Davis Garden Show

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. Submit a question (or a brag!) to DavisGardenShow@gmail.com.

Replays Thursday 12-1pm, Saturday 9-10am
Podcast
Music programs are only online for two weeks after they are broadcast.

Davis Garden Show, Sept. 30, 2021 -- Winter flowers and bulbs

Things to plant in October, November ...

  • Leafy greens -- lettuce, kale, NOT basil -- continue to plant all winter.
  • Brassicas (where we eat the buds or heads) get planted earlier than  leafy greens (where we trim the leaves but the plant continues to grow).
  • Bulbs -- plant most bulbs now, some later. "Full sun" in winter can be under a deciduous tree, which shades that spot in the summer. PERFECT for many bulbs.
  • Winter flowers -- cheery annual flowers to plant now.
  • Perennials with winter blooms -- plant anytime, they last for years!  -- Camellias, Euryops, Gazania, Hellebore, Hardenbergia, etcetera.

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.

Davis Garden Show, Sept. 16, 2021, Brassicas -- a one-plant wonder

'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.

Davis Garden Show, Sept. 9, 2021, Houseplants and water

Today's topics:

  • Tomato problems this year
  • Water needed for growing food is more than water needed to just grow foliage
  • Almond trees
  • Nematodes -- what are they and what to do if you have them
  • House plants that are, and are not, easy to grow
  • Don recommends for new gardeners: Golden pothos (and relatives), Easy ZZ, and Snakeplant (Sanserveria)
  • Growing trees indoors
  • Ficus benjamina  = flexible about lighting, but fussy when you move it.
  • Is it too late to plant tomatos? Pepper? Pumpkins? YES, those get planted in the spring to be HARVESTED in the fall.
  • Now is the time to start planning (and planting) your winter garden! (More details next show.)

Davis Garden Show, Sept. 2, 2021, butterflies and hanging baskets

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

Davis Garden Show, August 12, 2021: Questions

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"].

Davis Garden Show August 05 2021, 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. 

Davis Garden Show, July 29, 2021: Water 50% for ornamentals, 100% for food producers

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.


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Comments

Hi! Thank you for answering my last question. I found your answers very helpful and useful. I am currently relistening to the podcast where Eric called in. Hopefully one day I will do that too and then you can hear my voice. As far my question, i would like to know more about the 'Princess Maxine' rose. Eric bought it for me, but I can not find any information about it. What catagory of rose is it. Anything else you can tell me would also be helpful and useful. Roses are my specialty, but this has me stumped. It has lovely tiny light pink blooms. I have a picture of it, however it is not very clear. By the way, i am now working with Eric. He has hired me and i so enjoy working with him. Something else you might find interesting to know, Eric taps my mind for plant and gardening information, but I can not answer everything. So your answers are beneficial to the both of us. i am so excited that you answered my last question, that i look forward to your answer to my new question. your garden radio show is the best gardening radio show out there!

Robin, Southern California

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 11/29/2010 - 8:45pm

Hi! This is my first time writing to you, but I have been listening to your podcasts for a few months. I have a question about Irises for you, however I should mention that Eric in Southern California who has been e-mailing you is someone I know very closely.In fact he is the person who introduced me to your podcasts. I love it that you bring his questions onto your show. I feel such pride. As for my question, how do you get Irises (gladiolus too) to bloom again? I have a large pot where I have most of my bulbs planted. They all grow lovely leaves, but haven't flowered in several years. Thefreesias bloom year after year, but not the irises or gladiolus. I have them planted in a mix of potting soil and I now use Spray and Grow to fertilize.

Sincerely,
Robin Winderman
rkicker@rocketmail.com

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 09/28/2010 - 8:54pm

Hi Robin,
We discussed your iris/gladiolus question on today's show (9/30). We always enjoy Eric's questions; he gives us lots of ideas for seasonal topics.
Thanks for the note,
Don

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 09/30/2010 - 2:58pm

Hi, I work at a Garden Center and recently our company has begun to carry an Imidicloprid product (Bayer) for use on fruit trees and vegetables. My knee jerk reaction is horror. I know you'll be able to give me the real skinny, am I over reacting or is this a really bad idea? LOVE your show, "Hi Lois!: Greatly appreciated. Lori, San Luis Obispo County, CA

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 04/12/2010 - 12:17pm

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