Garden tasks though the year   2012
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Garden tasks though the year 2012

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This talk was given in January, 2012 as part of the 'Out of The Wilds and Into Your Garden' native plant gardening series.

This talk was given in January, 2012 as part of the 'Out of The Wilds and Into Your Garden' native plant gardening series.

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    Garden tasks though the year   2012 Garden tasks though the year 2012 Presentation Transcript

    • Out of the Wilds and Into Your Garden Gardening with Western L.A. County Native Plants Project SOUND – 2012 (our 8th year) © Project SOUND
    • Through the YearGarden Tasks – And Pleasures – Through the Year C.M. Vadheim and T. Drake CSUDH & Madrona Marsh Preserve Madrona Marsh Preserve January 7 & 10, 2012 © Project SOUND
    • Gardening in S. CA IS different © Project SOUND
    • What makes us so unique?  Latitude & coastal position – mediterranean climate  Mild rainy winter/spring  Moderately hot, dry summer/fall  Year-to-year variability  Extreme elevation changes  Foothills and mountains have very different climate than our local ‘lowlands’  Soils – our lowland soils are mostly sedimentary (ocean/river deposited) © Project SOUND
    • You likely live in Sunset Zone22, 23 or 24 http://www.sunset.com/garden/climate-zones/sunset-climate-zone-los-angeles-area-00418000067298/ © Project SOUND
    • Sunset Zone 24  Where hills/cliffs/palisades are low/nonexistent, it runs inland several Coastal Marine Zone miles.  Soils tend to be sandy to sandy-clay  Climate zone is almost completely dominated by the ocean – a mild, marine climate.  Winters are mild, summers cool, and the air seldom really dry.  On many days in spring and early summer, the sun doesn’t break through the high overcast until afternoon.  Record heat usually comes in early October, carried to the coast byhttp://www.sunset.com/garden/climate-zones/sunset-climate-zone-los-angeles-area-00418000067298/ Santa Ana winds. The wind’s power and dryness usually causes more problems This is a wonderful than the heat itself. Zone for gardening!  Some plants bloom all year long © Project SOUND
    • Sunset Zone 23  Mostly influence by oceans butCoast Thermal Belt sometimes influenced by inland heat  Frosts don’t amount to much – 85% percent of the time, Pacific Ocean weather dominates; interior air rules only 15% percent of the time. A notorious portion of this 15 percent consists of those days when hot, dry Santa Ana winds blow.  Lacks either the summer heat or the winter cold necessary to grow pears, most apples, and most peaches. But it enjoys considerably more heat thanhttp://www.sunset.com/garden/climate-zones/sunset-climate-zone-los-angeles-area-00418000067298/ Zone 24  Temperatures are mild, but severeThis is a wonderful winters descend at times.Zone for gardening! © Project SOUND
    •  Cold-winter portions of S. CA coastalSunset Zone 22 climateCold-winter Coastal  Is a coastal climate - influenced by the ocean approximately 85% of the time).  Average summer temperatures warmer than Zone 24  When temperatures drop in winter, these cold-air basins have lower winter temperatures than those in neighboring Zone 23.  No pronounced chilling period – limits growth of plants from local mountainshttp://www.sunset.com/garden/climate-zones/sunset-climate-zone-los-angeles-area-00418000067298/ that need a cold dormant periodThis is a wonderfulZone for gardening! © Project SOUND
    • One key to wise gardening: becoming more aware of your climate  Read the weather forecasts like a hawk – they are a good clue to things you’ll need to do or not do  Set out a rain gauge and chart precipitation  Indoor-outdoor thermometer/ humidity meter  Chart soil moisture from Apr- Oct.  Become more aware of wind: daily patterns; direction; monthly patterns; ‘unusual’ events © Project SOUND
    • Several good general books specific to our area (L.A. county)http://www.californiagardens.com/Essays/garden_calendar_archive.htm © Project SOUND
    • Let’s assume you have a blended garden with CA native plants & traditional veggies/fruits http://ana-white.com/2010/05/hack-natural-rustic-cedar- raised-beds.htmlhttp://www.huntingtonbeachca.gov/hbwater/landscape-gardening/water-wise-landscaping.cfm © Project SOUND
    • You have some common CA native plants in your garden Elegant Clarkia Golden Stars Blue Elderberry CA Encelia ‘Yankee Point’ Ceanothus Purple SageSt. Catherine’s Lace © Project SOUND
    • We’ll begin our tour of the gardening year in July  Why? - it’s a time of endings & beginnings  The spring bloom season is at it’s end  The warm weather really starts in – true beginning of the dry season  It’s a good time to evaluate what worked – or didn’t – and plan for the next season  Summer vegetables and fruits start to ripenhttp://annystudio.com/calendars/ © Project SOUND
    • July: End of spring © Project SOUND
    • July Weather & Climate At a glance: hotter than June and less fog. Nights are warm. CSS & Chaparral plants transition to summer mode. Temperature:  mean high = 74/77 ; mean low = 64/62  Record high = 97/102 ; record low = 52/42 Precipitation:  Average: 0.03/0.05” Winds: usually not important; may have ocean breezes, fog © Project SOUND
    • July: some plants beginning to dry out © Project SOUND
    • Transition from spring to summer blooms © Project SOUND
    • The summer vegetable plants are maturinghttp://www.glenns-garden.com/vegetable-garden-is-growing-well-going-into-july/ http://socalgarden.blogspot.com/2009/06/harvesting-cherry-tomatoes.html © Project SOUND
