 & 5, 2009 © Project SOUND
    • American bird artist, John James Audubon, calledhummingbirds "glittering garments of the rainbow." © Project SOUND
    • California is a migratory route or year round residence forat least six members of the hummingbird family, more thanany other state in the U.S. © Project SOUND
    • Anna’s Hummingbird  Feeds on a variety of flowers as well as insects and spiders - eats more arthropods than most hummingbirds.  Particularly likes Salvia species,Known for its red head. (Sage), particularly HummingbirdThese feathers are only Sage (Salvia spathacea).visible at a certain angle.This allows the male Annas  Likes to get a drink on hot days.Hummingbird to hide whenhe needs to and show off  They especially like bird baths thatwhen it suits him. drip so they can hover and sip water as it runs over the edge. http://www.laspilitas.com/California_birds  They will also perch on the edge and /Hummingbirds/Annas_Hummingbird/An drink as other birds do but they only sit still for a minute nas_Hummingbird.htm http://identify.whatbird.com/obj/167/_/An nas_Hummingbird.aspx © Project SOUND
    • Allen’s Hummingbird  Common in brushy woods, gardens & meadows of coastal California  Male highly aggressive and territorial. Hot- tempered despite its diminutive stature, a male Allens Hummingbird will chase other males from its territory, as well as any other hummingbird species  Eats mainly nectar (occasionally eating spiders and insects it finds in flowers). The spiders and insects provide a source of protein.  Need nectar sources with high amounts of sugar to support their incredibly high metabolisms.  Must visit approximately one thousand flowers per day and needs to consume more than twice its own weight in nectar each day.  Has very general nesting requirements - will nest in trees, shrubs, or herbs. Nests are very small and tightly woven cups.http://hummingbirds.arizona.edu/Web%20pictures/Allens%20male_salal_Melton.png © Project SOUNDhttp://www.shawcreekbirdsupply.com/allens_hummingbird_map.htm
    • The hummingbird habitat: not just pretty red flowers…  A hummingbird-friendly garden requires five key elements to provide good hummingbird habitat  Nectar-producing flowers  Insects http://www.morrocoastaudubon.org/pics/alhumas.jpg  Water  Perching places  Nest sites © Project SOUND
    • Like humans, hummingbirds require water forrefreshment, bathing and drinking as part of theirhabitat.  In nature, hummingbirds like to take a bath on a cupped leaf or a shallow pool, or take a “rainbath”.  In the garden, the best water for hummingbirds is moving water.  Misters emit a fine mist of water when attached to a garden hose. Placing a mister so that the mist falls against the foliage of a tree or plant will create a situation where hummingbirds have multiple opportunities to use the feature  Another good source of hummingbird water is a dripper – simply a hose with a tight valve that allows a very slow, rhythmic drip into a reservoir of water. These are often attached to bird baths. Hummingbirds may drink from either the drip or the reservoir and will occasionally bathe in the reservoir © Project SOUND
    • Flowers that depend on the hummingbird for pollination do all they can to please and attract Hummingbirds.  Their blossoms project into the open where the birds won’t get caught in the foliage.  Their trumpet shapes accommodate their long bills, and discourage other insects.  Since Hummingbirds have no ability to smell, the flowers do not need to be scented.  Flowers often red or orange to attract hummingbirds visually - their inquisitive male Rufous Hummingbird on Oregon Grape©Donald Jedlovec nature quickly leads them to investigate any possible new source of food  They tend to have very high sugarHumming-bird pollinated plants content to their nectar – higher than forand their pollinators evolved bee- or butterfly-pollinated plantstogether – “co-evolution” © Project SOUND
    • © Project SOUND
    • What is a clay soil?  Soil: a combination of sand, silt, clay, minerals and organic matter that also contains some air and water.  Clay soils are sometimes referred to as heavy soilshttp://www.soilsensor.com/soiltypes.aspx and sandy soils are called light.  To be classified as clay soil, it should be made up of about 50% clay particles, the finest particles found in soil. © Project SOUNDhttp://www.your-healthy-gardens.com/soil.html
