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Old 05-24-2000, 04:37 PM
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Default How to estabish native seedlings in S. Cal.

Hi all. I live in zone 9 sometimes called 10, probably 20 per Sunset WG. Hot, sandy San Fernando Valley N. HOllywood. Bought a number of beautiful gallon plants from The Theodore Payne Foundation: salvia clevelandii, penstemon cardinalis, penstemon spectabilis, mimulus prostrata, yellow bush monkeyflower, red bush monkeyflower, a monkeyflower more suited to shade, and a lotus scoparius. Here is my dilemma: I know that once they're established, I needn't do anything much to them. I planted them right in my sandy, rather alkaline soil. HOWEVER, how do I walk the line between overwatering and underwatering? I have to give them some water, don't I? In April I almost killed a ceanothus 'Dark Star' by watering every other day. I also planted, in the same bed a lavatera bicolor, echinacea purpurea, pentemon cyananthus which my nursery shouldn't have sold me cause it doesn't get cold enough here, and rudbeckia hirta. How do I water??? Do I amend at all?Thanks so much for your input.-Leslie</p>
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Old 05-25-2000, 01:08 AM
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Default Re: How to estabish native seedlings in S. Cal.

A little more time invested in water and nutrient needs prior to planting would have been helpful in your endeavor. Most shrubs do not require as much water as more herbaceous plants. Great color schemes can be created keeping like needs plants together. This will also reduce your stress over water stressing your plants. Ben</p>
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Old 05-25-2000, 02:33 AM
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Default Re: How to estabish native seedlings in S. Cal.

Thanks for your comments, Ben. Actually, my research prior to posting here was as extensive as I could make it: internet, plant groups, gardeners, on and on. What I learned was that both the shrubs and the herbaceous plants are drought-tolerant. I understood that the herbaceous plants will require more watering, however I have been under the impression that, once established, none of them requires frequent watering, even in my very hot sun and sandy soil.Perhaps you might share what you know about the crux of my question, which is: now that these are planted, how much would you water them till established, after established, and also the best 'way' to water. No one, including the Theodore Payne Foundation, suggested adding nutrients. Do you disagree?And no one seems to know what to do, i.e. how wet to keep the soil if at all, before establishment.Thanks very much.-LeslieP.S. I've learned that waiting for the 'right' information on this is an endgame, because everyone seems to have a different opinion, and almost no one I've found knows about gardening with nativesHowever, this particular group, which I just found last night!, sounds expert.





Thanks so much.-Leslie</p>
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Old 05-25-2000, 08:01 AM
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Default Re: How to estabish native seedlings in S. Cal.

Leslie - Isn't the way it goes? Everybody has their own opinion on everything. In any event I try to at least make my opinion an educated one. We plant a lot of native propagules in Yosemite. Some are watered every couple of weeks after they are put in if the weather is dry. The soils we aork with are frequently severy compacted and require at least some amendment to get the plant started. However, giving a plant regular assistance may cause it to become dependent on you which is not what you want from a native plant garden. Since your garden is planted, I have some thoughts on watering schemes for you. Simply if a plant looks droopy water it. Make a schedule/checklist. Put it in columns to record date planted, pH you can get a home pH kit to test your soil, date last watered, length of watering and anything else you feel you need to keep track of. Keep in mind this is a short term experiment to help you determine what you need to do to get your garden well established. After you have run the experiment for a couple of weeks, set your garden in motion. The ideal is to get your garden to grow is as near natural conditions as possible. Including watering and soil amendments. Check out your plants in their native habitat and see if you can get a collecting permit from whatever agency you happen to be dealing with for native mulch for your plants. This way you can at least give your plants what they would get naturally. I'll list some books for you to look for as well. Seeds of wildland plants and seed propagation of native plants. I will supply publisher info when I actually have the books in front of me. Let me know if you have any further questions. I can not remember all of your message, so if I come up with more I'll send it to you. Ben</p>
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Old 05-25-2000, 08:51 AM
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Default Re: How to estabish native seedlings in S. Cal.

Leslie - I found the guy I was looking for. He is fairly knowledgeable about native plants and has had agreements with federal agencies for seed increase contracts. Anyway he is Craig Dremann, he started the reveg edge, you can reach him at craig@ecoseeds.com or view his website http://www.batnet.com/rwc-seed/ or type dremann into a search engine. Ben</p>
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Old 05-25-2000, 04:49 PM
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Default Re: How to estabish native seedlings in S. Cal.