    • July: General Tasks  Planning/Preparation:  Take assessment of your garden: what needs improvement  Start a garden journal & photo log – orhttp://farmerfredrant.blogspot.com/2011/01/loosen-bare-root-plant-labels.html get yours organized  Get a new inspirational book; or search the web, go to the library  Great time to create a garden design  Order native seeds & bulbs (right now); order seeds of cool season vegetables  Hardscape/General:  Make repairs/changes that weren’t possible in spring © Project SOUNDhttp://federaltwist.blogspot.com/2010/08/garden-diary-linear-motif.html
    •  Watering: summer modeJuly: General Tasks  Check soils weekly – water as needed, during cool periods (early/late in day)  Monitor young plants (at least weekly – more in hot periods):  1st summer: 1 full Zone above final Zone;  2nd summer: ½ Zone above  Plants from N. Coast need more water & spray ‘fog’ beginning in July  Weeds, Diseases & Pests:  Summer weeds: bindweed, mustard, wild lettuce, prickly ox-tongue, sow thistle, others  Get them out while they are small © Project SOUND
    • July: Planting & Pruning Planting:  Not too late to plant bean, corn, cucumber and summer squash from seed. Pruning:  Prune Manzanitas in warm dry weather;  Dead-head Salvia and Penstemon flower stalks as they finish up, unless you’re collecting the seed. When your sages have finished their bloom, you can cut them back by a third – or wait until fall.  Mow your alternative lawn © Project SOUND
    • July: Enjoying the Garden Edibles/crafts:  Harvest leaves, berries, strawberries for tea;  Take cuttings of mints for seasonings, vinegars  Harvest conventional fruits as they become ripe – eat, freeze/can or make into jam/jelly Enjoying the garden:  Enjoy butterflies;  take the butterfly class & participate in butterfly counts  Certify your garden - NABA  Certify your garden as a wildlife habitat garden (Nat. Wildlife Foundation)  Sit in the shade; enjoy the fruits of your labors; drink some nice mint tea Mother Nature’s advice:  Work early or late; don’t stress © Project SOUND
    • August: lazy days of summer © Project SOUND
    • August Weather & Climate At a glance: warm, dry & pleasant; warm nights ripen summer fruits/veggies; dry soils Temperature:  mean high = 75/78 ; mean low = 64/62  Record high = 98/101 ; record low = 51/44 Precipitation:  Average: 0.05/0.02” Winds: usually not a particular problem © Project SOUND
    • August: watering needed in most gardens © Project SOUND
    • August: Buckwheats & silver against a background of evergreen shrubs © Project SOUND
    • August: summer harvest time continues in earnesthttp://www.fotothing.com/fhelsing/photo/2dd1f769d56af992e754b5f85ee69814/ Warm-season veggies ripen in summer (or fall) http://socalgarden.blogspot.com/2010_10_01_archive.html  Tomatoes  Squash (summer)  Peppers  Squash (‘winter’)  Beans (all kinds)  Cucumber  Eggplant  Melons  Corn © Project SOUND
    • Guide to S. CA Vegetable Crops Warm-season Vegetables Cool-season Vegetables  Plant: Plant:  From seed: Aug-Oct in shaded  From seed: Mar-May; depends pots; Sep-Oct in ground on how cold the spring is  From starts: Oct-Dec  From starts: Apr-June (even July for late crops)  Ripen:  Early crops: Oct-Nov Ripen:  Late crops: Dec-Feb  Early crops: June-July (Aug) Late crops: Aug-Sept  Examples: Examples:  Early crops: broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale,  Early crops: beans, cucumbers, kohlrabi, mustard, lettuce and summer squash, tomatoes, other greens  Late crops: corn, melons,  Late crops: peas, cabbage, winter squash celery, © Project SOUND
    • Some veggies can be planted almost any time – or serially for long season  Beets  Carrots  Green beans  Radishes  Swiss chardhttp://www.vegetable-garden-guide.com/growing-carrots.html http://tinyfarmblog.com/first-carrots-plus-beets/ © Project SOUND
    • August: General Tasks  Planning/Preparation:  Decide on cool season veggies – enjoy browsing the catalogs  Order seeds & bulbs;  Clean seeds collected from garden  Look for a new container or garden sculpture  Tidy up your potting bench  Sit in the shade and think about Water Zones/conservation;  Plan to increase shady areas for outdoor activitieshttp://berkeleyheritage.com/gallery/1000_oaks_tour2007.8.html © Project SOUND
    • August: General Tasks  Hardscape:  Apply/re-apply gravel mulch to wildflower & bulb areas – will help them to look less bare  Repair/install hardscape; work in cool times of day  Build raised beds or potting area before Sept. heats up http://www.mastergardeners.org/projects/gilroy.htmlhttp://www.penick.net/digging/?p=14254 © Project SOUND
    • http://pcnatthegreenshow.wordpress.com/2010/04/18/california-spring-trials-day-3-along-the-central-coast/ http://efnep.ucdavis.edu/?blogpost=4501&blogasset=17351 http://www.thriftyfun.com/tf16684008.tip.htmlhttp://www.gardenstogro.com/raised-garden-hinged-fencing.php © Project SOUND
    • August: General Tasks  Watering:  Taper off water to native plants except Zone 3 & Chaparral and Sonoran Desert plants – give them a good ‘monsoon’;http://www.thriftyfun.com/tf16684008.tip.html  Weeds, Diseases & Pests:  Most summer weeds are winding down – particularly in drier areas; still a challenge in vegetable garden  Look for signs of fungal disease; prune out diseased branches © Project SOUND
    • August: a little propagation & planting  Propagation:  Sow seeds of cool-season vegetables in containers – semi-shade.  Start warm-season grasses from seed in containers – semi-shade  Planting:  Plant radishes, carrots, beets directly into the garden. © Project SOUND
    • August: Pruning &  Pruning: summer pruning month  Prune for safety & plant health Mowing  Hedge-shear if needed  Pruning to thin: prune after late spring/summer flowering  Carpenteria californica  Heteromeles arbutifolia  Keckiella cordifolia  Philadelphus lewisii  Prunus ilicifolia  Salvia spp. (prune now or in Oct/Nov) http://cngf.org/gardens/meadow.htm  Desert Legumes: Chilopsis;  Mow (if desired) sod grasses, sedges  Coppice (severe prune) to rejuvenate old plants (after bloom)  Comarostaphylis diversifolia  * Cornus spp.  Heteromeles arbutifolia  * Philadelphus lewisii  Ribes viburnifolium  Rosa spp. © Project SOUND
