fbpx
Author: Angela Price

I Can’t Get Anything To Grow!

What To Do When Your Soil Rejects You

I went to visit a garden design client a while back, and as we walked around her backyard, she lamented, “I can’t get anything to grow back here”! We went through a checklist to see if we could figure out the problem:

Sun – Her planting beds had the right types of plants for her partly sunny yard, which got about 4 hours of sunlight per day with dappled light in the early morning and late afternoon. However, the Hydrangeas, gardenias, azaleas, and other part sun-loving plants looked anemic, stunted, and were not blooming.

Water – The irrigation system seemed to be working well. On the surface, the soil was evenly moist. There weren’t any dry spots. The plants didn’t show any signs of being over or under watered. For the season, these plants should have been lush and full of blooms, so maybe water was part of the problem.

Soil/Nutrition – Next we turned to the soil. Soil provides support

3 Things To Do When It’s Too Hot To Garden (And 1 Thing To Avoid)

As much as I love the outdoors and to garden, I hate being hot, and I really hate humidity. Granted I live in Los Angeles where we are fond of saying, “at least it’s a dry heat”, but this summer has seen humidity levels creeping into the 70-80% range.

My head sweats. The backs of my knees sweat. I get cranky.

It’s too hot too garden. So what’s a gardening lover supposed to do during this time of the year?

Well, one thing you should probably avoid is planting anything new right now. The air is hot; the soil is hot; the sun is strong. Tender new plants will struggle to get established. Edibles like tomatoes, beans, and peppers will have difficulty setting new fruit because of the heat. Heat waves and dry spells may cause leaves to burn. A recent heat wave here in LA, where temps reached 117 degrees Fahrenheit, left the leaves of Camellias, Eugenia hedges, and even Agapanthus brown and crispy.

Wait until early morning temps start to dip back down into the upper 50s-60s before planting anything new.

So what gardening tasks can you take on when it’s too stinkin’ hot?

1.    Water

Adjust your

Tagged with: , , ,

5 Tips to Prevent Blossom End Rot

Your tomatoes are setting fruit, and you’re waiting for the first blush of color. You think you’re doing everything right for a healthy crop. But then you start to notice something…here and there the bottom of some of your precious tomatoes are starting to look brown and soft. The spots are getting bigger. What the H*$@ is happening?

[Did you take my online course, The Confident Tomato Gardener? It’s on sale until July 4th, and you get lifetime access! Click here to sign up.]

What you’ve got on your hands is a condition called Blossom End Rot. However, it’s not a fungal disease as the name might imply, but a physiological condition caused by lack of calcium uptake in the plant, which is often caused by uneven watering practices. And you thought only people needed calcium for healthy ‘bones’. Blossom end rot can also affect other plants that you may have in your veggie garden like squash, cucumbers, melons, eggplant, and peppers.

Unfortunately, once blossom end rot has started, you’ll need to remove the

Tagged with:

Death of a Jacaranda

My lovely neighbor across the street from me lives in a beautiful 1920s Spanish bungalow complete with a walled courtyard and bubbling fountain. The centerpiece of the courtyard was an exquisite Jacaranda mimosifolia tree. I say ‘was’ because all that is left of this tree as of Saturday is a small pile of wood.

If you’ve lived in Los Angeles for more than a year or visited during May or June, you’ve seen the purple clouds of flowers all over the city that are the Jacaranda tree. They are planted along avenues from Beverly Hills to Van Nuys. They are gracefully shaped trees whose flowers are the most perfect purple. They symbolize springtime in Los Angeles. They are messy when they shed their flowers, and a lot of people hate them (including apparently my neighbor).

I

Tagged with:

5 Fabulous Facts About Ladybugs (Shhhh, they’re not really even bugs!)

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Ladybugs remind me of little Valentine hearts scurrying around plants. But, instead of shooting arrows of love, they prefer to suck up nasty aphids to bring love to our gardens.

Here are some fabulous and fascinating facts about ladybugs, a popular garden carnivore:

Funny thing is, ladybugs aren’t even bugs. They’re beetles! They belong to the order of Coleoptera. The word Coleoptera comes from 2 Greek words: “koleos”meaning sheath and “ptera” meaning wings. They are often referred to as lady beetles, and in German, they are called Marienkäfers, or Mary’s beetles (referring the Virgin Mary). There are about 5,000 species of ladybugs in the world and not all of them are red with black spots. They range in color from yellow to orange to brown. Some are plain; some have stripes or zig-zags; and some have the iconic spots. A ladybug can eat as many as 5,000 aphids in a lifetime. Talk about beneficial insect Hall of Fame! They like a little variety too and are

Tagged with: , , ,

January in the Garden – Resolutions

Garden Resolutions

When our gardens are healthy via good soil, sufficient water, and appropriate plants for our climates and property, they thrive. Pests are reduced and beneficial insects, birds, and other urban wildlife flourish to keep our gardens in balance.

