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Garden Tasks Through Year - Notes


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  • 1. 1/6/2013Out of the Wilds and Into Your Garden Through the Year Garden Tasks – And Pleasures – Through the Year C.M. Vadheim and T. Drake CSUDH & Madrona Marsh Preserve Madrona Marsh Preserve Gardening with Western L.A. County Native Plants January 7 & 10, 2012 Project SOUND – 2012 (our 8th year) © Project SOUND © Project SOUND Gardening in S. CA IS different 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 © Project SOUND 1
  • 2. 1/6/2013 Sunset Zone 24  Where hills/cliffs/palisades are low/nonexistent, it runs inland Coastal Marine Zone several 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 by Santa Ana winds. The wind’s power You likely live in Sunset Zone and dryness usually causes more 22, 23 or 24 problems than the heat itself. los-angeles-area-00418000067298/  Some plants bloom all year long This is a wonderful Zone for gardening! © Project SOUND © Project SOUNDSunset Zone 23 Sunset Zone 22  Cold-winter portions of S. CA  Mostly influence by oceans but coastal climateCoast Thermal Belt sometimes influenced by inland heat Cold-winter Coastal  Is a coastal climate - influenced by  Frosts don’t amount to much – 85% the ocean approximately 85% of percent of the time, Pacific Ocean the time). weather dominates; interior air rules only 15% percent of the time. A  Average summer temperatures notorious portion of this 15 percent warmer than Zone 24 consists of those days when hot, dry Santa Ana winds blow.  When temperatures drop in winter, these cold-air basins have lower  Lacks either the summer heat or the winter temperatures than those in winter cold necessary to grow pears, neighboring Zone 23. most apples, and most peaches. But it enjoys considerably more heat  No pronounced chilling period – than Zone 24 limits growth of plants from local mountains that need a cold dormant  Temperatures are mild, but severe los-angeles-area-00418000067298/ periodThis is a wonderful winters descend at times. This is a wonderfulZone for gardening! © Project SOUND Zone for gardening! © Project SOUND 2
  • 3. 1/6/2013 One key to wise gardening: becoming Several good general books specific to more aware of your climate our area (L.A. county)  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 © Project SOUND Let’s assume you have a blended garden with You have some common CA CA native plants & traditional veggies/fruits native plants in your garden Elegant Clarkia Golden Stars Blue Elderberry CA Encelia raised-beds.html ‘Yankee Point’ Ceanothus Purple Sage © Project SOUND St. Catherine’s Lace © Project SOUND 3
  • 4. 1/6/2013 We’ll begin our tour of the gardening year in July July: End of spring  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 ripen © Project SOUND © Project SOUND July Weather & Climate July: some plants beginning to dry out  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 © Project SOUND 4
  • 5. 1/6/2013 Transition from spring to summer blooms The summer vegetable plants are maturing © Project SOUND © Project SOUND  Watering: summer mode July: General Tasks July: General Tasks  Check soils weekly – water as needed, during cool periods  Planning/Preparation: (early/late in day)  Take assessment of your garden: what  Monitor young plants (at least needs improvement weekly – more in hot periods):  Start a garden journal & photo log – or  1st summer: 1 full Zone above final get yours organized Zone;  Get a new inspirational book; or search  2nd summer: ½ Zone above the web, go to the library  Plants from N. Coast need more  Great time to create a garden design water & spray ‘fog’ beginning in July  Order native seeds & bulbs (right now);  Weeds, Diseases & Pests: order seeds of cool season vegetables  Summer weeds: bindweed, mustard, wild lettuce, prickly ox-tongue, sow  Hardscape/General: thistle, others  Make repairs/changes that weren’t  Get them out while they are small possible in spring © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 5
  • 6. 1/6/2013 July: Planting & Pruning July: Enjoying the Garden  Edibles/crafts:  Planting:  Harvest leaves, berries, strawberries for tea;  Not too late to plant bean, corn, cucumber and summer squash from  Take cuttings of mints for seasonings, vinegars seed.  Harvest conventional fruits as they become ripe – eat, freeze/can or make into jam/jelly  Pruning:  Prune Manzanitas in warm dry  Enjoying the garden: weather;  Enjoy butterflies;  Dead-head Salvia and Penstemon  take the butterfly class & participate in butterfly counts flower stalks as they finish up, unless you’re collecting the seed. When your  Certify your garden - NABA sages have finished their bloom, you  Certify your garden as a wildlife habitat garden can cut them back by a third – or (Nat. Wildlife Foundation) wait until fall.  Sit in the shade; enjoy the fruits of your  Mow your alternative lawn labors; drink some nice mint tea  Mother Nature’s advice:  Work early or late; don’t stress © Project SOUND © Project SOUNDAugust: lazy days of summer 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 © Project SOUND 6