    • Enjoying the August Garden  Edibles/Crafts:  Pick elderberries, other ripe fruits; use or dry/freeze  Pick, use or dry/freeze summer veggies  Enjoying the garden:  Enjoy the shade; cool dry garden shade is delightful  Search for a new container or garden sculpture  Eat corn on the cob, melons from your garden  Make elderberry jelly/syrup or dry berries for tea  Mother Nature’s advice: prepare now for a busy fall – August is often cooler than Sept. © Project SOUNDhttp://www.csupomona.edu/~panorama/summer2009/focus.html
    • Scorching September © Project SOUND
    • September Weather & Climate At a glance: transition into fall. Nights may begin to cool off, but days are still warm. Not uncommon to have extremely hot weather and Santa Ana winds. Very dry – low humidity! Temperature:  mean high = 75/78 ; mean low = 63/61  Record high = 110/111 ; record low = 47/43 Precipitation:  Average: 0.21/0.16” Winds: hot, dry Santa Ana winds common. © Project SOUND
    • Summer veggies – end of gamehttp://cagardenweb.ucdavis.edu/?repository=10369 © Project SOUND http://www.slowfamilyonline.com/tag/victory-gardens/
    • September: General Tasks  Planning/Preparation:  Sort/clean/store seeds collected in spring/summer  Explore the CA Garden Web - http://cagardenweb.ucdavis.edu/  Hardscape/General:  Repair/install hardscape (work in the cool)  Install/repair/clean rain catchment facilities: gutters, sprinklers, rain barrels, french drain, rain garden hardscape, etc.http://www.californiagrange.org/news/garden_grow.html  Prepare veg. garden for winter veggies; remove spent plants, fertilize, mulch  Start a compost bin/pile for your cuttings http://sbthp.wordpress.com/2011/09/21/it-takes-a-village-to-tend-the-presidio/ © Project SOUND
    • September: General  Watering: major watering month for Zone 2-3 & 3 Tasks  Taper off all but Zone 2-3 & 3; keep vegetable gardens, containers, other Zone 3 plants watered – particularly if Santa Anna winds are predicted  Weeds, Diseases & Pests:  Grasshoppers and gophers may be getting desperate  Pruning:  Sharpen/repair planting & pruning tools after summer pruning tasks; http://agrilife.org/etg/2011/02/18/mid-february-marks-rose-pruning-season/ consider buying new/better tools if appropriate  Rake out cool-season grasses; mow or cut back if needed;  Prune to thin: Adenostoma spp.  Divide native bulbs/corms; store or replant © Project SOUNDhttp://tmousecmouse.blogspot.com/2011_11_01_archive.html
    • Propagation & planting  Propagation from seed: give seedlings part-shade and keep well-watered  Start chilling seeds that need long (2-3+ month) pre-plant stratification;  First chance to start cool-season plants:  Cool-season grass plugs  Cool season veggie crops in nursery containers; broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, other greens  Plant out:  Cool-season vegetables from starts/pony packs; keep well-watered – daily water in early morning or evening.http://www.californiagreekgirl.com/?p=92 © Project SOUND
    • Enjoying the September Garden  Edibles/crafts:  Pick ripe winter squash, tomatoes, peppers; enjoy a new recipe  Pick fresh sweet corn near coast  Enjoying the garden:  Fall sunflowers are blooming: watch to see what birds, butterflies and insects visit themhttp://blog.jannelsonlandscapedesign.com/?cat=43&paged=2  Enjoy the scent of Bricklebush in late afternoon;  Purchase a birdbath or fountain (on sale now) to provide a drink for birds  Mother Nature’s advice: fall-blooming natives are important for attracting pollinators & other beneficial insects. Your vegetable garden will benefit. © Project SOUND
    • October: subtle hues and lots to do © Project SOUND
    • October Weather & Climate At a glance: feels more like summer than fall. Hot, dry Santa Ana winds suck the moisture out of everything. Yet we may also get our first real rains. Clearly a transitional month. Temperature:  mean high = 73/75 ; mean low = 59/57  Record high = 106/106 ; record low = 43/37 Precipitation:  Average: 0.56/0.62” Winds: May be the most windy month of the year Other: May be smoggy © Project SOUND
    • October: the garden looks like it needs some help © Project SOUND
    • October: subtle fall palette – like a painting © Project SOUND
    • October also signals transition time in the vegetable garden http://connect.sierraclub.org/post/ClimateCrossroadsBlog/categories/8E12E318-7AB3-41FD-8FCA-93FD9B8304FA.html © Project SOUND
    • October: lots of preparation  Planning/Preparation:  Purchase plants from native plant nurseries/sales; place in semi-shade and water regularly until planted out.  Consider adding some decorative and educational signs to your garden; explore your options – purchase/http://www.calvin.edu/news/archive/a-perennial-the-native-plant- create, then install after pruningsale    Hardscape/General:  Finish installing any hardscape: fences, paths, patios  Re-apply mulch after pruning © Project SOUND
    • October: time for some planting  Propagation:  From seed: cool-season grass plugs; annual wildflowers, bulb seeds in nursery containers; winter veggie crops. Keep them well-watered.  Start chilling seeds w/ shorter (1-2 month) pre-plant stratification period; check for roots every 2 weeks – planthttp://nadiaknows.com/tag/southern-california-planting-guide/ in nursery containers when first roots emerge  Take semi-soft wood cuttings of ceanothus, manzanita for propagation  Planting:  Plant out cool-season vegetables from starts/pony-packs or from seed http://connect.sierraclub.org/post/ClimateCrossroadsBlog/categories/8E12E318-7AB3-41FD-8FCA- © Project SOUND 93FD9B8304FA.html
