Native Plant Gardening
Here is the basic dirt about planting a native plant garden in California.
It doesn't rain in California from May to November.
Most of the soils in California are considered infertile.
It's hot and dry in summer, cool and moist in winter.
Humidities are generally low, but can be very low in summer.
We have a rather extreme Mediterranean Climate. Before you get all misty
about Lavender, Lavender grows in a climate closer to Medford, Oregon
than Los Angeles or Fresno. And our El Ninos knock out a lot of the
desert species, not to mention those 100 year frosts that seem to be
happening more often with climate change. Historically California had an
80 year drought in the 1500's and no measurable rain in 1847.
California is very diverse from nearly 0 rainfall to 120 inches. Just
because it grows in California doesn't mean it's for you. Again, think
No soil amending. Where did someone get the idea that a Native California hillside had fertilizer worked into it. Maybe someone selling a load of stuff?
Stop watering native plants
in summer if you possibly can and as soon as you can. NEVER use drip. Overhead irrigation is fine.
Expect your native plants to look a little worse for wear in summer. You
can hose off the foliage to make them look a little better, but try not
to water them in summer after the first season.
Stay as close to your plant community as you can. Do not plant redwoods
in Bakersfield or cactus in Eureka. This doesn't have to be perfect, but
if you want manzanitas maybe you should move from Barstow.
Some plants need a climate. If you live in Los Angeles or San Francisco
you may not be able to grow some of the plants from the interior.
Water is going to get very expensive and scarce on many years. With
climate change I expect droughts that will be intense and flooding. We
may be working with no outside irrigation in a few decades.
Ok, now read the rest of the page and click on the links and get going. There's a California to save!