Davis Garden Show, Sept. 23, 2021 -- Leucadendrons

Do native bees, pollinators, and other beneficials NEED to have only NATIVE plants? No, for most. But yes for a few. The "Pipevine Swallowtail" butterfly needs the California pipevine for its larva to feed on (other pipevine species won't do). Monarch butterfly larva feed only on milkweed plants. But most local insects will be happy with many garden plants. Having a diversity of plant species is a good way to attract and help beneficial insects.

What is "planting with natives?" If "native" means "originally existing in the local plant community," then we are extremely limited in Davis. If "native" means "native somewhere" (that is, it's not a hybrid), then anything goes! If "native" means "naturally occuring in some political region" such as California, then native-ness has no relationship to how well something will grow in my yard -- because California contains so many different climate zones. Perhaps it would be better to look for "locally adapted" plants -- species which originated in climates like ours (such as the Mediterranean, coastal Chile, parts of Australia, southern Africa, etc.), and so will grow well in OUR climate.

Today's questions include: Should we be "pinching" broccoli? (Don doesn't.) That's bacterial Citrus Blast -- exacerbated by a few days of humid weather in August. Why Don's 32-year-old orchard is being taken out (lifespan of the trees vs. changing economics vs. climate expectations).  How farmers decide what to plant where. And what some people expect to happen to our local climate in the next 20-50 years.

Also "What soil should one use in raised planters?"  Don's answer differentiated between open-bottom raised beds and planting containers which have bottoms.(Spoiler alert ... open-bottom is better! That is, it's easier to be successful when plants' roots can get down to the native soil.)

We also learned about Leucadendrons -- plants with fascinatingly-structured flowers and seeds. (Here is a collage of photos from Monterey Bay Nursery.) Read more at https://www.montereybaynsy.com/plants.php?alpha=L

There were, as usual, more questions, answers, weather forecasts, discussion of local events, and foreshadowing of future show episodes.

PS: Here's the article "How to have a lush yard without using too much water" that Lois mentioned.

If you have questions, complaints, praise, or suggestions for topics; send them to Don and Lois at DavisGardenShow@gmail.com

If you like our program and want to support us; donations can be made through https://kdrt.org/support at any time.

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