    • Watering: prepare for the rainy season – but water likesummer if needed  Watch weather forecast like a hawk!!!  Taper off watering all but Zone 2-3 & 3 plants. Keep Zone 3 plants watered – particularly if Santa Anna winds are predicted  Once rains saturate the soil you can turn off your irrigation system (if you have one); check soils periodically during hot, windy, dry weather and water as needed  Install/repair/clean rainwater collection/infiltration system (if not done in Sept.) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rain_gauge Set out/clean rain gauge © Project SOUND
    • October: time for fall pruning??  Pruning: major pruning month, particularly for Water Zone 1 and Zone 1-2 plants  Prune to shape/thin:  Ribes spp. - Be sure to prune Ribes now, as they can bloom very early  Most summer-dry shrubs & sub- shrubs/perennials (particularly Coastal Sage Scrub and Coastal Shrubland species)The trick is to prune  Hedge-shear – now through Dec.before the rainy season best time for mature plantsbut not during hot, dry  Divide native bulbs/corms; store orperiods – to minimize replant (better)stress on the plant  Remove old leaves, dead stems, tidy up perennials, groundcovers and ornamental grasses © Project SOUND
    •  Edibles/crafts:The pleasures of fall  Dry aromatic prunings for seasoning/tea/potpourri begin  Save artistic-looking materials for fall/winter decorations, flower arrangements, etc.  Dye some yarn with prunings; or dry the dye-stuff for later  Carve a pumpkin – or make a pie  Enjoying the garden:  Go to the native plant sales; see what’s new, ask questions  Visit a new-to-you native plant garden; take your camera and notebook to jot down ideas.  Enjoy the play of tans, browns and grays – a subtle sophisticated color palette  Mother Nature’s advice: don’t fight the weather – work with it. © Project SOUND
    • Nice (or Naughty) November © Project SOUND
    • November Weather & Climate At a glance: return of the rainy season (if we’re lucky). Days are shorter and cooler; good time to work in the garden. Temperature:  mean high = 69/70 ; mean low = 53/50  Record high = 101/98 ; record low = 38/32 Precipitation: An average of 10% of our rain falls in November.  Average: 1.11/1.19” Winds: usually less chance of Santa Anas; may be blustery winter storms © Project SOUND
    • The garden looks a little bare © Project SOUND
    • Cool-season veggies are taking offhttp://www.amillionlives.net/vegetable-gardening-tips-easy-ideas-for-great-produces.html © Project SOUND
    • Tidying up this  Planning: month  Purchase plants at native plant nurseries/sales; place in semi-shade and water until planted out.  Hardscape/General:  Renew mulch after pruning – so much easier!  Complete your clean-up of summer blooming perennials and shrubshttp://a1mowing.com/shrub.htm  Watering: usually into winter mode  Once rains saturate the soil you can turn off your irrigation system (if you have one); check soils periodically during hot, windy, dry weather and water as needed  Water garden well if soils become dry or if no rain for 3 weeks or longer © Project SOUNDhttp://www.ucrealty.com/blog/F036CE3C-0903-4FFC-BA58-0510C054C0F3
    •  Propagation: major propagation monthPlanting if Mother  From seed: cool-season grass plugs;nature cooperates annual wildflowers in containers; shrub & tree seeds w/ short/no pre-chill req.  Check seeds stratifying in refrigerator; plant in nursery pots when you start seeing tiny roots emerge  From cuttings: semi-soft wood cuttings of ceanothus, Manzanita; hardwood cuttings from vines, grapes  Planting:http://www.cruciferousvegetables.net/category/cruciferous-vegetable-garden/  Last chance: replant native bulbs/corms  Plant out herbaceous groundcover plants – keep watered if needed  Plant rain garden plants; keep watered  Plant out cool-season vegetables from starts or pony-packs: peas, mustard, spinach, lettuce and other greens  Evaluate/repot container plants as needed © Project SOUND
    • Major pruning month Finish pruning summer-dry shrubs in dry, warm periods (check forecast) Prune to shape/train:  Most native trees and woody shrubs, vines Prune to thin:  Baccharis spp  Berberis spp  Ceanothus spp.  Cercocarpus spp. Hedge-shear – good time © Project SOUND
    •  Prune back groundcover perennials/sub-shrubs:  Diplacus/Mimulus spp  Eriogonum spp.  Mint family: Monardella spp., Salvia spathacea, Stachys spp.  Groundcover sunflowers: Symphyotrichum/Aster spp., Achillea millefolium, Artemisia douglasiana, Grindelia spp., Solidago spp.,  Romneya coulteri  Aster chilense, goldenrod, Yarrow, Woodmints, CA Fuschia Divide plants (when ground is soft after rains begin)  Iris douglasii  *Heuchera spp.  Potentilla , Horkelia  Fern species (native)  Fragaria spp. (wait until start to grow w/ fall rains)  Native cool-season grasses: Festuca, Nassella, Leymus, Calamagrostis, Melica, Carex tumulicola . Make sure each clump has a good root ball. Water well.  Sisyrinchium spp.  Native succulent plants & cacti © Project SOUND
    • Enjoy the cooler  Edibles/Crafts:  Collect and dry rose-hips for days of late fall tea  Make holiday gifts with aromatics – potpourri, flavored vinegars  Make jam, jelly or syrup from frozen fruits  Dry cuttings for dye, seasonings  Dye material & yarn  Enjoying the garden:  Learn more about fall bird migration; there’s lots to learn on the internetMother Nature’s advice: cool  Note when the first seed-eatingtemperatures invigorate us; get birds visit your spentout and get some serious sunflowers & buckwheats ; setexercise! out bird seed © Project SOUND
    • December: the garden often slumbers © Project SOUND
    • December Weather & Climate At a glance: cold and dark. Days are as short as they get and nights are in the 40’s or cooler. Rain is expected – but may not come in La Nina years (like this year). Temperature:  mean high = 65/65 ; mean low = 49/46  Record high = 94/94 ; record low = 32/27 Precipitation: usually a good rain month  Average: 2.05/2.09” Winds: winter storms can bring strong winds from the west © Project SOUND
