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milesholly
Dec 7, 2015 12:37 PM CST
This is the first year of growing a garden in Siskiyou County CA. (Yreka) I have a small yard that could use some color. Anyone with any ideals or advice Please Help!! My Mom was the gardener now that she has passed I wish I would of paid more attention.I do find myself missing the time her and I spent in her garden. The yard has lots of sun little shade. Thanks for the help.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Dec 7, 2015 2:56 PM CST
Welcome! milesholly

Please take a moment and click on "Your Profile". Then update your profile showing your location (including USDA zone). Then, every time you post, that information will show up in the upper right hand corner. Knowing your location will help folks answer any question you might have.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Birds Butterflies Dog Lover Cat Lover
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Weedwhacker
Dec 7, 2015 3:35 PM CST
Welcome to All Things Plants, @milesholly ! There are plenty of gardeners here from California, hope someone will jump in soon and offer some suggestions. And please accept my condolences on the loss of your mother... carrying on with her gardening will be a nice way to honor her. Group hug
"Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained."
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Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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Bonehead
Dec 7, 2015 7:46 PM CST
Warm welcome from a northern neighbor. You might want to follow the Pacific Coast forum which is mostly CA gardeners, many in the north. You could pick up a lot just by the photos posted. Good luck!

I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
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greene
Dec 7, 2015 7:49 PM CST
Welcome!
Looks like Yreka ia 7b-8a. You are fortunate that there is an active gardening community in your area.
Which plants/trees/shrubs are already in place in your yard? Sometimes taking photos of the yard at different times of day will help others to give better suggestion. Thumbs up
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Dec 7, 2015 8:00 PM CST
Welcome! And sympathy for losing your Mom.

I would suggest starting with easy plants, which in my mind means annuals. Zinnias and marigolds are easy, even if you start them from seed.

After a year or two, you're bound to see plants you like the looks of, and then is soon enough to try more difficult things, like starting perennials from seeds.

If you can spend money on buying plants instead of starting from seed, you can just go to a few big box stores and walk around the garden section, picking out what looks good and isn't too expensive.

A few healthy, small, cheap plants in tiny pots are MUCH better than one big, expensive plant that outgrew its pot a month before you bought it. Once you put it into soil, it will grow and be healthier than a big, root-bound plant trying to recover from Wal-Mart's abuse.

IF you find a clerk that seems to know anything, asking which are easy to grow in YOUR climate would be smart ... but big box stores tend to sell anything that they can move, whether or not it is well suited to the local climate!

I heard you say "CA", and "sunny". You might need to focus on resistance to heat and dryness.

1.
It might be smart to do as much soil preparation as possible BEFORE bringing plants home, or starting seeds. If its easy to drop them right into the soil as soon as you get them home, you will. If you aren't ready, you might do what I do and the plants could well die in their tiny pots before you get around to planting them out.

2.
Pick the spot: sunny and near enough to a faucet that you can water easily.
Somewhere you like to sit and gaze. Somewhere you'll walk past often.
Somewhere you can see from a window?

3.
If you have awful, awful soil, it MIGHT be easier to grow in pots than in the ground, but growing in pots has its own set of challenges. Real living soil in contact with the entire Earth is much easier to keep healthy and congenial for plant's roots than a soulless mix in a plastic pot.

Dig up the soil a little where you plan to grow. Loosen the soil and break up clods. Pull weeds, and add compost even if you have to buy a few bags.

4.
Don't over-fertilize! That's easy to do with chemical fertilizers, can easily damage or kill plants, and may be difficult to recover from. . Under-fertilizing hardly hurts plants at all, at worst it slows their growth. One rule of thumb is to fertilize "weakly, weekly", at least in pots.

When you grow in the ground, you can feed the soil with compost. Then the soil feeds the plants without danger of over-fertilizing.

5.
Buy or collect some bags of mulch (like bark or wood chips or pine needles or brown leaves) before you buy plants. If you throw down mulch right after weeding, few new weeds will sprout (they need to see the sun before they come out of dormancy. You can weed, and weed, and weed, and weed, and then put down mulch ... or you can weed once, put down mulch, and then just pull a few weeds, occasionally.

When you're ready to plant, weed again, push mulch away from where you want the plant, dig the hole, plant the plant, smooth & water the soil, then cover as much of the soil as possible back up with mulch.