  • 7. 1/6/2013 August: watering needed in most gardens August: Buckwheats & silver against a background of evergreen shrubs © Project SOUND © Project SOUND August: summer harvest time continues in earnest 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: Warm-season veggies ripen  Late crops: Dec-Feb in summer (or fall)  Early crops: June-July (Aug) Late crops: Aug-Sept  Examples:  Tomatoes  Squash (summer)  Early crops: broccoli, brussels  Examples:  Peppers  Squash (‘winter’) sprouts, cauliflower, kale,  Early crops: beans, cucumbers, kohlrabi, mustard, lettuce and  Beans (all kinds)  Cucumber summer squash, tomatoes, other greens  Eggplant  Melons  Late crops: corn, melons,  Late crops: peas, cabbage,  Corn winter squash celery, © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 7
  • 8. 1/6/2013 Some veggies can be planted almost any August: General Tasks time – or serially for long season  Planning/Preparation:  Decide on cool season veggies – enjoy browsing the catalogs  Beets  Order seeds & bulbs;  Carrots  Clean seeds collected from garden  Green beans  Look for a new container or garden  Radishes sculpture  Swiss chard  Tidy up your potting bench  Sit in the shade and think about Water Zones/conservation;  Plan to increase shady areas for outdoor activities © Project SOUND © Project SOUNDAugust: 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 © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 8
  • 9. 1/6/2013 August: General Tasks August: a little propagation & planting  Watering:  Propagation:  Taper off water to native plants  Sow seeds of cool-season except Zone 3 & Chaparral and Sonoran vegetables in containers – Desert plants – give them a good semi-shade. ‘monsoon’;  Start warm-season grasses from seed in containers –  Weeds, Diseases & Pests: semi-shade  Most summer weeds are winding down – particularly in drier areas; still a  Planting: challenge in vegetable garden  Plant radishes, carrots, beets directly into the garden.  Look for signs of fungal disease; prune out diseased branches © Project SOUND © Project SOUNDAugust: Pruning &  Pruning: summer pruning month  Prune for safety & plant health Enjoying the August Garden Mowing  Hedge-shear if needed  Pruning to thin: prune after late  Edibles/Crafts: spring/summer flowering  Pick elderberries, other ripe fruits; use or  Carpenteria californica dry/freeze  Heteromeles arbutifolia  Pick, use or dry/freeze summer veggies  Keckiella cordifolia  Philadelphus lewisii  Enjoying the garden:  Prunus ilicifolia  Enjoy the shade; cool dry garden shade is  Salvia spp. (prune now or in Oct/Nov) delightful  Desert Legumes: Chilopsis;  Search for a new container or garden  Mow (if desired) sod grasses, sedges sculpture  Coppice (severe prune) to rejuvenate old  Eat corn on the cob, melons from your garden plants (after bloom)  Make elderberry jelly/syrup or dry berries  Comarostaphylis diversifolia for tea  * Cornus spp.  Heteromeles arbutifolia  Mother Nature’s advice: prepare now for a  * Philadelphus lewisii busy fall – August is often cooler than Sept.  Ribes viburnifolium  Rosa spp. © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 9
  • 10. 1/6/2013 September Weather & Climate Scorching September  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 © Project SOUND September: General Summer veggies – end of game Tasks  Planning/Preparation:  Sort/clean/store seeds collected in spring/summer  Explore the CA Garden Web -  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.  Prepare veg. garden for winter veggies; remove spent plants, fertilize, mulch  Start a compost bin/pile for your cuttings © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 10