    • Most gardeners know if they have clay soil  If your soil sticks to shoes and garden tools like glue, forms big clods that arent easy to separate, and crusts over and cracks in dry weather, you have clay. © Project SOUND
    • Tests for clay soil: Feel Tests  Rub a sample of soil between your fingers.  Sandy soil is rough and gritty and breaks up easily.  Clay soil is sticky and feels like plastic.  Silt is in between - much smaller particles than sand and it feels slippery when wet.  Squeeze a sample of moist soil  A heavy clay soil will form a solid lump that is difficult to crumble when its squeezed together. You http://home.howstuffworks.com/soil-texture-and-structure.htm http://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/co/maho/la/la_001.cfm can form a ‘rope’ or ‘ribbon’First, take a handful of  Its hard to get sandy soil to form a lump and it crumbles easily.moist soil and feel it. © Project SOUND
    • Tests for clay soil: sedimentation test  Fill a quart jar 2/3 full with water  Add dry soil (break up clods) until water is within 1” of top of jar.  Put the lid on the jar and shake it energetically until everything is swirling around. Then set it aside and let it settle, and mark layers until the water clears.  The layers indicate just how much sand, silt and clay make up your soil. © Project SOUND
    • The sedimentation  Sand Layer: settles in 1-2 minutesprocess  Allow suspended soil to settle for about a minute.  Mark the side of the jar at the top of the layer that has settled out.  Silt Layer: settles in 1 hour  Set jar aside, being careful not to mix the sand layer; wait ~ an hour.  Mark the top of the Silt Layer on the side of the jar.  Clay layer: settles in ~24 hours  Set jar aside, being careful not to shake or mix the layers that have settled out.  After 24 hours, or when the water is clear (more or less), mark the jar at the The percentage of top of the clay layer. each layer tells you what kind of soil you  Most of the organic matter will be have. floating on the top of the water © Project SOUND
    •  Very common in certain areas of S. Clay soils CA, particularly around urban areas where fill soils have been used to establish grade in subdivisions and developments.  Clay soils are typically comprised of approximately 0 - 45% sand, 0 - 45% silt and 50 - 100% clay by volume.  Clay soils are not typically free draining, and water tends to take a long time to infiltrate.  When wet, such soils tend to allow virtually all water to run-off.  Clay soils tend to be heavy and difficult to work when dry.50% clay particles © Project SOUND
    •  Are also common inLoam Soils Southern California, particularly in the valleys and flat areas (flood plains) surrounding rivers and streams.  Loam soils are typically comprised of approximately 25 - 50% sand, 30 - 50% silt and 10 - 30% clay by volume.  Loam soils are somewhat heavier than sandy soils  Tend to be fairly free draining, again, due to typically low organic1:1:1 soils content. © Project SOUND
    • Gardening in clay soils is different The old CA garden philosophy: amend the heck out of it The new CA Garden philosophy: what plants will do well in my clay soil? How do I manage my asset (clay soil)? © Project SOUND
    • The benefits of clay soils are real…  They retain soil moisture well – you won’t have to water as often  They usually retain nutrients better than sandy soils  Many trees & shrubs (particularly CA natives) grow well in clay soils  Trees often develop better root system – less likely to topple over © Project SOUND
    • The keys to succeeding with clay soils (in my experience) are:  Leaving the soil alone as much as possible  Timing:  When to plant  When to water  Plant Choice:  Plants adapted to clay soils  Exact choice depends on drainage qualities of your soil  Mulch/ground-covers © Project SOUND
    • Benefits of CA native plants in clay soils  No need to ‘turn the soil’ each year – associated with problems of compaction  If you plant soils native to your area, they are adapted to your local soil – whatever the soil may be  No need for expensive (and backbreaking) adding of amendments & fertilizers  Most native plants (esp. trees and shrubs) have strong roots; penetrate most clays just fine © Project SOUND
