It rained – time to plant

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Trying to catch the moment between the all day drizzle yesterday and the forecasted heavy rain tomorrow, I went to the nature park with the following ten new plants:

  • 1 – 1g white sage (Salvia apiana)
  • 1 – 1g buckwheat (Eriogonum fasciculatum var. foliosum), collected from Verdugo Mts.
  • 1 – 1g monkeyflower (Mimulus aurantiacus var. aurantiacus), from Verdugo Mts.
  • 1 – 1g chaparral yucca (Hesperoyucca whipplei)
  • 1 – 1g golden yarrow (Eriophyllum confertiflorum var. confertiflorum), Verdugos
  • 1 – 1g goldenbush (Isocoma menziesii var. menziesii)
  • 4 – 4″ narrowleaf milkweed (Asclepias fascicularis)
Expecting the ground to be moistened, I was surprised to find that only about the top inch or two was even slightly damp. Nothing really soaked into the heavy clay soil. And if you think this is only because the soil at the park is so compacted, I can assure you that even in my garden, with the on-and-off drizzle (amounting to only about .13 inches!), the soil stayed dry. Can’t wait for some serious rain tomorrow and Wednesday.
See how dry to soil is? Probably should have waited for the next rain.
We added water to the planting holes and waited… and waited… and waited. Finally we just put the plants in. Not perfect,
but hopefully good enough. We were very careful not to compact the heavy, wet-and-dry soil.
Created a berm around the hole to retain water, and watered the new plant. The weather is cool and overcast so
at least they won’t be stressed before the soaking rain comes.
We have found that placing boulders next to the base of the plant protects it and keeps it from drying out too fast.
We check these plants often and remove the rocks as the plants get established.
The plants, grown by Theodore Payne Foundation and El Nativo Growers, looked good. None was too root bound. The only thing I would point out is that sometimes soil is added to containers, covering the crown of the plant. I always check for this and remove all soil covering the crown, so that none of the stem is covered. The yucca here shows what I mean.
My fingers show that about an inch of the blades were under soil. This plant will be fine,
but always make sure the crown is correctly identified so it isn’t buried when planting.
I am always amazed at how many plants have made it in the park with heavy clay and no automatic irrigation. Nevertheless, we are making progress and it feels good.
Bush sunflower (Encelia californica) has come out of dormancy and is blooming. Behind it a sagebrush
(Artemisia californica) is leafing out.

4 thoughts on “It rained – time to plant

  1. Anonymous

    That garden is a wonderful project. Thanks you for your dedication. Thanks, too, for the tips. Us neophytes need them. Pamlea

  2. Anonymous

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  3. I was planting in my home garden over the Thanksgiving weekend and, boy that soil was dry! I had watered the night before, hoping to make my task easier, but found the same thing: moisture had only penetrated about an inch down. <br /><br />It drizzled in San Diego last night, but nothing since then. Am really hoping for a good soaking today and tomorrow!

  4. I hope yo got a good soaking after your introductory drizzle. It&#39;ll be great to be sure your new plants get a nice boost of moisture to prepare them for the dry season. Down here much of San Diego finally did get a good soaking, but it&#39;ll take much more to end the drought. Good luck with your new plantings!

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