Garden care while you travel (Part 2)

The garden prep for our summer absence has been paying off. Yesterday my daughter took me on a virtual garden tour on Facetime. Things are looking good! The native sunflowers (Helianthus annuus) are amazing, reaching 6-7 ft. tall. And the tomato plants have held up well through the heat wave with temperatures in excess of […]

Garden care while you travel (Part 1)

One of the reasons that I wanted to change my traditional landscape to one with native plants was the hope that a natural garden would require less water and maintenance, thereby freeing us to travel without garden anxiety. This, however, did not turn out as expected. A traditional lawn-centric yard in southern California – unlike […]

More drip irrigation

A bit over a month ago I set up drip for the tomato plants. They have been doing great on 15 minutes of drip, every other day. There are two emitters per plant, 1g per minute. So that’s about 1/2 gallon per plant per watering session. When I installed it, I set the timer for 2x per […]

Irritation – Irrigation

Only one letter off and not sure which word is best for this post. Nevertheless, I got it done. Today I finally set up a drip irrigation system for my tomatoes using an Orbit hose faucet timer. In this front yard veggie garden there are six tomato plants (Early Girl, Better Boy, San Diego, Sun Gold), one […]

Make every drop count

The big news continues to be the ongoing drought in California, which is interesting since we rarely get any rain from April through November. Once we got half way through January we started feeling uncomfortable and things did not improve in February and March. The snow pack is at about 1% of average for this […]

Driving east

Did you ever feel like getting in the car and just driving east? You know, leaving the errands behind and crossing the whole country? Maybe it is the extreme heat we have been experiencing. Maybe it is the pull of my family, my daughter, son, sister, brother, in-laws, nieces, nephews… they are all back east. […]

Working with clay soil

There is much debate about the best way to garden with clay soil. Growing native plants is very different than cycling through annual vegetables and herbs, and so recommendations for edible gardens usually do not apply to natives. The best approach to native plant gardening with clay soil, as long as weeds or other plants […]

Tomatoes and gripes

I am 60 years old. I don’t usually start blog posts this way but as you will see, it is relevant. Let me back up a little. I decided that I was going to blog about my cherry tomatoes. I planted them late this year because we returned from India at the end of May. […]

How to water established trees

I have been doing some online research on watering established trees. It is amazing how much contradictory information is out there! Some say water once or twice a week for twenty minutes, others suggest monthly for several hours at a time. As always, the reason for the spread is partly due to the fact that […]

Disappearing lawn

A month ago when we had just returned from India, I was sitting in my office looking out the window at the front lawn. The grass on the east side of the front yard, one of the few remaining patches, is green except at the corner. Clearly that area is not getting enough water. The […]