Reporter: Phil Toohey
Understanding Your Garden
Spring has sprung and it is time to think about the garden. If you are like I am, I start looking at the drip hose the dog has chewed up over the winter and looking around at new plantings in the beds and what needs to be pruned back, this year maybe earlier than most.
To our rescue, Jonathan Plant and his associate Jeff Niezgoda spoke to our lunch group on understanding your garden. Jonathan was introduced by Donn Black. And, Rob Andreae reminded us that the Vintage High Garden aka Rotary Centennial Park, Rotary had as a project in 2005 was designed by Jonathan Plant and Associates, who donated his entire scope of work.
Plant gave a fascinating talk with great slides. He made a number of good points and actually left us a check list of 21 top things to do. Here are a few: Garden yourself. Your garden should not glow in the dark (not really sure what that means?) Mulch, mulch, mulch. Use water carefully. Again similar to last week and the city general plan, it all comes down to water. This time water can be the controller. If you want to spend your time picking endless weeds out of your garden, water everything. If you have better things to do with your time, don’t put water where you don’t need it. Drought tolerant planting is a real key to sustainability. Native plants do better than non-indigenous plants. “A garden should be a joy not a burden” says Plant.
Plant made a good case for drip irrigation. Judicial use of water can control the plants growth too far, too fast. Trees such as oaks need a good soak one or two times a year, no more. People tend to protect the tree base but put lawn over the roots and then overwater. Lawn should be accent not a default because you can’t think of anything else to do with the landscape. Reduce planting density and increase plant density.