    • December: growth is waiting © Project SOUND
    • Plants are starting to grow – but not yet convinced to go all out! © Project SOUND
    • Meanwhile, out in the vegetable garden… http://blog.gardenerd.com/2009/12/16/malibu-vegetable-garden-delight.aspx http://www.themanlyhousekeeper.com/2011/11/29/asphalt-garden-harvesting-my-radishes-and- other-garden-adventures/ © Project SOUND
    •  Planning: wait ’til next month – you’reBusy month – but not busy now! in the garden  Hardscape/General:  Check your hardscape after hard rains; make repairs if needed  Rake paths of fallen leaves; compost or use as mulch if appropriate  Clear paths and hardscape areas of unwanted seedlings – remove with hoe, hula-hoe or trowel  Watering: winter mode  Check soils periodically during hot, windy, dry weather and water as needed  Water garden well if soils become dry or if no rain for > 3 weeks; you will have to be the rainhttp://wwwrockrose.blogspot.com/2010/04/bluebonnet-pull-out.html © Project SOUND
    •  Planting: good planting month (if rainy)  Good month for planting native plants from containers if rains have started  Plant native annual wildflower seeds in prepared beds before a good rainstorm  Plant cool-season grasses/sedges from plugs/starts  Cool season veggies from seed or starts/pony-packs; include some ‘native greens’ like Claytonia, Trifolia (clover)   Propagation: major propagation month  Start from seed: annual wildflowers in containers; shrub/tree seeds w/ short/no pre-chill req.; cool season veggies  check seeds stratifying in refrigerator; plant in nursery pots when you start seeing tiny roots emerge  Start cuttings from vines, grapes, elderberryhttp://www.family-gardens.com/vegetable-garden- © Project SOUNDseeds-01282010.html
    • December: thank heavens for our forgiving climate!  Planting:  Can still plant most cool- season vegetables from starts/pony packs: broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, kale, kohlrabi, mustard, lettuce and other greens, and root crops like beets, carrots, radishes, and turnips. http://www.cruciferousvegetables.net/category/cruciferous-vegetable-garden/ © Project SOUND
    •  Pruning: major pruning month Major winter  Prune/train to shape:pruning - Dec.  Winter-deciduous trees/shrubs  Woody vines: Lonicera spp., Vitis spp.,  Prune to thin: choose a dry period if possible  Most winter-deciduous trees/shrubs  Pines, junipers, citrus  Prune back groundcover perennials/sub- shrubs (if you didn’t in November):  Diplacus/Mimulus spp; Achillea; Mint family: Monardella spp., Salvia spathacea, Stachys spp.;Epilobium canum, Stachys spp.  Coppice (severe prune) to rejuvenate old plants (dormant)  Berberis/Mahonia spp. ;Cleome isomeris; Dendromecon spp.; Heuchera spp and cultivars; many others  Weeds/Diseases/Pests:  Weedy grasses may start to grow, particularly in a warm spell © Project SOUND
    • Enjoy the quiet moments…  Edibles/Crafts:  Make a holiday decoration like a grape or Toyon wreath using native plant materials  Give seeds, plants, jams, jellies, etc. from your own garden as unique holiday gifts  Eat fresh greens from the gardenhttp://www.baynatives.com/plants/Heteromeles-arbutifolia/  Enjoying the garden:  Sit in the noon sun & enjoy the birds – migrants are here; you might even get some good photos  Hang a finch feeder in your garden  Mother Nature’s advice: don’t worry about getting things done – there’s still plenty of time in January http://cagardenweb.ucdavis.edu/?repository=10369 © Project SOUND
    • Cool, wet January © Project SOUND
    • January Weather & Climate At a glance: Cold and rainy or warm and sunny. Days still short, so rainy days will seem particularly dark. Afternoons cool off quickly. Temperature:  mean high = 65/66 ; mean low = 49/46  Record high = 91/91 ; record low = 27/25 Precipitation: An average of 20% of our rain falls in January.  Average: 2.71/3.26” Winds: not a particularly windy month © Project SOUND
    • January: light & shade; warm & cool © Project SOUND
    • There’s a certain beauty to the January garden © Project SOUND
    •  Planning:January: General  Visit nurseries to choose/ purchase manzanita and ceanothus in bloom Tasks  Check out the seed catalogs on-line; order traditional warm-season vegetable seeds  Take photos of seedlings so you’ll recognize them next year  Hardscape/General:  Rake up leaves; rake/level paths  Check hardscape, slopes, trees afterhttp://dangergarden.blogspot.com/2010/04/joy-creek-nursery.html heavy rains  Watering: winter mode  Water-in all new plants; then water again a week later if needed  Check soil moisture during prolonged dry periods (3 or more weeks) or windy periods; irrigate as needed  Check seedlings daily in warm weather; water as needed © Project SOUND Elegant Clarkia
    •  Propagation:  From seed: check seeds stratifying inJanuary = planting refrigerator; plant in nursery pots when roots emerge  Plant other natives from seed  Planting: major planting month  The best month for planting native plants, from large trees to small perennials, grasses, annuals  Plant bare-root and containerized fruit trees of all kinds (native and traditional)  Weeds/Diseases/Pests: major weeding month  Cool-season weedy grasses, Creeping woodsorrel, etc.  Weed out native seedlings popping up in the wrong places  Watch for snails & slugs Project SOUND © – take
    • January: major winter pruning month as well  Prune to thin (if still not done):  winter-deciduous trees/ shrubs – this is often our best month to prune all trees  Rosa spp.  Coppice (severe prune) to rejuvenate old plants  Sambucus nigra cerulea  Divide & replant:  Perennials like Penstemon, Gumplant, Heuchera and Yarrow as they begin their growth season  Can still divide and replant native ornmental grasses, sedges, Sisyrinchium, rushes  Mow (if desired) cool-season sod- forming grasses, sedges © Project SOUND