  • 11. 1/6/2013 September: General  Watering: major watering month Propagation & planting for Zone 2-3 & 3 Tasks  Taper off all but Zone 2-3 & 3; keep  Propagation from seed: give vegetable gardens, containers, other seedlings part-shade and keep well- Zone 3 plants watered – particularly watered if Santa Anna winds are predicted  Start chilling seeds that need long  Weeds, Diseases & Pests: (2-3+ month) pre-plant  Grasshoppers and gophers may be stratification; getting desperate  First chance to start cool-season  Pruning: plants:  Sharpen/repair planting & pruning  Cool-season grass plugs tools after summer pruning tasks; Cool season veggie crops in nursery  consider buying new/better tools if containers; broccoli, cabbage, appropriate cauliflower, celery, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, other greens  Rake out cool-season grasses; mow or cut back if needed;  Plant out:  Cool-season vegetables from  Prune to thin: Adenostoma spp. starts/pony packs; keep well-watered – daily water in early morning or evening.  Divide native bulbs/corms; store or replant © Project SOUND © 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 them  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. October: subtle hues and lots to do © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 11
  • 12. 1/6/2013 October Weather & Climate October: the garden looks like it needs some help 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 © Project SOUND October: subtle fall palette – like a painting October also signals transition time in the vegetable garden © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 12
  • 13. 1/6/2013 October: lots of preparation October: time for some planting  Planning/Preparation:  Propagation:  Purchase plants from native plant  From seed: cool-season grass plugs; nurseries/sales; place in semi-shade annual wildflowers, bulb seeds in and water regularly until planted out. nursery containers; winter veggie crops. Keep them well-watered.  Consider adding some decorative and educational signs to your garden;  Start chilling seeds w/ shorter (1-2 explore your options – purchase/ month) pre-plant stratification period; create, then install after pruning check for roots every 2 weeks – plant in nursery containers when first roots  Hardscape/General: emerge  Finish installing any hardscape: fences,  Take semi-soft wood cuttings of paths, patios ceanothus, manzanita for propagation  Re-apply mulch after pruning  Planting:  Plant out cool-season vegetables from starts/pony-packs or from seed © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 93FD9B8304FA.htmlWatering: prepare for the rainy season – but water like October: time for fall pruning??summer if needed  Pruning: major pruning month,  Watch weather forecast like a hawk!!! particularly for Water Zone 1 and Zone 1-2 plants  Taper off watering all but Zone 2-3 & 3  Prune to shape/thin: plants. Keep Zone 3 plants watered –  Ribes spp. - Be sure to prune Ribes particularly if Santa Anna winds are now, as they can bloom very early predicted  Most summer-dry shrubs & sub-  Once rains saturate the soil you can shrubs/perennials (particularly turn off your irrigation system (if you Coastal Sage Scrub and Coastal have one); check soils periodically Shrubland species) during hot, windy, dry weather and The trick is to prune before  Hedge-shear – now through Dec. water as needed the rainy season but not best time for mature plants during hot, dry periods – to  Divide native bulbs/corms; store or  Install/repair/clean rainwater minimize stress on the replant (better) collection/infiltration system (if not plant  Remove old leaves, dead stems, tidy done in Sept.) up perennials, groundcovers and Set out/clean rain gauge ornamental grasses © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 13
  • 14. 1/6/2013  Edibles/crafts:The pleasures of fall  Dry aromatic prunings for Nice (or Naughty) November 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 © Project SOUND November Weather & Climate The garden looks a little bare 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 © Project SOUND 14
  • 15. 1/6/2013 Cool-season veggies are taking off 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 shrubs  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 SOUND © Project SOUND if Mother  Propagation: major propagation month Major pruning month  From seed: cool-season grass plugs;nature cooperates annual wildflowers in containers; shrub & tree seeds w/ short/no pre-chill req.  Finish pruning summer-dry  Check seeds stratifying in refrigerator; shrubs in dry, warm periods plant in nursery pots when you start (check forecast) seeing tiny roots emerge  Prune to shape/train:  From cuttings: semi-soft wood cuttings of ceanothus, Manzanita; hardwood  Most native trees and woody cuttings from vines, grapes shrubs, vines  Planting:  Prune to thin:  Last chance: replant native bulbs/corms  Baccharis spp  Plant out herbaceous groundcover plants  Berberis spp – keep watered if needed  Ceanothus spp.  Plant rain garden plants; keep watered  Cercocarpus spp.  Plant out cool-season vegetables from starts or pony-packs: peas, mustard,  Hedge-shear – good time spinach, lettuce and other greens  Evaluate/repot container plants as needed © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 15