Mulch keeps rain from compacting the soil surface. It keeps the sun off the soil surface, which keeps soil moist longer and much cooler. It "smothers" weeds (actually mulch keeps them from germinating)

6.
Only grow things you like! Look at a photo or a bloom in the store. If you don't go "AHHHH!", why bother?

Until you get a "system" down pat, you'll be expending time and effort and thought, so never buy or plant something that someone else thinks you should grow. You should like the way it looks, or it should remind you of your Mom, or at least the name should sound cute to you.

[Last edited by RickCorey - Dec 7, 2015 8:03 PM (+)]
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Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Dec 7, 2015 8:03 PM CST
I forgot to ask - are there any plants you can "inherit" from your Mom? Either in the ground or in pots? many plants can be propagated from cuttings, and then you would have the same plant growing in your yard that grew in your mother's yard.

Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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Bonehead
Dec 7, 2015 10:02 PM CST
Here's a thought -- find yourself a local nursery or two, make a point to go there once every month and buy something that is in bloom. Or a couple things. Eventually you will develop a relationship with your nursery folk, and will also begin developing a year-round garden.


I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Dec 8, 2015 11:47 AM CST
That's really smart, Deb! I never thought to identify knowledgeable clerks and reputable nurseries by going back so often that I get to know them. Usually I tell myself to STAY AWAY from places where I'll be tempted to spend money.

If you're comfortable just walking up to neighbors and introducing yourself, every gardener loves to hear that you think their flowers are beautiful, and to be asked "what IS that gorgeous one, right there?"




milesholly
Dec 10, 2015 6:04 AM CST
Thank You! Wow!!! Thanks to all of you for being so thoughtful and caring .
I stumbled on to a community garden that offers plants that are common to this area.
Although they look dormant at this time I will make a point to walk through the garden once a week. I always loved watching my mom's yard come alive in the spring time. Nothing felt better then a hot cup of coffee, and walking around the garden in the early morning on a summer's day
With my mom. I'm hoping to recreate that same feeling in my garden. Lovey dubby
Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
Cottage Gardener Houseplants Spiders! Heucheras Frogs and Toads Dahlias
Hummingbirder Sedums Winter Sowing Peonies Region: Michigan Garden Ideas: Level 2
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jvdubb
Dec 10, 2015 7:50 AM CST
I got my love of gardening from my mom. Whenever she is here we always get up early and walk the gardens with coffee in hand! It is my favorite time with her.
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
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greene
Dec 10, 2015 8:06 AM CST
That good feeling, walking with a cup of coffee through the garden, will be multiplied many times when it is your own garden and you are seeing the result of your good planning and hard work. The memory of you mother will live on in your garden. Lovey dubby
Gardeners are generous people; if you contacted the local gardening communities and let them know you need plants I'm sure several people will share with you when the time is right for planting.
Don't forget to take photos along the way. We here on ATP are photo-hungry; we love "eye candy" and love looking at other people's gardens. Thumbs up
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Dec 10, 2015 11:15 AM CST
milesholly said: ...
I stumbled on to a community garden that offers plants that are common to this area.
Although they look dormant at this time I will make a point to walk through the garden once a week.


Great find! You might bring plants home from them this spring, and be offering plants back to them in a few years.

If you're especially interested in native plants, a seed swap is going to start soon that features native plants and hibiscus. But if you haven't decided yet what plants you want to focus on, or whether you wnat to start form seeds, it might be a little early to start collecting seeds.

Hibiscus and Wildflower Swap (US Native Plants US Wildflowers and any Hibiscus.)
http://garden.org/apps/swap/view/2/
Host: Jay / Horntoad


All swaps
http://garden.org/apps/swap/
Name: David Laderoute
Zone 5B/6 - NW MO (Zone 5b)
Ignoring Zones altogether
Seed Starter Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Level 1
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DavidLMO
Dec 10, 2015 9:47 PM CST
But does not she have to offer something to swap? Sounds like she is just trying to get started.
Seeking Feng Shui with my plants since 1976
Name: David Laderoute
Zone 5B/6 - NW MO (Zone 5b)
Ignoring Zones altogether
Seed Starter Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Level 1
Image
DavidLMO
Dec 10, 2015 9:52 PM CST
milesholly said:This is the first year of growing a garden in Siskiyou County CA. (Yreka) I have a small yard that could use some color. Anyone with any ideals or advice Please Help!! My Mom was the gardener now that she has passed I wish I would of paid more attention.I do find myself missing the time her and I spent in her garden. The yard has lots of sun little shade. Thanks for the help.