    •  Edibles/Crafts:Ah, January  Spend a rainy day knitting/ crocheting/sewing something from hand-dyed yarn or cloth  Make soap or candles using scented materials dried last fall  Enjoy tangerines or oranges – including straight off the tree   Enjoying the garden:  Buy a bird book and pair of binoculars; get to know your birds  Watch hummingbirds and others gather nesting materials and begin their courtship displays  Sit in a warm spot and enjoy the sun  Notice seedlings & bulbs popping up; early blooming ones may already be forming flowers heads  Mother Nature’s advice: enjoy! © Project SOUND
    • By middle of January, things are looking promising © Project SOUND
    • Finally, February © Project SOUND
    • February Weather & Climate At a glance: transition month; one foot in winter, the other in spring. Temperatures are cool; often our rainiest month. Temperature:  mean high = 64/66 ; mean low = 50/48  Record high = 92/92 ; record low = 28/28 Precipitation: traditionally one of our rainiest months  Average: 3.35/3.91” Winds: usually not bad © Project SOUND
    • February: high drama… © Project SOUND
    • …or softly muted © Project SOUND
    • http://cagardenweb.ucdavis.edu/?repository=10369 http://california-plants.com/2009/07/19/designing-a-vegetable-garden-that-will-keep- out-gophers-and-moles/ © Project SOUND
    •  Planning:February: General  Remember to take pictures of key vistas in Tasks your garden every month or so; these will help you understand your garden –and its seasons - better.  Start a ‘Bloom Calendar’ for key flowering plants in your garden  Hardscape/General:  Renew your bog garden/pond garden  Remove unwanted seedlings (Salvias; Encelia; etc.)  Check hardscape, slopes, trees after heavy rains  Watering: may need none at all  Water-in all new plants; then water again a week later if needed  Check soil moisture during prolonged dry periods; irrigate  Check seedlings daily in warm weather; water as needed © Project SOUND
    •  Propagation:The planting frenzy  From seed: good time to start native continues… shrubs/perennials, warm-season grasses in containers; start traditional summer veggies in nursery containers – protect from frost  Divide: rushes, cattails, other ‘bog garden’ plants;  Planting: major planting month  Excellent month for planting most native plants; especially perennials/sub-shrubs, bunch grasses  Plant annual wildflower seeds in prepared areas for late spring color; you can serial sow Gilas & Clarkias every 2 weeks for flowers into summer (with summer watering)  Plant to fill in bare spaces, or replace plants that have not done well form previous plantings © Project SOUND
    • February: a little pruning, a lot of weeding  Pruning:  Prune to thin:  Clematis spp.; Constancea/Eriophyllum nevinii, Lepechina spp. – now or after flowering  Coppice (severe prune) to rejuvenate old plants - Baccharis spp., * Myrica californica, *Carpenteria californica, * Rhamnus spp., Rhus spp.http://www.tcpermaculture.com/2011/06/permaculture-projects-coppicing.html  Weeds/Diseases/Pests: major weeding month  Weedy cool-season grasses are becoming a menace – get after them now  Spring weeds: California burclover, filarees, many other cool season weeds are perfect size for removing now while ground is moist. © Project SOUND
    •  Edibles/Crafts:February delights  Enjoy native CA greens in salads, cooked as greens or in stews, soups  Enjoy a cup of herb tea from you selection of teas dried last fall  Continue to enjoy citrus fruits; find some new recipes to use them – or give them away  Enjoying the garden:  Look for early-blooming bulbs – they are enchanting  Enjoy the early-blooming wildflowers, including CA Poppy; photograph them  Expand your horizons:  Take a class on some new aspect of gardening  Volunteer at a local Preserve/garden or natives plant nursery – a fun way to learn, socialize, give back © Project SOUND
    • Perk up your palette with greens from your garden  Traditional  Lettuce – many types; Spinach; Swiss chard; Peashttp://belfastbites.com/post/11610008188/manresa  Native  Claytonia – Miner’s lettuce  Heuchera  Calandrinia ciliata  Camissonia spp.  Mimulus guttatus  Many others – see list Mother Nature’s advice: eat fresh – eat local © Project SOUND
    • March Madness © Project SOUND
    • March Weather & Climate At a glance: weather is often a mixed bag - from gray and rainy days to balmy afternoons filled with mellow sunshine. Temperature:  mean high = 64/67 ; mean low = 52/49  Record high = 95/96 ; record low = 35/32 Precipitation: usually still several good storms  Average: 1.85/2.22” Winds: high winds possible before and after storms © Project SOUND
    • March: the garden seems to explode with springness © Project SOUND
    • The garden changes from cool- to warm season http://www.alleycatscratch.com/blucher/BackYard.htm © Project SOUND
    •  Planning:Time to start preparing  Start to think about your gardening for warm weather priorities for the next gardening year. Consider your many options.  Hardscape/General:  Check hardscape, slopes, trees after heavy rains  Repair paths; flood damage if any  Get the veggie garden ready for warm season crops; fertilize  Check hoses, drip lines – repair if need; warm weather comes quickly!  Watering: hopefully soils are moist  Check soil moisture during prolongedhttp://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/how-to/step/0,,1088902_911641,00.html dry periods (3 or more weeks) or windy periods; irrigate as needed to supplement  Check seedlings daily in warm weather © Project SOUND