  • 16. 1/6/2013  Prune back groundcover perennials/sub-shrubs: Enjoy the cooler  Edibles/Crafts:  Diplacus/Mimulus spp  Collect and dry rose-hips for  Eriogonum spp. days of late fall tea  Mint family: Monardella spp., Salvia spathacea, Stachys spp.  Make holiday gifts with  Groundcover sunflowers: Symphyotrichum/Aster spp., aromatics – potpourri, flavored Achillea millefolium, Artemisia douglasiana, Grindelia vinegars spp., Solidago spp.,  Make jam, jelly or syrup from  Romneya coulteri frozen fruits  Aster chilense, goldenrod, Yarrow, Woodmints, CA  Dry cuttings for dye, seasonings Fuschia  Dye material & yarn  Divide plants (when ground is soft after rains begin)  Iris douglasii  Enjoying the garden:  *Heuchera spp.  Learn more about fall bird  Potentilla , Horkelia migration; there’s lots to learn  Fern species (native) on the internet  Fragaria spp. (wait until start to grow w/ fall rains) Mother Nature’s advice: cool  Note when the first seed-eating  Native cool-season grasses: Festuca, Nassella, Leymus, temperatures invigorate us; get Calamagrostis, Melica, Carex tumulicola. Make sure each birds visit your spent sunflowers out and get some serious & buckwheats ; set out bird clump has a good root ball. Water well.  Sisyrinchium spp. exercise! seed  Native succulent plants & cacti © Project SOUND © Project SOUNDDecember: the garden often slumbers 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 © Project SOUND 16
  • 17. 1/6/2013 December: growth is waiting Plants are starting to grow – but not yet convinced to go all out! © Project SOUND © Project SOUND  Planning: wait ’til next month – you’reMeanwhile, out in the vegetable garden… Busy 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 rain other-garden-adventures/ © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 17
  • 18. 1/6/2013  Planting: good planting month (if rainy) December: thank heavens for our forgiving climate!  Good month for planting native plants from containers if rains have started  Planting:  Plant native annual wildflower seeds in prepared beds before a good rainstorm  Can still plant most cool- season vegetables from  Plant cool-season grasses/sedges from starts/pony packs: plugs/starts broccoli, Brussels sprouts,  Cool season veggies from seed or cabbage, cauliflower, starts/pony-packs; include some ‘native celery, kale, kohlrabi, greens’ like Claytonia, Trifolia (clover) mustard, lettuce and other  Propagation: major propagation month greens, and root crops like  Start from seed: annual wildflowers in beets, carrots, radishes, containers; shrub/tree seeds w/ short/no and turnips. 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, elderberry © Project SOUND © Project SOUNDseeds-01282010.html  Pruning: major pruning month Major winter  Prune/train to shape: Enjoy the quiet moments…pruning - Dec.  Winter-deciduous trees/shrubs  Edibles/Crafts:  Woody vines: Lonicera spp., Vitis spp.,  Prune to thin: choose a dry period if  Make a holiday decoration like a possible grape or Toyon wreath using native  Most winter-deciduous trees/shrubs plant materials  Pines, junipers, citrus  Give seeds, plants, jams, jellies, etc. from your own garden as unique  Prune back groundcover perennials/sub- holiday gifts shrubs (if you didn’t in November):  Diplacus/Mimulus spp; Achillea; Mint family:  Eat fresh greens from the garden Monardella spp., Salvia spathacea, Stachys spp.;Epilobium canum, Stachys spp.  Enjoying the garden:  Coppice (severe prune) to rejuvenate old  Sit in the noon sun & enjoy the birds plants (dormant) – migrants are here; you might even  Berberis/Mahonia spp. ;Cleome isomeris; get some good photos Dendromecon spp.; Heuchera spp and  Hang a finch feeder in your garden cultivars; many others  Weeds/Diseases/Pests:  Mother Nature’s advice: don’t worry about getting things done – there’s still  Weedy grasses may start to grow, plenty of time in January particularly in a warm spell © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 18
  • 19. 1/6/2013 January Weather & Climate Cool, wet January  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 © Project SOUNDJanuary: light & shade; warm & cool There’s a certain beauty to the January garden © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 19