Thanks so much, Ben.That's all great advice and info. I made contact today with a woman at the Rancho Santa Ana gardens, who turned me on to the native plant gardener there, as well. Until I know more from experience, I think the 'water it when it's droopy' is the way to go. It's so ironic how the more you learn, the more you don't knowI set aside this big part of my yard for the native garden -- low maintenance in addition to all the other reasons -- and now it's the only part of my garden that actually requires maintenance other than judicious sprinkling!!! But frankly, I am just thrilled every time I look at one of the mimulus mimuli? -- those small flowers with such presence. The plants all have so much character, even the 6-inch penstemon x.parishii seedling with nothing but young leavesThey are adjacent now to a bed with hydrangeas I didn't plant them, potato vinenow it's like the vestigial bed. And I thought baseball was an endlessly fascinating journey of learning!I would be so grateful for your recommendations on books. Libraries here are sadly understocked and buying books blind is so risky.

Thanks again.

--Leslie</p>
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Old 04-01-2001, 05:54 PM
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Default Re: How to estabish native seedlings in S. Cal.

Please see responses [[in double-brackets]]:

How to estabish native seedlings in S. Cal.From: Leslie Lipton, leslielipton@earthlink.netDate: 05/24/00Time: 11:24 PM



CommentsHi all. I live in zone 9 sometimes called 10, probably 20 per Sunset WG. Hot, sandy [[You probably are on what was once an alluvial fan, so your best bet is to go to a similar site on a relatively undisturbed alluvial fan Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden is on one and thus determine the best plants suited for your particular site--there used to be some areas above Hansen Dam that might still be there San Fernando Valley N. HOllywood. Bought a number of beautiful [[The trouble with beautiful plants is that their roots are all jammed into a small space when they need to be spread out--try some from seed. They're cheaper and better.]] gallon plants from The Theodore Payne Foundation: salvia clevelandii, penstemon cardinalis, penstemon spectabilis, mimulus prostrata, yellow bush monkeyflower, red bush monkeyflower, a monkeyflower more suited to shade, and a lotus scoparius. Here is my dilemma: I know that once they're established, I needn't do anything much to them. I planted them right in my sandy, rather alkaline soil. HOWEVER, how do I walk the line between overwatering and underwatering? I have to give them some water, don't I? [[Maybe, maybe not. See below.]] In April I almost killed a ceanothus 'Dark Star' by watering every other day. I also planted, in the same bed a lavatera bicolor, echinacea purpurea, pentemon cyananthus which my nursery shouldn't have sold me cause it doesn't get cold enough here, and rudbeckia hirta. [[Just because a plant is native to someplace in California does not mean that is is 'native' or best-adapted to your site. If you are going to plant species from very different habitats or sites to which they are optimally adapted you can't expect them to do as well as those which evolved at your site. Some may always need some degree of subsidy. Kinda defeats the notion of 'native' landscaping, eh?]] How do I water??? [[For alluvial fan plants, plant only in winter when the soil becomes moist to a depth of, say, two feet, from the first few rains--then only water the area you want the roots to occupy generally deep and wide only when the rains fail to come and the plants are showing early signs of stress. Some stress is good. Don't try to get a lot of top growth right away--concentrate on root development for at least the first year. If you water during warm weather try using 'wells' or pipes buried vertically so that when you irrigate the surface and the first several inches or feet of soil depth are not wetted. Bear in mind that irrigation, particularly in warm weather, causes some plants to grow too fast, making them 'leggy' and unattractive, so keep irrigation to the minimum needed to keep the plant alive or in optimum condition. Also remember that indigenous species are adapted to periods of water stress. Some plants go dormant in summer here just like deciduous plants do in winter. Some plants will tolerate some defeating of this dormancy, others are not so tolerant. Moisture and high soil temperature also can promote disease.]] Do I amend at all? [[Only for plants that you intend to subsidize forever, such as those which come from radically different habitats, but not for species indigenous to your site--if my presumption is correct, alluvial fan species.]] Thanks so much for your input. -Leslie



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Old 05-24-2001, 11:56 AM
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Default Re: How to estabish native seedlings in S. Cal.

Gardening with a Wild Heart by Judith Larner Lowry.. Excellent.. changed my life.. Specifically on California natives with a focus on bay area plants, but really good in terms of principles and guides.. Fred </p>
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