Las Pilitas Nursery

California Native Plants are all we grow!

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3232 Las Pilitas Rd
Santa Margarita, CA 93453

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This website is dedicated to Bert Wilson. His genius continues to inspire us.

Native plant doofuses

Here's a page for the stupid questions, confutations and confessions.

I strive to be at least 90% correct as I figured out that is far more accurate than most and you get things done. If you try for being 100% correct you rarely finish the first task and in Science there are few absolutes. So the website has some errors, but we try to be scientifically correct at the time we wrote the page. So far we've done fairly well. Sometimes the misspellings and interrupted text can be almost Freudian.
In horticulture it is common for someone to have a stupid idea, put it out as a fact and have it inscribed in every article, book or blog for 20 years or even 80 years. No one seems to question anything even if the Emperor has no idea where he (or she) is, has no clothes and is standing in poison oak. We look over and see a gaggle of them all standing out there in the poison oak saying how great the leaf color is. What do you say? Why aren't you itching?
Water fowl at Laguna Lake in San Luis Obispo. - grid24_12
Discussing their garden prowess?
I'll start it out.
When we first moved out here in we planted 30 fruit trees, worked in some manure and put them on drip irrigation. After 6 months there was one left alive. Gophers, borers, and voles got all of them.
We had college degrees, years of experience and not a clue about the fierce climate and critters.
Over the years there have been maybe 100 emails that we've not been able to answer as there is no polite way to answer.
"I didn't buy your plants as they were way too expensive. I found some 2 inch pots on(insert ebay, flea market, plant sale, neighbor) and they were much cheaper, but they all died, what should I do".
"My plant looks listless and kind of gray, should I water it, I put it up into a pot a month ago. It says it's drought tolerant so I didn't want to water it.." AND, it wasn't ours.
"I'm planning to rip out all of my 'brush' on my hillside and plant something for erosion control. What do you have that's like red apple but doesn't need water?"
I may keep adding to this as it keeps driving us CRAZY. The first season it fine to water once a week. But why would folks think California native plants need summer water after first season. OR, why do folks think they have to water daily or even twice a week. California usually rains once a week during the winter, no rain during the summer.
Drip irrigation is the same ecology as a fresh water marsh. Why would you water something with drip daily that grows up on a mountain, or in the desert? Why would you put a manzanita or Ceanothus in a marsh in summer?
Ok, Joedog. You can add to it.
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