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Old 07-12-2002, 10:48 AM
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Default Transplanting or starting plants during mid-summer



Has anyone also heard that they are predicting an El Nino this winter? I`m glad we need the rain badly but worried about my property. Our house and much of our land is on a pretty steep slope. I`ve been clearing out the non-native grasses and weeds but now I`m worried that I`ve taken away the only thing that was stablizing our hillsides! There are some natives there but not enough yet to really help hold the soil up. An El Nino year is going to be very hard on us if I can`t find some way to stabilize the hillsides before rainy season. So my question isis there anything I can start planting seeds or transplants now, in mid-summer that might grow some before winter? The existing plants on the hillside are buckwheat, golden yarrow, beard-tongue and whorl-leaf penstemon and pinkbract manzanita. We`re at 6000 ft. on a sunny southeastern exposure. We`re at a transition area of Ponderosa Pine Forest and Mountain Chaparral. Any suggestions will be extremely appreciated. Thanks so much. </p>
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Old 07-13-2002, 05:43 PM
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Default Re: Transplanting or starting plants during mid-summer



Have you thought of jute netting? We also cleared our hillside garden right before the last El Nino - and that was a big one! After looking at our bare hillside, and then looking at the hundreds of little one gallon plants we had bought, we ran out to Home Depot and bought up all their jute netting. Buy a really good pair of industrial scissors like something made for cutting metal, to cut holes in jute to place your newplants. Regular scissors won`t do! Within a day or two, we covered a lot of hillside, laying out the jute and pegging as we went. You can sow wildflower seed on top of the jute too in fact, this was probably our best year for wildflowers, thanks to the rain but also because the jute acts as a dampening mulch from what we could tell, keeping the seedlings moist. You can walk on jute netting on a steep slope provided it`s pegged down really well - even better than walking on soil; any soil you dislodge tends to get trapped under the jute, rather than roll down the hill. We also planted lots of native strawberry plants, which did a bang up job finding the spaces between the netting and laying down roots. After a year or more, the netting just disappears decomposes. You`ll be digging up metal pins for ever afterwards though! Otherwise, you`ll have a hard time getting stuff established really quickly I would think, in the heat. Trish </p>
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Old 07-15-2002, 06:25 AM
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Default Re: Transplanting or starting plants during mid-summer



The best erosion control I have seen for your situation would be shredded redwood mulch aka 'Gorilla Hair'. This forms a fibrous mat over your bare soil areas and has proven very effective in controlling erosion for us I own a native landscaping company. Using shredded redwood has the added benefit of not messing up your existing ecology. I like it better than jute in that it is sympathetic to your plant community, creates a contiguous covering often soil will erode underneath the jute, will last 7-10 years on the ground, and finally, is very attractive. I also support the idea of sowing native wildflowers - poppies and lupines are wonderful at soil stabilization and jump starting native ecology in weedy sites. They also tolerate the gorilla hair well, while most non-native annual grasses and weeds are discouraged. Good luck.</p>
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Old 07-15-2002, 04:50 PM
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Default Re: Transplanting or starting plants during mid-summer



Thank you both so much for your responses. I will check out both jute and gorilla hair next time I`m at the garden store. I`m so glad there`s something I can use to stablize my slopes. It sounds like a great idea to use something like that while we wait for the vegetation to spread. One question..would it be worthwhile to sow some wildflower seed now? I have some lupine, poppies and columbine seeds. I realize they probably won`t have time to flower this season but maybe they`ll at least start a root system. Maybe I`ll get lucky and a few will winter over for a jump start next spring? Again, thanks so much. I`m having such a good time developing my native landscaping. California wildflowers and plants are so neat and beautiful. Who needs the non-natives anyway?</p>
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