Nursery pro Don Shor has been gardening and selling plants in Davis for more than three decades. Join Don and co-host Lois Richter as they discuss and answer your questions on all things for the garden. To submit a question (or a brag!) send to gmail.com for DavisGardenShow.
'Tis a time of CHANGE! Weather is cooler, season is later ... For some folks, it's time to cut down the cucumber vines and plant some brassicas. For others (like Don), there are still tomatoes ripening to harvest into October. What's your plan for a winter garden? Now is a good time to plant peas, lettuce, brassicas, and other cool seaon vegetablees. You can also plan to put "cover crops" on the portion of your summer garden that you don't plan to plant for the winter -- to keep down weeds and improve your soil.
Don's Davis Enterprise article "Of Cabbages and Kings" explains why we can have such a wide diversity of vegetables from JUST ONE SPECIES! -- Brassica oleracea. Here is its little-known history ... "Strolling along the windswept limestone cliffs of southern and western Europe, in places where salt spray limited the growth of other plants and temperatures were usually mild but cool, one of our forebears evidently noticed that the leaves of a common plant were edible. Bitter, a little skunky smelling, fibrous, but edible. ... "
Many, many questions this time! (Some carried over to the next show.)
Gardening for butterflies,
hanging baskets for coastal zones,
time to plant brassicas (cabbage-family) and a winter garden,
persimmon trees struggling to establish,
tomatoes that didn't do well, and more.
To send in questions, brags, comments, or commendations; write to Don Shor and Lois Richter at DavisGardenShow@gmail.com
Today we have more information about watering in a drought, plus:
[Lois was on vacation, so Don wrote this terse description.]
[Photo is of a cycad with its reproductive "cone" sprouting.]
Lots of listener questions!
some common invasive plants,
pruning a peach,
fruit problems with Honeycrisp apple,
low water suggestions for a front yard,
amaryllis bulbs, caladiums [shown], and more.
Lots of listener questions today!
Wide-ranging answers keep returning to common themes: beneficial insects -vs- applying poisons, hosing things off -vs- applying poisons, saving bees and other beneficial insects -vs- applying imidacloprid (a neo-nicinoid systemic poison that makes flowers poisonous to pollinators), thwarting phytophthora by watering deeper but less often, and conserving water in this drought year.
Specific discussions about:
plants for a dry front landscape [with LOTS of ideas!];
Colocasia ["elephant ears"] and taro root [for poi] CAN grow here!;
what ethylene gas is and what it does (ripening bananas and apples, strenghtening tree trunks) [including Don's suggestion for some kids' science fair projects!];
spider mites, predatious mites [which are small and red but are not chiggers!], and other beneficial insects;
'What causes leaf burn on maples?'; and
more about phytophthora [a word which traslates as "plant death"].
Lots of science today! Phytophthora [fi-TOF-thir-a] is an organism [no longer considered a fungus] that has invaded world-wide. Many species exist. The one of concern in Davis and inland California attacks plants when ground conditions are HOT AND DAMP! (That is, high humidity and high temperature at the crown or roots for 48 hours.) Since we don't have rain here for eight months, the only way there can be enough moisture to allow Phytophthora to grow is if HUMANS apply water too often -- that is, they don't give the area time to dry out between waterings! Luckily, Don Shor has studied this organism extensively and helps us understand Phytophthora's life cycle and so learn how to reduce our risk. PS: That word "Phytophthora" literally translated to "plant death"!!! PPS: It's already here -- in the ground, on plant roots -- you can't avoid it if you garden.
Even old, established trees can be killed by Phytophthora if the watering changes. This photo is Dr Milton Hildebrand standing beside a cork oak he planted in 1949.
NEW, EASY WAY to figure out your drought watering! Don shared the research from the University of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources -- Center for Landscape & Urban Horticulture, showing how little water different plants can survive on. Not be happy, but survive.
Lots of info about watering -- trees, shrubs, food plants, and beneficial insects. (Lois asked about making an insect watering hole with wet sand.) One listener writes about her "spider mite apacalypse" and wonders how to keep her melons alive until harvest.
Why do plants look stressed the third year in the ground when "they did fine last year"? How much water a plant needs depends upon how big it is! So as a young plant grows bigger, you need to give it more water (either water longer or add another sprinkler head).
"Grad Students Help with Soil" is the Davis Enterprise headline; "providing soil diagnosis [texture and pH test] and advice to gardeners" is the service; Saturdays (9:30-11:30) at Davis Farmers Market is the when/where. The service will continue every Saturday thru August 21.
Watering in a drought. Reducing lawn water while keeping your trees alive. Root distribution of trees, "circle watering" strategy.
Coast redwoods in interior California. Many redwoods were planted in Davis years ago; should we add new ones now? What might we substitute for them?
What's wrong with these struggling tomato plants?
Compacting soils can cause problems.
"Mulch is for on top, not underground."
And more answers to listeners' questions. Submit yours for inclusion in a future show by emailing Don Shor and Lois Richter at DavisGardenShow@gmail.com
Don Shor and Lois Richter talk about July pests -- what 's around now and how to handle things -- and lots about fruit trees -- including broken branches, thinning possibilties, reduced size method, and summer pruning. From that Facebook @ re feeding squirrels -- just don't!
And, of course, we talk about the GLORIOUSLY WONDERFUL WEATHER this week.