Original air date: November 2006
As we've said before, one of the benefits of Southern California's Mediterranean climate is the year-round growing season.
In fact, when it comes to our native plants, their best growing season is almost inverse to most of the established national gardening community. You see, our hot dry summers are the time when native plants shut down, waiting for the cool season rains to put on new growth.
That time is now, and it also means that the conditions are right for planting almost anything in the garden, with the exception of heat-loving tropicals. This month, Tom starts in his native garden as he and his crew clean it up for the upcoming growing season.
Then we touch on fertilizers, giving you an environmental reason to choose certain types over others. While the variety of fertilizers is endless, they can be loosely divided into two categories, slow-release and instant.
Slow-release varieties are better for the environment because they don't flood the landscape with instant nutrient, most of which will be leeched out of the soil and into our water bodies. Slow-release fertilizers deliver nutrients over a period of months in doses the plant roots can absorb more efficiently.
Next, we're off to a project in Scripps Ranch, where Tom and crew installed a new landscape last year for a home burned down in the Cedar fire. The owners hired Tom to give them his specialty; a naturalistic Mediterranean garden filled with drought-tolerant plants. Gone was the lawn, to be replaced with a much more sensible landscape for our arid region. We're back this month to give the garden its one-year check-up and give you some tips to maintain your own naturalistic landscape beyond its first year.
Lastly, we head back to the nursery to show you why the fall and winter garden can look as spectacular as a spring garden here in the southland. There are a lot of plants that grow in our climate, and many of them have their peak season during our fall and winter months. This is also a time when our spring-blooming Mediterranean bulbs are poking out of the ground, giving our gardens a spring-like feeling of freshness months ahead of others in the country.