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.

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Garden tasks though the year 2012

  1. 1. Out of the Wilds and Into Your Garden Gardening with Western L.A. County Native Plants Project SOUND – 2012 (our 8th year) © Project SOUND
  2. 2. 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
  3. 3. Gardening in S. CA IS different © Project SOUND
  4. 4. 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
  5. 5. You likely live in Sunset Zone22, 23 or 24 © Project SOUND
  6. 6. 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 by 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
  7. 7. 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 than Zone 24  Temperatures are mild, but severeThis is a wonderful winters descend at times.Zone for gardening! © Project SOUND
  8. 8.  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 mountains that need a cold dormant periodThis is a wonderfulZone for gardening! © Project SOUND
  9. 9. 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
  10. 10. Several good general books specific to our area (L.A. county) © Project SOUND
  11. 11. Let’s assume you have a blended garden with CA native plants & traditional veggies/fruits raised-beds.html © Project SOUND
  12. 12. 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
  13. 13. 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 ripen © Project SOUND
  14. 14. July: End of spring © Project SOUND
  15. 15. 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
  16. 16. July: some plants beginning to dry out © Project SOUND
  17. 17. Transition from spring to summer blooms © Project SOUND
  18. 18. The summer vegetable plants are maturing © Project SOUND
  19. 19. July: General Tasks  Planning/Preparation:  Take assessment of your garden: what needs improvement  Start a garden journal & photo log – or 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 SOUND
  20. 20.  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
  21. 21. 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
  22. 22. 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
  23. 23. August: lazy days of summer © Project SOUND
  24. 24. 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
  25. 25. August: watering needed in most gardens © Project SOUND
  26. 26. August: Buckwheats & silver against a background of evergreen shrubs © Project SOUND
  27. 27. August: summer harvest time continues in earnest Warm-season veggies ripen in summer (or fall)  Tomatoes  Squash (summer)  Peppers  Squash (‘winter’)  Beans (all kinds)  Cucumber  Eggplant  Melons  Corn © Project SOUND
  28. 28. 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
  29. 29. Some veggies can be planted almost any time – or serially for long season  Beets  Carrots  Green beans  Radishes  Swiss chard © Project SOUND
  30. 30. 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 activities © Project SOUND
  31. 31. 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 © Project SOUND
  32. 32. © Project SOUND
  33. 33. August: General Tasks  Watering:  Taper off water to native plants except Zone 3 & Chaparral and Sonoran Desert plants – give them a good ‘monsoon’;  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
  34. 34. 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
  35. 35. 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)  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
  36. 36. 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 SOUND
  37. 37. Scorching September © Project SOUND
  38. 38. 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
  39. 39. Summer veggies – end of game © Project SOUND
  40. 40. September: General 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
  41. 41. 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; 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 SOUND
  42. 42. 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. © Project SOUND
  43. 43. 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. © Project SOUND
  44. 44. October: subtle hues and lots to do © Project SOUND
  45. 45. 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
  46. 46. October: the garden looks like it needs some help © Project SOUND
  47. 47. October: subtle fall palette – like a painting © Project SOUND
  48. 48. October also signals transition time in the vegetable garden © Project SOUND
  49. 49. 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/ create, then install after pruningsale    Hardscape/General:  Finish installing any hardscape: fences, paths, patios  Re-apply mulch after pruning © Project SOUND
  50. 50. 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 – plant 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 © Project SOUND 93FD9B8304FA.html
  51. 51. 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.) Set out/clean rain gauge © Project SOUND
  52. 52. 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
  53. 53.  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
  54. 54. Nice (or Naughty) November © Project SOUND
  55. 55. 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
  56. 56. The garden looks a little bare © Project SOUND
  57. 57. Cool-season veggies are taking off © Project SOUND
  58. 58. 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
  59. 59.  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:  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
  60. 60. 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
  61. 61.  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
  62. 62. 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
  63. 63. December: the garden often slumbers © Project SOUND
  64. 64. 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
  65. 65. December: growth is waiting © Project SOUND
  66. 66. Plants are starting to grow – but not yet convinced to go all out! © Project SOUND
  67. 67. Meanwhile, out in the vegetable garden… other-garden-adventures/ © Project SOUND
  68. 68.  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 rain © Project SOUND
  69. 69.  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, elderberry © Project SOUNDseeds-01282010.html
  70. 70. 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. © Project SOUND
  71. 71.  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
  72. 72. 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 garden  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 © Project SOUND
  73. 73. Cool, wet January © Project SOUND
  74. 74. 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
  75. 75. January: light & shade; warm & cool © Project SOUND
  76. 76. There’s a certain beauty to the January garden © Project SOUND
  77. 77.  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 after 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
  78. 78.  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
  79. 79. 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
  80. 80.  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
  81. 81. By middle of January, things are looking promising © Project SOUND
  82. 82. Finally, February © Project SOUND
  83. 83. 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
  84. 84. February: high drama… © Project SOUND
  85. 85. …or softly muted © Project SOUND
  86. 86. out-gophers-and-moles/ © Project SOUND
  87. 87.  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
  88. 88.  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
  89. 89. 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.  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
  90. 90.  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
  91. 91. 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 © Project SOUND
  92. 92. March Madness © Project SOUND
  93. 93. 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
  94. 94. March: the garden seems to explode with springness © Project SOUND
  95. 95. The garden changes from cool- to warm season © Project SOUND
  96. 96.  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 prolonged,,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
  97. 97. 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 it  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 © Project SOUND
  98. 98. 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 insects © Project SOUND
  99. 99. 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
  100. 100. Ah, April at last!!! © Project SOUND
  101. 101. 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
  102. 102. April annuals & perennials outdo themselves © Project SOUND
  103. 103. April: a month for garden tours © Project SOUND
  104. 104. Warm weather crops are really getting going now © Project SOUND
  105. 105. 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
  106. 106.  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
  107. 107. 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. © Project SOUND
  108. 108. 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
  109. 109. © Project SOUND
  110. 110. Magnificent May © Project SOUND
  111. 111. 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
  112. 112. May makes you feel like singing! © Project SOUND
  113. 113. Salvias and Buckwheats loaded with blooms © Project SOUND
  114. 114. © Project SOUND
  115. 115. 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 © Project SOUND
  116. 116. 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
  117. 117.  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
  118. 118. 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. – store  Weeds/Diseases/Pests:  Weed out garden well; prevent weeds from going to seed © Project SOUND
  119. 119.  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
  120. 120. June gloom – or not © Project SOUND
  121. 121. 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
  122. 122. Lots of green; transitional flowers © Project SOUND
  123. 123.  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
  124. 124. June is a great time to start removing your old lawn © Project SOUND