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?
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.
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.
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 start to look like hair that’s had too much bleach and not enough conditioner. Cut back ornamental grasses to encourage new growth.
Deadhead or pull up any dead flowers. Keep planting cool season annuals like pansies, Iceland poppies, Cylamen, and snap…
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…
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).…
Hi Garden Friends!
Have you always wanted to grow a vegetable garden, but don’t know where to start? How cool would it be to step outside and gather home grown produce to use in youe next home cooked meal!-
I am super excited to announce that I am holding a FREE webinar to help you get started on your vegetable garden this year. I hope you can join me live on Thursday, March 24th at 11:00am Pac. You’ll learn easy actionable steps on what you need how to get your edible garden in the ground.
Join me live, and you’ll also be eligible for some great garden bonuses (cause I like to give fun stuff to my friends)!
It’s easy to enroll. Just click the link here: http://app.webinarjam.net/register/25280/b79195e60b
I look forward to seeing you next week (oh, and feel free to share the link with your friends)!
Tagged with: clean eating
, culinary herbs
, garden to table
, home cooking
, home grown
, organic garden
, vegetable garden
Choosing The Best Tool For The Job
I’ve collected a lot of garden tools over the years. Some I have purchased. Some my dad left to me when he passed away. Some have even been given to me as gifts. I do find myself using the same tools over and over again. There are a lot of choices available, and if you are a beginning gardener, the choices can seem overwhelming. Exactly how many types of pruners do I need?
I am going to give you 4 tips on how to choose the best and most useful tools, save you some money, plus give you a free bonus, so you know exactly what to get to make gardening easy and fun.
The Right Tool for the Job: Standing in front of the garden tools display at a nursery or big box store can be confusing and overwhelming. There are numerous varieties of shovels, rakes, and hoes. Before you buy any tools, take stock of what tools you might…
I love to wander around my yard and see the small things: the arrival of bees (or aphids), the changing of leaves, the first spring flowers. I’m not sure what happened to the El Nino and all the rain and cold weather we were supposed to get this winter in Los Angeles. A ridge of high pressure has kept the needed rain mostly to the north. It’s beautiful here, but too warm already. I was in Connecticut last week with my Client Attraction Business School peeps, and it was 24 degrees. I came home, and it’s been in the low 80s.
So I have been wandering around…Some observations: The Hardenbergia is blooming and full of bees (yay!). I have too much rosemary in my yard although I do love the blue flowers against the dark green leaves. My mini daffodils bloomed while I was away and are now past their peak, but the double Narcissus are in full bloom and the mix of their fragrance combined with my neighbor’s overloaded tangerine tree is intoxicating (someone needs to make a perfume). Plants and trees are feeling for spring: daisies, hellebores, the peach tree in my back yard are all…
Tagged with: bees
, citrus trees
, Client Attraction Business School
, El Nino
, Magnolia tree
, peach blossoms
Confession time…When I was little, say 10 years old, my neighborhood friends and I would grab a pair of scissors to wander our neighborhood and steal prune flowers here and there from the beautiful gardens to give to our moms. We always told our moms that we cut the flowers the flowers from our friends’ yards, and our moms thought we were such generous and thoughtful children.
While I certainly don’t condone stealing your neighbors’ flowers, this little foray into the ‘dark side’ started a love of floral arrangements and flower gardens, and I am especially fond those that have that have that loose, gathered from the garden, inspired by Dutch master painters feel.
A reader asked me recently what are the best flowers to grow in a cutting garden. There are dozens of flowers that work well in floral arrangements – I mean you could dedicate your whole garden to roses! I thought I would help you out here and give you a list of 10 of my favorite flowers that are fairly easy to grow and look beautiful both in the garden as well as in the vase.
Choose flowers that have stiffer stems, have long lasting…
Today we tackle aphids, and planting strawberries and blueberries.
Bugs on my roses! Q: My roses are starting to bud, and I can’t wait to see them bloom, but now the buds are covered with tiny bugs. What are they, and how to I get rid of them?
A: I am afraid your roses have aphids on them. The tender buds are these insects’ favorite treats, and if left untreated, they will suck the life out of the buds. These soft bodied insects are usually pale green or brown and will suck the sap from almost any plant. There are several non-chemical/less toxic methods to controlling them.
A good blast with a hose will easily knock them off the plants. Do this in the early morning so the leaves will have time to dry. You will need to repeat this often. Lady bugs LOVE to eat aphids. Most nursery centers sell little containers of lady bugs. Sprinkle them on the affected plants at dusk (so they don’t fly away), and let them enjoy the buffet. Be warned though, the containers hold hundreds of lady bugs, so if you have a small yard, share some with a neighbor. Insecticidal soap spray.…
Tagged with: aphids
, edible garden
, garden pests
, patio garden
, rose garden
, soil pH
, strawberry pot
I have always been a huge admirer and fan of advice columnists like Dear Abby, Ask Amy, Dear Prudie. When I was still in Human Resources, I was thrilled when my boss asked my to write workplace advice column called ‘Dear Gabby’. I admit, I’m a helper, and I love giving advice when it is solicited. I know you have garden questions because I get dozens of them emailed to me every month, so I am starting a garden ‘advice’ column as part of the Eden Condensed blog. I hope you’ll learn something, get some advice, and feel more confident about your gardening skills by following along. And send me questions!! You can comment here with questions or fill out my message form.
Here are today’s garden issues:
Wilting Hydrangea Q. I just planted a big leaf hydrangea in a shady area of my garden and it’s not doing well. It’s wilting and the leaves are starting to fall off. What did I do wrong?
A. The prefix ‘hydra’ means water, and hydrangeas need a lot of water. They have fleshy roots, and if they don’t get consistently moist soil, they will wilt very quickly, especially when they…