    • Think summer  Propagation:  From seed: veggies  good time to start native shrubs/perennials in nursery containers;  start traditional summer veggies in nursery containers – protect from frost  Planting:  Last month to safely plant most native plants – may be pushing ithttp://socalgarden.blogspot.com/2010_03_01_archive.html  Last planting of annual wildflower seeds for late spring/summer bloom: Clarkias, Globe Gilia, Phacelias, Annual Sunflower, Madia  Replace plants that didn’t make it from earlier plantings  Veggies: plant in ground (from seed or starts) beans, squash, carrots, beets, potatoes http://www.chartercat.org/group/msgarden © Project SOUND
    • Keep up with  Pruning: weeding,  Tip-prune (pinch) to promote fullness: most perennials and sub-shrubs that are actively pinching growing now (Gambelia; Salvias; Epilobium; many others)  Mow (if desired) cool-season sod-forming grasses, sedges  Divide/replant wetland species (Equisetum, Tules, Cattails, Rushes/sedges  Weeds/Diseases/Pests: major weeding month  Weedy grasses will take over if you let them  Warm-season weeds will start to poke their heads up; this is a good time to weed, as the ground is still soft  Beware of slugs and snails – take action  Watch for signs of sucking insects (aphids & others) on new growth; blast off with water if needed – or encourage beneficial insectshttp://www.viette.com/v.php?pg=742 © Project SOUND
    • Major month to enjoy  Edibles/Crafts:  Press wildflowers – or just the outdoors photograph them – and make note cards or bookmarks with them  Enjoy native CA greens in salads, cooked as greens or in stews, soups  Take a native crafts or cooking class  Enjoying the garden: major enjoying month  Plant a tree for CA Arbor Day;  Visit a native plant garden/botanic garden – see how the designers use native plants in interesting ways  Spend as much time as possible just enjoying being out in your garden – this month begins the enchantment!  Mother Nature’s advice: get outdoors: hike, visit preserves © Project SOUND
    • Ah, April at last!!! © Project SOUND
    • April’s Weather & Climate At a glance: As the days lengthen and the sun gets higher and hotter, watering becomes more important. Delightful spring days. May get a little more rain – one last storm Temperature:  mean high = 66/70 ; mean low = 54/51  Record high = 102/104 ; record low = 42/28 Precipitation:  Average: 0.70/0.76” © Project SOUND
    • April annuals & perennials outdo themselves © Project SOUND
    • April: a month for garden tours © Project SOUND
    • Warm weather crops are really getting going now http://mainfo.blogspot.com/2011/03/container-vegetable-gardening-in.html © Project SOUND
    • Transitions  Planning:  Take home one new idea from the garden tours or visiting native plant/botanic gardens. Plan how to incorporate that idea into your garden  Visit spring plant sales; purchase judiciously  Hardscape/General:  Fertilize containers, veggie crops if needed  Watering:  Taper off water for early spring bulbs when the leaves start to wither  Taper off water for early spring wildflowers  Check hoses, soaker hoses and drip irrigation; repair & replace as needed  Check soils as they begin to dry out. Turn on irrigation/begin routine summer watering schedule when appropriate © Project SOUND
    •  Propagation: Collect seeds,  From seed: Collect seed from early spring wildflowers; still time to start traditionalcontinue pinching summer veggies like squash, bean, melons, tomato  Planting:  Excellent month for planting bog and pond/pool plants  Plant riparian species and desert species from spring through summer  Pruning: continue to tip-prune (pinch) to promote fullness:  Diplacus spp,  Plants in Mint Family (Mentha arvense; Monardella spp; Lepechinia fragrans, Clinopodium/Satureja; Stachys ),  Gambelia (Galvezia) speciosa  Ribes viburnifolium © Project SOUND
    • Summer weeds are tough hombres – but they are small now  Weeds/Diseases/Pests: major weeding month  Weedy grasses: Crabgrass, Bermuda Grass, Kikuyu grasses start to grow with warm weather  Look particularly for the following weeds: Common knotweed, Wild radish, Prickly lettuce, Prickly ox- tongue, Wild mustard. Remove while they’re small.http://bobklips.com/earlyaugust2009.html © Project SOUND
    • Lots to do; all of it fun  Edibles/Crafts:  Collect dry seeds from early wildflowers (except Lupine); parch and use as a seasoning/flavoring  Use the ‘mint’ cuttings for fresh mint tea, other uses  Enjoying the garden: major enjoying month  Make a bouquet of spring wildflowers for your table  Enjoy the spring peak of bloom; get out in your garden as much as possible – sit and enjoy the show you created!  Go on the CNPS and Theodore Payne Foundation spring garden tours – bring your camera and notebook. Don’t be afraidMother Nature’s advice: to ask questionsshare your love of gardening  Invite a friend over; tell them about your © Project SOUND native plants, fruits, veggies
    • http://rareplanttreasurehunt.blogspot.com/2011/08/highlights-of-season.html © Project SOUND
    • Magnificent May © Project SOUND
    • May’s Weather & Climate At a glance: Lovely temperatures and usually quite sunny. Probably one of the most pleasant months. Many flowering species. Temperature:  mean high = 68/71 ; mean low = 57/55  Record high = 97/100 ; record low = 45/39 Precipitation: may be some fog-drip near the coast  Average: 0.22/ 0.22” © Project SOUND
    • May makes you feel like singing! © Project SOUND
    • Salvias and Buckwheats loaded with blooms © Project SOUND
    • http://californiavegetablegarden.blogspot.com/ © Project SOUND
    • May: preparations  Planning:  Make a plan for removing your lawn, ivy patch, old tree/shrubs or other plants that need removal. Explore methods; see about hiring outside help if needed. This is a really good month to get started on ‘removals’.  Hardscape/General:  Check mulch; add/renew if needed  Move bulb pots to cool dry place once done blooming  Repair damaged hardscape if needed http://www.inthegardenradio.com/v.php?pg=847 © Project SOUND