  • 20. 1/6/2013  Planning:  Propagation:January: General  Visit nurseries to choose/ purchase  From seed: check seeds stratifying in manzanita and ceanothus in bloom January = planting refrigerator; plant in nursery pots when Tasks  Check out the seed catalogs on-line; roots emerge order traditional warm-season  Plant other natives from seed vegetable seeds  Take photos of seedlings so you’ll  Planting: major planting month recognize them next year  The best month for planting native plants, from large trees to small  Hardscape/General: perennials, grasses, annuals  Rake up leaves; rake/level paths  Plant bare-root and containerized fruit  Check hardscape, slopes, trees after trees of all kinds (native and traditional) heavy rains  Watering: winter mode  Weeds/Diseases/Pests: major  Water-in all new plants; then water weeding month again a week later if needed  Cool-season weedy grasses, Creeping  Check soil moisture during prolonged woodsorrel, etc. dry periods (3 or more weeks) or  Weed out native seedlings popping up in windy periods; irrigate as needed the wrong places  Check seedlings daily in warm  Watch for snails & slugs – take weather; water as needed appropriate action © Project SOUND © Project SOUND Elegant ClarkiaJanuary: major winter pruning month as well  Edibles/Crafts: Ah, January  Spend a rainy day knitting/  Prune to thin (if still not done): crocheting/sewing something from  winter-deciduous trees/ shrubs – hand-dyed yarn or cloth this is often our best month to  Make soap or candles using scented prune all trees materials dried last fall  Rosa spp.  Enjoy tangerines or oranges –  Coppice (severe prune) to including straight off the tree rejuvenate old plants  Enjoying the garden:  Sambucus nigra cerulea  Buy a bird book and pair of binoculars; get to know your birds  Divide & replant:  Watch hummingbirds and others  Perennials like Penstemon, gather nesting materials and begin Gumplant, Heuchera and Yarrow as their courtship displays they begin their growth season  Sit in a warm spot and enjoy the sun  Can still divide and replant native ornmental grasses, sedges,  Notice seedlings & bulbs popping up; Sisyrinchium, rushes early blooming ones may already be forming flowers heads  Mow (if desired) cool-season sod- forming grasses, sedges  Mother Nature’s advice: enjoy! © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 20
  • 21. 1/6/2013 By middle of January, things are looking promising Finally, February © Project SOUND © Project SOUND February Weather & Climate February: high drama… 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 © Project SOUND 21
  • 22. 1/6/2013 …or softly muted © Project SOUND out-gophers-and-moles/ © Project SOUND  Planning:February: General  Propagation:  Remember to take pictures of key vistas in your garden every month or The planting frenzy  From seed: good time to start native Tasks so; these will help you understand continues… shrubs/perennials, warm-season your garden –and its seasons - better. grasses in containers; start traditional  Start a ‘Bloom Calendar’ for key summer veggies in nursery containers – flowering plants in your garden protect from frost  Divide: rushes, cattails, other ‘bog  Hardscape/General: garden’ plants;  Renew your bog garden/pond garden  Planting: major planting month  Remove unwanted seedlings (Salvias; Encelia; etc.)  Excellent month for planting most native plants; especially  Check hardscape, slopes, trees after perennials/sub-shrubs, bunch grasses heavy rains  Plant annual wildflower seeds in  Watering: may need none at all prepared areas for late spring color; you  Water-in all new plants; then water can serial sow Gilas & Clarkias every 2 again a week later if needed weeks for flowers into summer (with  Check soil moisture during prolonged summer watering) dry periods; irrigate  Plant to fill in bare spaces, or replace  Check seedlings daily in warm plants that have not done well form weather; water as needed previous plantings © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 22
  • 23. 1/6/2013 February: a little pruning, a  Edibles/Crafts: lot of weeding February delights  Enjoy native CA greens in salads, cooked as greens or in stews, soups  Pruning:  Enjoy a cup of herb tea from you  Prune to thin: selection of teas dried last fall  Clematis spp.; Constancea/Eriophyllum  Continue to enjoy citrus fruits; find nevinii, Lepechina spp. – now or after some new recipes to use them – or flowering give them away  Coppice (severe prune) to rejuvenate old plants - Baccharis spp., * Myrica californica,  Enjoying the garden: *Carpenteria californica, * Rhamnus spp.,  Look for early-blooming bulbs – they Rhus spp. are enchanting projects-coppicing.html  Weeds/Diseases/Pests: major  Enjoy the early-blooming wildflowers, weeding month including CA Poppy; photograph them  Weedy cool-season grasses are  Expand your horizons: becoming a menace – get after them now  Take a class on some new aspect of gardening  Spring weeds: California burclover, filarees, many other cool season weeds  Volunteer at a local Preserve/garden or natives plant nursery – a fun way to are perfect size for removing now while learn, socialize, give back ground is moist. © Project SOUND © Project SOUND Perk up your palette with greens from your garden  Traditional  Lettuce – many types; Spinach; Swiss chard; Peas  Native  Claytonia – Miner’s lettuce  Heuchera  Calandrinia ciliata  Camissonia spp.  Mimulus guttatus  Many others – see list Mother Nature’s advice: eat fresh – eat local March Madness © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 23