    • Amending clay soils: yes or no?  The best way to amend is with composted organic material  Good/necessary choice for:  Vegetable gardens  Non-native plants  Problems (for native plants)  May change soil pH  Increases nutrient levels – may be too high for many natives  Not needed – many natives are fine with many clay soils © Project SOUND
    • A better choice: add a little topography © Project SOUND
    • Contouring for water management andconservation  Small elevation changes (1-3 ft.) in a landscape can work wonders:  Provide a greater range of Water Zones: high areas will be drier – low areas wetter  Allow local native plants to be grown in clay soils – provide better drainage  Allow good use of seasonal rainfall – channel rainwater into depressions (water gardens) or swales © Project SOUND
    • Shady, slightly wetter areas © Project SOUND
    • *Hillside Gooseberry – Ribes californicum var. hesperium http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ribescalifornicum.jpg © Project SOUND
    • *Hillside Gooseberry – Ribes californicum var. hesperium  Hills of the Transverse Ranges – Ventura to Orange Co.  Locally: Santa Monica Mtns  San Gabriels  Mostly in canyons, shaded areas that get a little extra moisturehttp://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_JM_treatment.pl?4450,4451,4458,4460 http://back40feet.blogspot.com/2009/02/some-pictures-from-3-mile-hike-on.html © Project SOUND
    • Moderate sized shrub that can be trained  Size:  3-6+ ft tall  4-6+ ft wide  Growth form:  Woody shrub  Drought-deciduous; also oftenhttp://picasaweb.google.com/Julia.Green.67/SmithRiverFloraFauna#5071202037998081666 winter deciduous  Arched/mounded form  Foliage:  Leaves typical for currants/gooseberries  Bright to dark green; shiny  Bark: red-brown  Dense enough to provide cover for birds  Note prickles – be sure you locate in the right place!  Roots: bind soils well http://www.flickr.com/photos/ericinsf/3406541076/ © Project SOUND
    • Flowers are fantastic  Blooms:  Early spring - usually Jan- Mar. in our area  All Ribes provide good early flowers: pretty color & nectar source  Flowers:  Almost fuschia-like  Pink/purple & white  Small, but in clusters – & lots of them  Great hummingbird magnet – they guard them!http://www.calfloranursery.com/pages_plants/pages_r/ribcal.html © Project SOUND http://www.laspilitas.com/garden/hummingbird.html
    • The real treats (for humans & others) are the berries  Humans, birds & others will vie for them!  Consider the possibilities:  Jellies  Juices  Sorbets  Wine  Etc.http://www.flickr.com/photos/ken-ichi/2336897514/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/repetti/175661922/ © Project SOUND
    • Hillside Gooseberry does well in many claysoils…  Soils:  Texture: just about any; sandy to well-drained clays  pH: any local  Light:  Does best with afternoon shade or dappled shade  Water:  Young plants: regular water  Winter: takes some flooding  Summer:  likes moist soil (Zone 2-3 or 3); will lose leaves otherwise  No overhead water in warm periods – fungal disease http://www.calflora.net/favoritephotos/images/hillsidegooseberry7.jpg  Fertilizer: organic mulch; keep away from trunk © Project SOUND
    • Garden uses for native Gooseberries and Currants  As an attractive pot plant – large pot or planter  As a background shrub, particularly in a habitat garden  For a hedge or screen  In a woodland garden  Under trees – be sure they have the same water requirements  As an accent plant – can be pruned for a formal look  Espaliered along a wall or fence  In an edible gardenhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/randomtruth/3254808068/ © Project SOUND
    • Other Ribes for clay soilsGolden Currant – R. aureum Chaparral Currant - R. malvaceumWhite-flowered Currant – R. indecorum Fuschia-flowered Gooseberry - R. speciosum © Project SOUND
    • The keys to succeeding with clay soils (in my experience) are:  Leaving the soil alone as much as possible  Timing:  When to plant  When to water  Plant Choice:  Plants adapted to clay soils  Exact choice depends on drainage qualities of your soil  Mulch/ground-covers © Project SOUND
