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Need Advice on Calif. Natives?

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21 Jan 2008 18:34 - 21 Jan 2008 18:38 #761 by Richard Frost
Richard Frost replied the topic: Re:Need Advice on Calif. Natives?
Thanks again, esp. for mentioning the mycorrhizae. Do you know if it would hurt or help to use a mycorrhizal granular, like GroLife ? ( www.gropower.com/products.htm )

I'm also going to plant some other natives in the same area, about 5 to 6 feet from the trunks of the Quercus durata. I've got my eye on the Salvias Gracias and Creeping Black Sage; plus the Epilobiums Dublin and John Bixby. Any opinions about these plants or others I might consider?
Last Edit: 21 Jan 2008 18:38 by Richard Frost.

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22 Jan 2008 17:33 #764 by GregRubin
GregRubin replied the topic: Re:Need Advice on Calif. Natives?
Hi Richard:

I usually don't bother inoculating, especially if you use LP plants. They have the appropriate ecology set up in the pots, so the plant is effectively the inoculant for the location. Also, appropriate spore is everywhere.

Having said that, there may be a few cases where inoculation might be helpful, but these would be really messed up sites, and you would want to use a native inoculum, like that produced by Mike Amaranthus, at www.mycorrhizae.com .

Your choice of plants should be ok, as components of those cultivars do exist as companion plants to Durata. The epilobiums usually like a little more water.

Good luck,
Greg

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14 Jun 2008 20:14 #1051 by stan
stan replied the topic: Re:Need Advice on Calif. Natives?
I have some seeds from the Desert Bird of Paradise that I got in AZ they are red how would suggest that I try to start them

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15 Jun 2008 11:34 #1053 by GregRubin
GregRubin replied the topic: Re:Need Advice on Calif. Natives?
I believe Desert Bird of Paradise is in the pea family. The classic seed treatment is to soak the seed in how water (not quite boiling, ~190 degrees), let them cool off with the water, then you should be good to plant in well draining sandy soil. The good seeds usually swell, the bad seed will often float to the top.

Good Luck!

Greg

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27 Mar 2009 11:17 #1467 by queerbychoice
queerbychoice replied the topic: Re:Need Advice on Calif. Natives?
I'm not sure advice is quite what I need . . . I just need to be reassured that someday, eventually, I'll win the battle with the weeds, and that when I scatter California poppy seeds again next fall, I won't lose 90% of them again like I did this year. I pulled the annual bluegrass as fast as I could, but it grew faster than I could pull it, and it overran the poppies and killed most of them.

On the other hand, the Triteleia laxa seedlings held up just fine, and the only ones I lost were ones I accidentally pulled myself, yanking them out in the middle of a handful of annual bluegrass. They've even held up surprisingly well while two large dogs have trampled all over them, rolled around on top of them, and chomped their foliage as a daily snack. But I'd like to be able to grow a decent variety of species, and I'm still trying to figure out what else I can grow.

Coffeeberry is supposed to be easy, but my coffeeberry's leaves all shriveled and fell off after too many winter rainstorms puddled around it in the heavy clay. So I tried wetland plants in that location, but Hibiscus lasiocarpus managed to die of drought in that same mud puddle (even after I started watering to try to keep it alive!). The only plants that have really done well in the muddy spots, besides the Triteleia laxa, are Ribes aureum and Muhlenbergia rigens. Should I grow nothing but currants and grasses and lilies? I know I need to fill the yard in with something so the bluegrass won't have as much space to take over next winter.

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08 Apr 2010 03:08 #1829 by queerbychoice
queerbychoice replied the topic: Re:Need Advice on Calif. Natives?
Wow, that post above is very outdated now! Nice to see that at least I've made some degree of progress. Unfortunately, those seedlings that I had thought were Triteleia laxa turned out to be just weeds.

Bascally, my garden wants to be a vernal pool. I have two problems with that: (1) vernal pools only seem to look good once a year, and I'd rather have a garden that looks decent year-round; and (2) even if I want to give in and let at least a large portion of it be a vernal pool, I can't find most vernal pool plants for sale anywhere. About the only one I've found is meadowfoam, which is available from Annie's Annuals. I'd love to plant some Downingia and probably other vernal pool plants, but I can't find them.

I do have a few large plants pretty well established now: Sambucus mexicana and Ribes aureum in the wetter part of the yard, and Cercis occidentalis in the drier part. Some smaller plants that seem to be doing well so far include Asclepias fascicularis, Carex praegracilis, Linum lewisii, Malacothamnus fremontii, Penstemon heterophyllus, Philadelphus lewisii, Sisyrinchium bellum, Symphyotrichum chilense, and Vitis californica. But I could really use some suggestions for other plants that might survive.

These plants have drowned in my yard: Epilobium canum, Eschscholzia californica (thrives in some areas, drowns in other areas), Layia platyglossa, Lupinus albifrons, Penstemon centranthifolius, Rhamnus tomentella, Salvia apiana

These plants have died of drought in my yard: Epilobium canum, Hibiscus lasiocarpus, Lupinus albifrons, Mimulus aurantiacus, Salvia spathacea

Also, I have been trying to improve my clay soil by adding tons of woodchip mulch on top of it. Is this the right thing to do? I'm sure that my soil is already much more fertile than would be ideal for natives, but I haven't wanted to add sand for fear of creating adobe bricks.

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