  • 24. 1/6/2013 March Weather & Climate March: the garden seems to explode with springness 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 © Project SOUND  Planning: The garden changes from cool- to warm season 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 prolonged 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 © Project SOUND weather © Project SOUND 24
  • 25. 1/6/2013  Propagation: Keep up with  Pruning: Think summer  From seed: weeding,  Tip-prune (pinch) to promote fullness: most veggies  good time to start native perennials and sub-shrubs that are actively shrubs/perennials in nursery containers; pinching growing now (Gambelia; Salvias; Epilobium; many  start traditional summer veggies in others) nursery containers – protect from  Mow (if desired) cool-season sod-forming frost grasses, sedges  Planting:  Divide/replant wetland species (Equisetum,  Last month to safely plant most Tules, Cattails, Rushes/sedges native plants – may be pushing it  Weeds/Diseases/Pests: major weeding  Last planting of annual wildflower seeds month for late spring/summer bloom: Clarkias, Globe Gilia, Phacelias, Annual  Weedy grasses will take over if you let them Sunflower, Madia  Warm-season weeds will start to poke their  Replace plants that didn’t make it from heads up; this is a good time to weed, as the earlier plantings ground is still soft  Veggies: plant in ground (from seed  Beware of slugs and snails – take action or starts) beans, squash, carrots,  Watch for signs of sucking insects (aphids & beets, potatoes others) on new growth; blast off with water if needed – or encourage beneficial insects © Project SOUND © Project SOUNDMajor month to enjoy  Edibles/Crafts: the outdoors  Press wildflowers – or just photograph them – and make note Ah, April at last!!! 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 © Project SOUND 25
  • 26. 1/6/2013 April’s Weather & Climate April annuals & perennials outdo themselves 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 © Project SOUND April: a month for garden tours Warm weather crops are really getting going now © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 26
  • 27. 1/6/2013 Transitions  Planning:  Propagation:  Take home one new idea from the garden tours or visiting native plant/botanic Collect seeds,  From seed: Collect seed from early spring wildflowers; still time to start gardens. Plan how to incorporate that continue pinching traditional summer veggies like squash, idea into your garden bean, melons, tomato  Visit spring plant sales; purchase judiciously  Planting:  Excellent month for planting bog and  Hardscape/General: pond/pool plants  Fertilize containers, veggie crops if needed  Plant riparian species and desert species  Watering: from spring through summer  Taper off water for early spring bulbs when the leaves start to wither  Pruning: continue to tip-prune (pinch) to promote fullness:  Taper off water for early spring wildflowers  Diplacus spp,  Check hoses, soaker hoses and drip  Plants in Mint Family (Mentha arvense; irrigation; repair & replace as needed Monardella spp; Lepechinia fragrans, Clinopodium/Satureja; Stachys ),  Check soils as they begin to dry out. Turn on irrigation/begin routine summer  Gambelia (Galvezia) speciosa watering schedule when appropriate  Ribes viburnifolium © Project SOUND © Project SOUND Summer weeds are tough hombres – but Lots to do; all of it fun  Edibles/Crafts: they are small now  Collect dry seeds from early wildflowers (except Lupine); parch and use as a seasoning/flavoring  Weeds/Diseases/Pests:  Use the ‘mint’ cuttings for fresh mint major weeding month tea, other uses  Weedy grasses: Crabgrass,  Enjoying the garden: major enjoying Bermuda Grass, Kikuyu month grasses start to grow with  Make a bouquet of spring wildflowers warm weather for your table  Look particularly for the  Enjoy the spring peak of bloom; get following weeds: Common out in your garden as much as possible knotweed, Wild radish, – sit and enjoy the show you created! Prickly lettuce, Prickly ox-  Go on the CNPS and Theodore Payne tongue, Wild mustard. Foundation spring garden tours – bring Remove while they’re small. your camera and notebook. Don’t be afraid to ask questions Mother Nature’s advice:  Invite a friend over; tell them about share your love of gardening your native plants, fruits, veggies © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 27
