How to water plants through a heat wave

How to water plants through a heat wave

Heat waves make me a worried gardener. What can I do to help my plants? Should I water again? How much? This summer of 2017 has started off with a blast of multiple heat waves for Southern California’s valleys (the beach has been spared by the presence of a...
Rain makes dreams come true

Rain makes dreams come true

This morning I awoke to the sound of rain. It’s the most pleasant sound, a muffled pecking on the roof. This is the first storm in a series of four that the National Weather Service says will give us three to six inches by Tuesday, an event with more potential...

Cactus among cedars

​ What’s this? It’s a garden on the campus of Willamette University in Salem, Oregon where lush squash, tomatoes and peppers are growing behind these pads of cactus. Huge cedars and healthy Japanese maples partly shade the garden. I find the scene...

Gardening benefits of a hot-summer climate

Every August, I curse the summer. I grow tired of the heat and I wish I lived at the beach again. Last week, I wrote an email to the host of my favorite garden show asking for encouragement in this season of discomfort. Don Shor hosts the Davis Garden Show alongside...

Just move!

Walking around the San Diego neighborhood of South Park yesterday, I noticed that most yards had ornamental plants (giant bird of paradise, bougainvillea, lawn, Mexican sage, ficus, magnolia), but I came upon one that made me reminisce. It had peach and apricot trees,...

How to cope with a heat wave

Just as there’s always a cold snap or two every winter, we get a couple heat waves every summer that challenge the plants. We just made it through a second August heat wave, where five days were over 95°. Two weeks ago we had four days over 95° and a new daily...

Rain met drought, drought doesn’t care

It seems a tautology that rain reduces drought. Yet our water picture is so surreal that the National Weather Service just said, “. . . local rainfall in Southern California does not necessarily help the drought situation.” How so? It hinges on the meaning...