    • How good is the drainage in your clay soil? – conduct a ‘perc test’  Soil texture/Drainage Soil type Approximate time to drain Hard-pan or days sodic soils Clay 3-12 hours Loam 20-60 minutes dig hole 1 ft x 1 ft Sandy Loam 10-30 minutes fill with water and let drain Sand cant fill the fill hole again, measure hole, drains time for water to drain too fast © Project SOUND
    • Loam soil that doesn’t drain? ‘Claypans’ & ‘Plowpans’  What are they?  Impermeable layers within the soil – usually high in clays  Cause water to drain very slowly – ‘vernal pools’  What causes them?  Natural causes: due to natural sedimentation in areas once covered by water  Compaction/plowing: leaves an area that is permenantlyhttp://generalhorticulture.tamu.edu/lectsupl/Soil/soil.html compacted © Project SOUND
    • Provide adequate drainage before planting in soils with claypan.  Create a sump by augering one or more holes, each 1 to 4 inches in diameter, through impermeable soil or hardpan. Auger down at least 3 feet or deeper if necessary to penetrate to more permeable soil. Fill the holes with pea gravel or sandy loam soil before planting.  Dig planting hole down through the claypan or compacted layer  Or just plant natives that can take the extra moisturehttp://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/GARDEN/ENVIRON/sitepreparation.html http://home.howstuffworks.com/how-to-plant-trees-shrubs-and-vines.htm/printable © Project SOUND
    • Bugle (Rigid) Hedgenettle (Wood Mint) – Stachys rigida (ajugoides)© Br. Alfred Brousseau, Saint Marys College © Project SOUND
    • Bugle (Rigid) Hedgenettle (Wood Mint) – Stachys rigida (ajugoides)  West coast from WA to Baja – local var. (rigida) more coastal  Grows in moist places:  Damp bottomlands  Along creeks and streams – riparian areas  Near marshes var. rigida  Other moist low ground, including roadside ditcheshttp://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_JM_treatment.pl?Stachys+ajugoides+var.+rigida © Project SOUND
    • The Mint family (Lamiaceae)  Includes many herbs used in cooking & perfumery; Rosemary, French Lavender, Thyme, Majoram, Sage, and the garden mints  Are usually aromatic, but not necessarily minty  Loved by hummingbirds!  The stems are square with opposite leaves, with each pair of leaves at right angles to the ones above and below it.  The flowers are in whorls  The corolla of the individual flower is usually 2-lipped, with 2 lobes forming the upper lip and 3 lobes the lower lip.Many members of Lamiaceae  The hedgenettle genus Stachys is a mint –make attractive garden only superficially resembles “nettles” - soadditions, particularly the “Wood Mint” is really a better nameshowy sages and mints. © Project SOUND
    • Rigid Woodmint is a good example of a shady wetland perennial plant  Modest size: 1-3 ft high and wide  Does well in part shade; full shade in hot areas – would do well under trees  Requires moist soil most/all of the year to succeed – regular water in the garden  Blooms in summer – nectar source for bees, butterflies and hummingbirds; also seed-eaters  Spreads by rhizomes (underground stems) – good groundcover in damp areas of the garden – cut back yearly to keep in checkhttp://www.calflora.net/bloomingplants/rigidhedgenettle.html © Project SOUND
    • Specimens from further north are more colorful  Colors range from magenta to pale pink  Unclear what proper taxonomy is – much current debatehttp://www.botany.hawaii.edu/Faculty/Carr/ofp/sta_rig.htm George W. Hartwell © Project SOUND
    • Rigid Woodmint can be a useful addition to the shade garden  Small irrigated perennial borders – size is modest, so good scale for small area  Bog or seep gardens with Rushes, Spikerush, Mimulus guttatus, Ranunculus californicus, Verbena lasiostachys  Groundcover for damp, shady areas  Near ponds  Great in well-watered planters, pots © Project SOUND
    • Other local Woodmints also make great groundcovers in clay soils Just trim back, even drastically, in Fall to keep plants in checkStachys albens Stachys bullata © Project SOUND
    • And don’t forget Hummingbird Sage…. Salvia spathecea © Project SOUND
    • Planting in clay soils: follow a few simple rules & you’ll succeed  Never work clay soils when they are soggy wet or bone dry; ditto for walking on wet clays  Plant after the first fall rains (best) or wet the ground thoroughly  Let ground dry out (1-2 weeks depending on drainage)  Dig a hole that’s not too big (or deep)  1 ft wider than tree/shrub (6” on each side)  Same depth as plant – rough up soil in bottom of hole  Consider digging hole with a spading fork rather than a shovel – or rough up the sides of the hole © Project SOUND