  • 28. 1/6/2013 Magnificent May © Project SOUND © Project SOUND May’s Weather & Climate May makes you feel like singing!  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 © Project SOUND 28
  • 29. 1/6/2013 Salvias and Buckwheats loaded with blooms © Project SOUND © Project SOUNDMay: preparations  Planning: Water Zones save the day in transition months  Make a plan for removing your lawn, ivy patch, old tree/shrubs or other plants  Watering: key month to monitor that need removal. Explore soil moisture methods; see about hiring outside help if needed. This is a  Taper off water for spring bulbs really good month to get started when the leaves start to wither on ‘removals’.  Taper off water for early spring wildflowers; keep watering late-  Hardscape/General: bloomers until flowering ceases.  Check mulch; add/renew if needed  This can be a tricky month for  Move bulb pots to cool dry watering – soils/containers can dry place once done blooming out before you know it. So check  Repair damaged hardscape if soil moisture weekly. needed  Turn on irrigation or begin routine summer watering schedule as soon as summer water is needed. © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 29
  • 30. 1/6/2013  Propagation: Surprise – there are  From seed: collect seed from May: good for pruning chaparral shrubs spring wildflowers things to plant  Planting:  Pruning:  Riparian/pond and other Zone 3  Prune to shape/train: Ceanothus, plants from now to summer Arctostaphylos, Carpenteria, and other flowering chaparral shrubs  Desert plants from now to once theyve finished blooming summer; water  Compost the cuttings – or try them  Direct-seed warm season sod & as a dye plant bunch grasses  Oil/sharpen pruners, saws, etc. – store  Still plant from seed or starts: beans, beets, carrots, cantaloupe, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, limas,  Weeds/Diseases/Pests: okra, parsley, pepper, pumpkin,  Weed out garden well; prevent radish, new Zealand spinach, weeds from going to seed squash, sunflower, tomato, jicama, watermelon, and Swiss chard. Desert Willow – Chilopsis linearis © Project SOUND © Project SOUND  Edibles/Crafts:May: Intro to Summer  Make a May basket for a friend or June gloom – or not 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 © Project SOUND 30
  • 31. 1/6/2013 June’s Weather & Climate Lots of green; transitional flowers 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 © Project SOUND  Planning:June: end of  Consider ways to make your garden more June is a great time to start removing your friendly for native birds, butterflies, spring pollinators. old lawn  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 © Project SOUND 31
  • 32. 1/6/2013 June: Planting, Pruning, Dividing Last chance to plant  Propagation:  Softwood cuttings from woody  Pruning: into summer pruning mode summer veggies shrubs and trees (including those you  If not done in May, prune and shape your prune this month); keep moist in a Ceanothus, Arctostaphylos, Carpenteria, and shady spot until well-rooted, 6-10 other flowering chaparral shrubs once theyve weeks finished blooming  Prune back exuberant growth; prune for health &  Planting: safety  Riparian/pond and other Zone 3  Hedge-shear if needed as shrubs begin summer plants growth phase  Direct-seed warm season sod grasses  Mow (if desired) warm-season sod-forming  Plant warm-season vegetables from grasses, sedges before they begin major growth plants: phase  Last chance to plant bean, corn,  Dead-head Salvia, Penstemon & Rosa to prolong cucumber and summer squash in the bloom ground from seed Divide & Replant:  Warm season grasses will start growing about now, including  Weeds/Diseases/Pests: major Acnatherum species, Boutetoua species, Muhlenbergia rigens, weeding month- summer weeds Sporobolis airoides, and Pleuraphis jamesii. This is the time to garden.html emerge and/or grow divide summer grasses. © Project SOUND © Project SOUND Look at all the  Edibles/Crafts: We’ve come full circle: jobs and joys of a year in  Collect seed from spring wildlife! wildflowers; after drying, make up the S.California garden 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 © Project SOUND 32
  • 33. 1/6/2013 And learned that every month is one to treasureYou likely live in Sunset Zone22, 23 or 24 © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 33