My two garden resolutions for 2018 are:

To DESIGN and PLANT more gardens for my clients that focus on balance and plants that are attractive to pollinators like bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. To TEACH you, my garden friends, what you need to know to be a more confident home gardener. I will be launching a series of gardening classes online starting in late January that will take you step by step to help you create a healthy and happy garden.

Enter your name and email address here to get first priority on notices to enroll in the classes (You’ll get a free PDF too, which will help you avoid common watering mistakes).

#mc_embed_signup{background:#fff; clear:left; font:14px Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; } /* Add your own MailChimp form style overrides in your site

Baby It’s Cold Out There (Or Not)

December in the garden

December In The Garden

So the snow has started falling, and the ground is frozen…cue sound of needle scratching across a record.

Actually here in Southern California, nighttime temps are finally dipping into the 40s, but the days have been warm and very dry, so there are still things to do in the garden this month.

Vegetables

If you have a vegetable garden, you can continue to set out seedlings of cool season vegetables like lettuces, Asian greens, kale, and Swiss chard. Plant seeds of carrots, radishes, turnips, peas, and beets.

Lawn

Now is a good time to reseed and fertilize your lawn. Stay off the lawn (you too, doggies) and don’t mow until the new grass is 4-6” high.

Ornamental Grasses

Ornamental grasses start to look like hair that’s had too much bleach and not enough conditioner. Cut back ornamental grasses to encourage new growth.

Flowers

Deadhead or pull up any dead flowers. Keep planting cool season annuals like pansies, Iceland poppies, Cylamen, and snap

How To Keep Your Garden In Top Shape In November

flowers - keep your garden in top shape

Hi Garden Friends!

Thanks so much for sticking with me. November in Southern California usually brings more fall-like weather (cooler temps, low clouds and fog, and maybe even a touch of rain) although we are still susceptible to occasional dry Santa Ana conditions and high fire danger (i.e. low humidity).

Here are tasks you can do in November to keep your garden in top shape:

Clean Up Clean up fallen leaves on a weekly basis and toss in the composter or green bin. Wet leaves left too long on the ground can harbor fungal diseases that get into the soil and can affect plants. Pull up dead or faded summer annuals. Trim trees of dead and crossed branches. Cut back grasses that have turned brown. Maintain Add a layer of mulch to your flowerbeds to insulate the soil and to help reduce water runoff when it rains. Peach and nectarine trees, which have already lost their leaves, should be sprayed

My Yard Looks Like S#*&!!! (The Cleanup)

 

I’ll admit it, I spend so much time making beautiful gardens for my clients that I often neglect my own garden. You know, the cobbler’s children have no shoes… The little bit of lawn I have left get mowed when my maintenance gardener decides to show up, I trim my iceberg roses back, so my kids can get out of my car, and I’ll put in some plants here or there when I have left overs or I want to experiment.

That’s the front.

Forget about the back.

My husband and I have been discussing putting in a deck for 2 years now, and I don’t want to invest too much in planting back there, so I put in a few tomatoes, squash, and cucumbers for fresh salads in the summer. The deck will happen. The six chickens also live in back in there own fenced off chicken yard under the giant ash tree.

A couple of weeks ago I received a call from a nursery I use often that they would like to feature my yard in a commercial they are filming. Um, sure! (I believe in the say YES! and then freak out way of doing things).

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,

Soil Preparation Matters If You Want Your Plants To Be Healthy

In what way does soil preparation aid for better growth of plants

Angela Thomas from NY City Pest Control is our guest blogger this week and gives some excellent tips on improving soil and preventing and treating garden pests.

You should never take soil for granted. Many of us think that just by digging up a hole in the ground and placing a plant or a seed, it will start growing automatically. This will only work out if your soil is in good condition. But, many of us have to alter the properties of dirt in the soil to create a good growing condition for the plants.

The first and the foremost thing is you have to find out what your soil is lacking and not lacking. The secret of a super productive garden is to take your time and come up with an effective strategy that will work out for your garden.

soil preparation - how to prepare soil for plantingHow To Prepare Soil For Planting

Most soils need to be improved to make plants grow well

Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,

Check out my new book!

cover

Testimonials

"Angela took our weed infested mess of a front yard and turned it into a beautiful xeriscaped, Palm Springs style desert landscape. We couldn't be more delighted with the gorgeous results. She listened to our ideas for the space, was responsive to our questions, and made the experience hassle-free. She and her two man team worked wonders. Thank you! Highly recommended."
Vivien and Matt
North Hills
My wife and I hired Angela to bring our little patio to life. From the moment Angela came over, we knew we were going to hire her. She was easy to speak with, knew her stuff, and when she put a bid together, it was affordable and beautiful.
Adam and Jennifer
Burbank
Angela is such a gem! We have utilized her several times and have always had our expectations exceeded every time.
Sharon
Los Angeles
Angela is amazing. Her extensive knowledge and eye for design as well as her flexibility in combining her expertise and our vision, gave us an end result we couldn’t be happier with.
Laura
Sherman Oaks
(Angela) listened to every minute detail of my vision for our front yard cottage garden, and like magic, (she) created a dream come true in our front yard.
Mary and Will
Culver City