    • Planting in clay soils: follow a few simple rules & you’ll succeed http://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/co/maho/la/la_001.cfm Don’t amend (or put gravel in) planting hole – encourages root rot Backfill with soil from the hole; break up any clods/clumps Firm down the soil around the roots If you create a moat around the plant, remove it in wet weather © Project SOUND
    • Native plants with wide water tolerances often do well in clay soil gardens © Project SOUND
    • * Rose (Chaparral) Snapdragon – Sairocarpus multiflorus (Antirrhinum multiflorum)© 2002 Lynn Watson © Project SOUND
    • * Rose Snapdragon – Sairocarpus multiflorus (Antirrhinum multiflorum)  Foothills below 4000 ft. elevation  Generally on dry slopes, disturbed areas or burns  Usually in chaparral  Soil may be rocky  Other names: Multiflowered Snapdragon; Sticky Snapdragon;http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_JM_treatment.pl?7177,7178,7187 Withered Snapdragon © Project SOUND
    • Rose Snapdragon is a fire-follower  Common reasons why a plant is a fire-follower:  Seeds need either heat and/or smoke exposure to germinate  Plants need full sun  Plant need decreased competition for water/nutrients  Soil nutrient levels are increased; plants that need a little extra nutrients may be fire- followers© 2006 Aaron Schusteff © Project SOUND
    • Rose Snapdragon: a sub-shrub  Size:  2-4 ft tall  2-4 ft wide  Growth form:  Perennial/sub-shrub  Bushy or mounded form  Foliage:  Lance-shaped, blue-green leaves; larger below  Semi-drought deciduous; retained with a little summer waterhttp://www.santabarbarahikes.com/flowers/index.php?action=show_item&id=175&search= Ó by Dave Hildebrand © Project SOUND
    • Flowers: delightful!  Blooms:  Spring into summer; usually Apr-June in our area  Blooms over several weeks  Flowers:  Snapdragon-type  Color: ranges form hot pink/magenta to pale pink, even lavender  Flowers arrange snapdragon- like along upright stems – very showy  Fragrant; loved by hummingbirdshttp://www.anniesannuals.com/plants/plant_display.asp?prodid=60  Seeds: small; surface sow – let dry out a bit between wateringhttp://www.calflora.net/bloomingplants/rosesnapdragon.html © Project SOUND
    •  Soils: Plant Requirements  Texture: tolerates wide range from sandy to clay  pH: any local  Light:  Full sun to part shade  Full sun fine in most gardens, but flower color may be better with a little shade  Water:  Winter: needs good water  Summer: wide range of tolerance – Zone 1-2 to 2-3; good for transitional zones  Fertilizer: none; likes poor soils  Management: cut back to 12” inhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Antirrhinummultiflorum.jpg fall/winter © Project SOUND
    • Pink Snapdragon – made for the garden  In mixed perennial beds; good water tolerance  In native grasslands; or mixed with wildflowers  Good choice on sunny hills and slopes  Wonderful habitat plant; hummingbirds and others  As an attractive pot plant  Good showy choice to use as ‘cover’ while slower-growing© 2006 Aaron Schusteff http://www.flickr.com/photos/deinandra/316812126/ shrubs are maturing © Project SOUND
    • Habitat : not just for nature preserves any more  Our yards are a critical source of habitat for birds, insects, other wildlifehttp://www.bringingbackthenatives.net/slides/Drummond_2009/index.html © Project SOUND
    • * Vine Hill Manzanita – Arctostaphylos densiflora© 2006 Steve Matson © Project SOUND
    • * Vine Hill Manzanita – Arctostaphylos densiflora  Endemic to Outer North Coast Ranges (Vine Hill, near Forestville, Sonoma Co.)  A common garden Manzanita – many cultivars of varying sizeshttp://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_JM_treatment.pl?Arctostaphylos+densiflora © Project SOUND
    • © 2001 David Graber Grows on unique shale outcrops © Project SOUND
    • Vine Hill Manzanita is a winner..  Size:  4-8 ft tall (cultivars somewhat outside this range)  4-6+ ft wide  Growth form:  Woody shrub; actual form depends on local conditions  Cultivars range from tree-form to low groundcover  Moderate growth rate  Bark an attractive red-brown  Foliage:  Evergreen  Leaves leathery, elliptic, upright, medium greenhttp://www.elnativogrowers.com/images/Photos/arcdenhm_trunk.JPG http://farm1.static.flickr.com/171/419662011_8048513537.jpg?v=0 © Project SOUND
