Garden Tasks Through Year - Notes


Published on

1 Like
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Garden Tasks Through Year - Notes

  1. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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