Drought Tolerant California Native Plants
courtesy of Las Pilitas Nursery, Santa Margarita
1. Dig a hole of a size into which the plant will fit. Doesn't have to be perfect.
2. Carefully remove the plastic bag or plastic pot from around the plant (recycle bag/pot).Don't plant the pot! Don't rip up the root ball, run one finger along the side, like scratching your head.
3. Carefully place the plant into the hole, slightly higher than the surrounding soil. (Again, disturb the root ball as little as possible.) Not three inches higher, maybe a quarter inch, you know 4 millimeters or so.
4. Do not add amendments, just plant in native soil. Not a 'little', 'smidgen', 'trace' or shovel full, NONE.
5. Do not add fertilizer. Ya listening? None. There is no fertilizer or amendments on a hillside.
6. Backfill the hole with soil. (The dirt you dug out! (Not manure, compost, chicken poo or other such stuff.)
7. Water lavishly (lots and lots, like 30 gallons. If it rains five inches right after you plant, skip.)
8. How to Water (After the First Watering): DO NOT USE DRIP IRRIGATION. Use microspray emitters instead, so that the plant will be irrigated in a pattern more similar to rainfall. Do not water against the crown (the main stem of the plant at the soil surface) of the plant. Water should fall in the area of the drip line of the plant and beyond.
9. For perennials and subshrubs, place a rock next to the plant, on the west side of it.
10. Place mulch, 2 to 4 inches thick, on top of the soil around the plant in a four-foot-diameter circle.
11. The first year- check the soil, down about an inch or two, once a week with your finger; if it is dry, water it; if it is moist, don’t water it. Checking with a finger will give you an excuse to avoid such things as garbage and dishes, but, come on, no daily checking!
12. The second and succeeding year- water, if needed, during the months of November through April, and try to abstain from watering in the summer. Desert plants, which receive summer rain showers, and coastal plants that normally receive fog drip/summer rain showers, like a once a week sprinkling. This gives more excuses for being in the yard with beverage of choice. But only wash the foliage, DO NOT wet the ground.
13. Depending on the origin of the plant, you may need to water extra or not. (If the plant originates from an area with equal amounts of rainfall and equal rainfall patterns, you don’t need to water extra; if the plant originates from an area of higher rainfall or different rainfall patterns, you may need to water extra).
Plant a redwood in Barstow, water it, plant a cactus in Eureka, don't water it.This basic planting guide, was written to help insure the long-term health of the native plants in your garden; if you water more than is recommended here, the plants will appear more lush, but their life span will be reduced.
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