    • Flowers: small but showy  Blooms:  Late winter/early spring; usually Feb.-Apr in W. L.A. Co.http://www.flickr.com/photos/ericinsf/3356240703/  Flowers:  Small urn-shaped flowers typical of Manzanitas  Shell-pink or white  Many flowers in dense, showy clusters – a real show-stopper  Hummingbirds love them © Project SOUND© 2006 Steve Matson
    • The berries are edible  Loved by fruit-eating birds like Cedar Waxwings, Mockingbirds, etc.http://www.wildscaping.com/plants/plantprofiles/Arcto_HowardMcMinn.htm  Can be used to make a drink or juice reminiscent of apple cider (manzanita is, after all, ‘little apple’)  Also makes a nice jelly or syrup © Project SOUND
    • An adaptable Manzanita  Soils:  Texture: quite adaptable – more so than other Manzanitas – takes clay soils  pH: any local; slightly acidic is best  Light:  Full sun to part-shade  Water:  Winter: tolerates seasonal flooding  Summer: likes to be fairly dry – Zone 1-2 to 2 once established  Fertilizer: likes poor soils; fine with organic mulch © Project SOUND
    • Vine Hill manzanita  Train as an attractive tree  Use as a large accent shrub  Shear as a formal hedge – or leave it more informal  Some cultivars even make nice evergreen groundcovershttp://www.nativeson.com/images/plants/arctostaphylossunset.jpg http://www.elnativogrowers.com/Photographs_page/arcdenhm.htm ‘Howard McMinn’ cultivar © Project SOUND
    • ‘Sentinel’ cultivar  8-10 ft tall & ft wide; upright habit  Very ‘garden-tolerant’  One of the easiest Manzanitas to growhttp://www.laspilitas.com/nature-of-california/plants/arctostaphylos-densiflora-sentinel-manzanita © Project SOUND
    • ‘Howard McMinn’ cultivar  5-8+ ft tall & wide  Readily available  Very tolerant or garden conditions; long-lived (50+ years)  Often trained as a small treehttp://www.elnativogrowers.com/images/Photos/arcdenhm_lsp_shrub.JPG  ‘White Lanterns’ is more dense http://www.nativeson.com/images/plants/arctohoward.jpghttp://www.wildscaping.com/plants/plantprofiles/Arcto_HowardMcMinn.htm © Project SOUND
    • ‘Harmony’ cultivar  Low-growing – 2-3 ft tall & 6+ ft wide  Used for hedges & groundcovers  Easy to grow – does fine in heavy clay soilshttp://www.theodorepayne.org/gallery/pages/A/arctostaphylos_Harmony.htm © Project SOUND
    • Watering clay soils: it’s all about timing…  Soils should neither be too wet (root rot) nor too dry (prevents water from penetrating)  Winter rains can present a challenge; contouring  You have control of summer water; check your soil until you get to know just how often to water  Deep water – but shorter run times (20 min in clay on slopes)  The question of drip irrigationhttp://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/engineer/facts/07-035.htm © Project SOUND
    • Mulches & cover crops are essential  Cover crops help dry out soils – at depths  Mulches keep the surface from drying http://www.sare.org/publications/bsbc/chap14.htm out too fastConsider using native grasses & wildflowers as ‘cover crops’ © Project SOUND
    • Showy Penstemon – Penstemon spectabilis © Project SOUND
    • Showy Penstemon – Penstemon spectabilis  Penstemons  270 species worldwide (largest of the Figwort genera), 150 species in western U.S.  Ancient genus – and long in the Americas  Have evolved to succeed in a wide range of conditions – very wet to very dry  Have a variety of types of pollinators  Penstemon spectabilis  Likely in dry areas of PV peninsula, definitely in Santa Monica Mountains and foothills near Los Angeles © Project SOUND
    • Bee pollinated Hummingbird pollinated Reading floral clues  Bee pollinated flowers:  Shorter “bell”  More wide-open (particularly those pollinated by large bees)  Color: more often blue  Hummingbird pollinated flowers:  Longer, more tube-like flower; less bell-shaped  Color: more often red https://www.csun.edu/biology/grad/faculty/wilsonpdfs/Wilsonetal2004.pdf © Project SOUND
    • © Project SOUND
    • http://elib.cs.berkeley.edu/imgs/512x768/6212_3041/0635/0094.jpeg banks of dry washes and creek beds coastal bluffs gravelly and sandy slopes, hillsides recently disturbed places below 6000 in coastal sage scrub, chaparral and oak woodlands © Project SOUND