    • Water Zones save the day in transition months  Watering: key month to monitor soil moisture  Taper off water for spring bulbs when the leaves start to wither  Taper off water for early spring wildflowers; keep watering late- bloomers until flowering ceases.  This can be a tricky month for watering – soils/containers can dry out before you know it. So check soil moisture weekly.  Turn on irrigation or begin routine summer watering schedule as soon as summer water is needed. © Project SOUND
    •  Propagation:Surprise – there are  From seed: collect seed from spring things to plant wildflowers  Planting:  Riparian/pond and other Zone 3 plants from now to summer  Desert plants from now to summer; water  Direct-seed warm season sod & bunch grasses  Still plant from seed or starts: beans, beets, carrots, cantaloupe, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, limas, okra, parsley, pepper, pumpkin, radish, new Zealand spinach, squash, sunflower, tomato, jicama,Desert Willow – Chilopsis linearis watermelon, and Swiss chard. © Project SOUND
    • May: good for pruning chaparral shrubs  Pruning:  Prune to shape/train: Ceanothus, Arctostaphylos, Carpenteria, and other flowering chaparral shrubs once theyve finished blooming  Compost the cuttings – or try them as a dye plant  Oil/sharpen pruners, saws, etc. –http://soquelnursery.com/shrubs_abelia_ceanothus.html store  Weeds/Diseases/Pests:  Weed out garden well; prevent weeds from going to seed © Project SOUND
    •  Edibles/Crafts:May: Intro to Summer  Make a May basket for a friend or neighbor  Make Lemonadeberry ‘lemonade’ if fruits ripen  Pick ripe Berberis fruit; use for jelly or other recipes; dry for tea; use for dye  Enjoying the garden: major enjoying month  Just take it easy; days are warm enough to enjoy sitting, dining and meditating in the garden.  Take a day-trip with friends to the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden or some other ‘far away’ garden place.  Watch the warm weather vegetables grow – they are amazing! Some may start to flower in warmer gardens.  Mother Nature’s advice: smell, look and listen to nature in yourProject SOUND © garden
    • June gloom – or not © Project SOUND
    • June’s Weather & Climate At a glance: coastal climate keeps us much cooler than further inland. Fog common in Zones 22-24 and provides any moisture this month. Soils are definitely drying out. Temperature:  mean high = 71/74 ; mean low = 61/59  Record high = 104/104 ; record low = 48/21 Precipitation: may be significant fog events near coast  Average: 0.08/0.07” © Project SOUND
    • Lots of green; transitional flowers © Project SOUND
    •  Planning:June: end of  Consider ways to make your garden more friendly for native birds, butterflies, spring pollinators.  Hardscape/General:  Move bulb pots to cool dry place after blooming  Great month to remove unwanted trees/shrubs  Begin removing old lawns, ivy – their removal may take through the summer and into fall.  Fertilize containers if needed  Watering: major watering month  Taper off water for late spring bulbs and spring wildflowers after blooming ceases  Adjust your summer watering schedule to account for foggy days (if any); other than that, you’re into the summer watering schedule © Project SOUND
    • June is a great time to start removing your old lawnhttp://ulocal.ksbw.com/_Future-Vegetable-Garden/photo/13892788/65101.html © Project SOUND
    • June: Planting, Pruning, Dividing  Pruning: into summer pruning mode  If not done in May, prune and shape your Ceanothus, Arctostaphylos, Carpenteria, and other flowering chaparral shrubs once theyve finished blooming  Prune back exuberant growth; prune for health & safety  Hedge-shear if needed as shrubs begin summer growth phase  Mow (if desired) warm-season sod-forming grasses, sedges before they begin major growth phase  Dead-head Salvia, Penstemon & Rosa to prolong bloom Divide & Replant:  Warm season grasses will start growing about now, including Acnatherum species, Boutetoua species, Muhlenbergia rigens, Sporobolis airoides, and Pleuraphis jamesii. This is the time to © Project SOUND divide summer grasses.
    • Last chance to plant  Propagation:  Softwood cuttings from woody summer veggies shrubs and trees (including those you prune this month); keep moist in a shady spot until well-rooted, 6-10 weeks  Planting:  Riparian/pond and other Zone 3 plants  Direct-seed warm season sod grasses  Plant warm-season vegetables from plants:  Last chance to plant bean, corn, cucumber and summer squash in the ground from seed  Weeds/Diseases/Pests: major weeding month- summer weeds http://farmerfredrant.blogspot.com/2011/06/our-2011-tomato- garden.html emerge and/or grow © Project SOUND
    •  Edibles/Crafts:Look at all the  Collect seed from spring wildlife! wildflowers; after drying, make up seed packets to give as gifts  Take cuttings of Artemisia, Salvias for seasonings, vinegars  Collect/dry new summer leaves for tea  See also May suggestions  Enjoying the garden:  Visit a native plant garden/ botanic garden; what tricks are they using to make the garden more interesting this time of year?  Look for Monarchs and other butterflies – do you have enough flowers to attract them?  Mother Nature’s advice: gardens, like natural places, should evolve © Project SOUND
    • We’ve come full circle: jobs and joys of a year in the S.California gardenhttp://annystudio.com/calendars/ © Project SOUND
    • You likely live in Sunset Zone22, 23 or 24 http://www.sunset.com/garden/climate-zones/sunset-climate-zone-los-angeles-area-00418000067298/ © Project SOUND
    • And learned that every month is one to treasure © Project SOUND