Aside from commercial places and nurseries, check out farmer's markets, church sales, etc. Also check you local extension service and see if they have a Master gardener sale. And once you get familiar with gardening, consider joining. Well worth it. And one of you best bets would be a local gardening group. Virtually all communities have at least one. In my city of 80,000 we have half a dozen or so.

Sorry for the loss of your Mother. My Mom died last year and she was an avid gardener. I learned a lot from her about vegetables when I was a wee kid.
Seeking Feng Shui with my plants since 1976
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Dec 11, 2015 11:09 AM CST
DavidLMO said:But does not she have to offer something to swap? Sounds like she is just trying to get started.


True, but someone just getting started with seeds can buy a few large packets very cheaply, split and offer those in a swap, and bring home greater variety than the same amount of money would have bought from a seed vendor. That's what I did for my first big seed swap (Ella's Hog Wild Piggy Swap).

Admittedly, postage for a swap might be as much as $12 (for sending plus receiving). And that could be 4-6 pkts from a website with free shipping. But I brought home 53 items from Dave's recent ATP Beta Swap. And that was a swap with no theme. That's around 23 cents per trade packet, not counting the cost of seeds I sent (83 packets).


Name: David Laderoute
Zone 5B/6 - NW MO (Zone 5b)
Ignoring Zones altogether
Seed Starter Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Level 1
Image
DavidLMO
Dec 11, 2015 11:13 AM CST
RickCorey said:

True, but someone just getting started with seeds can buy a few large packets very cheaply, split and offer those in a swap



OIC - Oh I see. Thanks.
Seeking Feng Shui with my plants since 1976
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Dec 11, 2015 11:35 AM CST
To me, this is the one downside of ATP that I've discovered. So many members have been gardening for so long and so expertly that their memories of starting out are decades old.

I haven't noticed you doing this, but I do have advice for any expert giving advice to any beginner.

Any time you start a sentence with "Just ...", just delete that sentence and replace it with several paragraphs that explain everything that you've known and taken for granted for years or decades.

But, of course, that's incredibly hard for the expert! Those things are like breathing to the expert, but a mystery to the beginner. That's why experienced people say "I've forgotten more about XYZ than ..."

That's why my college used to pick out a few students who almost failed some hard course, but managed to figure it out by the final exam. The college hired THEM as teaching assistants because THEY knew what parts were hard to understand AND how to explain to someone who did not already understand. That's hard! It's easy for an expert to explain the complicated details that he or she still wrestles with, but explaining the basics is as hard as a fish explaining how to swim.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Dec 11, 2015 12:28 PM CST
You are so right. What is now second-nature to me (growing tropical plants.........nothing else though Sighing! ) was mostly hit-and-miss a decade ago. After a hundred "hits" and several hundred "misses" Whistling , I learned what to do and more importantly, what not to do. That's why I include growing/care instructions with all my plants. I keep it as straight forward and as simple as possible. Needless to say, one can't cover all the bases when growing tropical plants. Growing conditions range from A to Z. Heck, there are lots of books written on "How to ..............".

One thing I always try to do is to approach answers to questions based my actual experiences, rather than on a scientific or a book-learned basis. Sometime this is hard to do. My professional education and training was all scientifically based but fortunately (or unfortunately), not my gardening.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Dec 11, 2015 1:34 PM CST
I've had an enjoyable 3+ years now "getting back to basics" by teaching gardening at the local elementary school. We have a veggie garden, and see kids from kindergarten all the way up to 5th grade.

We start out the kindergartners with "soil, water and sun". Since water and sun are easy to provide, for a beginner adult gardener the place to start is learning about soil, in my opinion. Even a kindergartner gets it right when we hold out a handful of our native soil (grey sand) and a handful of compost (our own garden gold) and say "if you were a little plant, which would you rather be planted in".

Miles, contact your County Extension service and see if they have classes or online resources for you about soil, composting and building a good basis for your new garden. It's like building a strong foundation for your house - the right way to start out.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill

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