    • Showy Penstemon  Size: 2-5 ft tall; 2-4 ft wide  Fast-growing each year from woody base; dies back in fall  Usually upright – but may sprawl  Coarsely serrate, smooth grayish green leaves that turn partially purple in cold weather, drought – dramatic looking  Usually long-lived (for a herbaceous perennial) – at least 12 years © Project SOUND
    • Flowers definitely live up to their name  Blooms Apr-June – over a month or more  Flowering spikes rise above the foliage  Flowers lavender/purple tinged with pink  Flowers attract bees, masarid wasps (pollinators), butterflies and hummingbirds  Seeds eaten by seed-eating birds © Project SOUND
    • Gardening with Showy Penstemon  Soils: any well-drained soil from sandy/rocky to clay; any local pH  Sun: full sun to part-shade  Water: very drought tolerant; don’t over-water in summer. Summer water extends growth season but decreases lifespan  Pruning: Cut back to rosettes after seed has matured in summer  Reseeds: commonly on bare ground Easy to grow in the right location © Project SOUND
    • Penstemons in your garden  Location is everything: plant with other plants that like summer/fall dormancy  Ceanothus, Grindelia, Nassella, Yucca  Encelia, Eriogonum, Mimulus, Salvia  Excellent specimen plants – great flowers & foliage  In the back of a perennial garden or bed – it is tall  In large planters, rock gardens  In the butterfly or hummingbird garden  Make nice cut flowers, toohttp://farm3.static.flickr.com/2213/2522746720_2c1c7ffab1.jpg © Project SOUND
    • Other Penstemons for hummingbirds P. eatoniihttp://www.geol.ucsb.edu/faculty/sylvester/118_fotos2005/Flowers/Flowers-Images/11.jpg P. heterophyllus © Project SOUND P. newberryi
    • Summary: succeeding with clay soils  Minimize work in and walking on muddy clay soils to prevent compaction; provide walkways  Minimize the amount of ‘working’ clay soils; leave them intact as much as possible  Plant with the first fall/winter rains if possible  Only plant when ground is well- watered but dried out enough to not be muddy  Don’t make planting holes too large/deep – and don’t amend the soil in the holes © Project SOUND
    • Summary: succeeding with clay soils  Use a mulch and/or cover crop (native grasses; wildflowers); leave  Supplemental water only as needed; check soils at depth of 4”  Monitor your watering closely; timing is critical © Project SOUND
    • Hummingbirds & parking strips?  Good choices for clay soils include:  Grasses  Sedges  Some perennials  Many annual wildflowers – see list for key oneshttp://www.bringingbackthenatives.net/slides/Dahlquist_2009/index.html © Project SOUND
    • Western Wallflower – Erysimum capitatum var. capitatumhttp://www.wnmu.edu/academic/nspages2/gilaflora/erysimum_capitatum.html © Project SOUND
    • Western Wallflower – Erysimum capitatum var. capitatum  Grows in the west – Texas to British Columbia  Found in much of CA  is a common member of many plant communities, generally away from the coast, below 8000  Also called Sand dune Wallflower – but don’t let that discourage you!http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_JM_treatment.pl?Erysimum+capitatum+var.+capitatum © Project SOUND
    • Grows in a variety of conditions  Dry open areas in pine forests© 2004 George W. Hartwell  Rocky or gravelly areas  Grasslands with clay soils  All are relatively dry in summer – allow plant to have summer dormancy period © Project SOUND
    • Western Wallflower looks somewhat like our local Dune Wallflower  Size:  1-2 ft tall  1-2 ft wide  Growth form:  Short-lived (2-3 year) perennial in our area  Upright growth habit  Dies back to ground in dry season  Foliage:  Leaves sparse, almost linear  Blue-green  Roots: soil-bindinghttp://www.wildflower.org/gallery/result.php?id_image=22411 © Project SOUND
    • Flowers are fantastic  Blooms: spring – Mar-May in western L.A. County  Flowers:  Bright golden yellow; quite showy  Typical shape for Brassicaceae (Mustard); parts of 4  Open ‘up the stem’  Attracts bees, hummingbirds & other pollinatorshttp://www.calflora.net/bloomingplants/westernwallflower.html © Project SOUND http://www.timetotrack.com/jay/wallfl3.htm
    • Plant Requirements  Soils:  Texture: any, including clays  pH: any local; dislikes acidic soils  Light:  Part-shade (afternoon shade) best in most gardens  Water:  Winter: needs good winter/spring rains  Summer: dry (Zone 1 or 1-2); needs summer dormancy  Fertilizer: none; likes poor soils  Other: let plant re-seed before cutting back in fallhttp://www.calflora.net/bloomingplants/westernwallflower.html © Project SOUND
    • Western Wallflower is good habitat  Excellent addition to a habitat garden – hummingbirds, bees and butterflies favor it  Pair it with blue-flowered annual wildflowers for anhttp://www.wnmu.edu/academic/nspages2/gilaflora/erysimum_capitatum.html attractive contrast  Grow in dry spots along walls  As an attractive pot plant © Project SOUND http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Erysimum_capitatum_5708.JPG
    • Western Wallflower is good habitat  Excellent addition to a habitat garden – hummingbirds, bees and butterflies favor ithttp://www.wnmu.edu/academic/nspages2/gilaflora/erysimum_capitatum.html  Pair it with blue-flowered annual wildflowers for an attractive contrast  Grow in dry spots along walls, parking strips, etc.  As an attractive pot plant © Project SOUND http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Erysimum_capitatum_5708.JPG
    • Other annuals & biennials that are particularly attractive to hummingbirds Circium occidentale Collinsia heterophylla Oenothera elata Clarkia unguiculata Lupinus species Annual Salvias © Project SOUNDhttp://www.calfloranursery.com/pages_whatsnew/whatsnewmay07.html
    • Gardening for hummingbird habitat  Place plants in several locations. This will allow more hummingbirds and minimize territorial fighting  Fill as much of your yard as possible with flowering plants, vines, shrubs, and trees. If you do not have a garden, even a window box or hanging basket can attract hummingbirds!  Plant clusters of the same species together.  Plant flowers with different blooming times to provide nectar throughout the seasons.  Minimize or avoid using herbicides or pesticides on or near those plants where butterflies and hummingbirds are feeding. © Project SOUND
    • Gardening for Hummingbird habitat  Consider using many different kinds of plants: annuals, perennials, trees and vines all can contribute – check out the extensive list!  Encourage your neighbors to make their yards hummingbird friendly too. An entire corridor of habitat is much more valuable than scattered patches.  Think vertically when planning your hummingbird garden. Use trellises, trees, garden sheds, or other structures to support climbing vines; add window boxes, wooden tubs, or ceramic pots to create a terraced effect and provide growing places for a variety of plants.http://www.nps.gov/noca/nie/articles/migratory_birds.htm  Prune your plants to prevent excessive woody growth and instead favor production of flowers.  Learn about local hummingbird habits and which species are likely to occur near your home. Study the migration dates, nesting season, and seasonal presence. This knowledge will help you select plants that will bloom during the time that hummingbirds are likely to visit your yard. © Project SOUND
    • More tips: Gardening for Hummingbird habitat  Create both sun and shade area in your hummingbird garden. Your hummingbird flowers will need sun to grow and your hummingbirds will need the shade to perch in between feedings.  Be sure to position your hummingbird garden where you can see it and get the most enjoyment out of it.  Hummers spend nearly 80 percent of their time resting, so you also will want to provide plenty of places to perch. Theyll sit on twigs, leaf stems, fences, etc..Trees and shrubs don’t necessarily  Mature trees and shrubs with a thickneed to be huge to provide good canopy are important nesting andhummingbird habitat escape features. Shrubs, bushes and perennials not only provide food but can also provide perching and nesting sites and, in some cases, escape features the bird will use. © Project SOUND
    • Once hummingbirds discover your property, the same individualsare likely to return each year at about the same time – or simplystay year-round; they are remarkable creatures of habit. Thenumber of hummingbirds that frequent your yard is closely linkedto the abundance of food, water, nesting sites, and perches © Project SOUND