by Bernadette Griffith, Frozen Green
Thumb Garden Club
Mountain C.A.R.E and the Bear Facts
Autumn months can be dismal days for a gardener. The
beautiful blooms of summer begin to fade, leaves begin
to turn brown and drop, as the chill in the air signals
the coming of winter. Our little mountain enclave hides
many natural wonders that can only be seen this time of
year. Many Southern Californians never experience
the beautiful crimson and copper hues that our deciduous
trees take on
in autumn. The boughs of the evergreens covered in a
layer of snow display a stately grace not seen in the
palm trees found at lower elevations. Welcome the change
of seasons as the time of rest and rebirth that every
living thing requires to regenerate and renew itself.
Join in the fun:
Tips from the Frozen Green Thumb
U.S.D.A. Climate Zone
for upper canyon is Zone 7, lower canyon is Zone 8.
If you're referring to the Sunset Garden Book, we
are in Zone 3.
Forest Falls has three
microclimates: Upper Canyon, Mid Canyon and
Lower Canyon (aka the banana belt). The
growing season may differ by two weeks between each
microclimate, in other words, you can plant earlier
and plants will last longer in the Lower Canyon than
the other areas of the canyon.
Much of our soil is
more rocky or sandy rather than rick and ready for
planting. Build up your planting beds with
manure, peat moss, leaf mold and bone meal (a slow
Always look for HARDY
(frost or freeze tolerant) bulbs, ground cover,
plants, scrubs, etc.
If you are going to
compost, remember we have bears and other forest
critters. It is important to use discretion
when adding kitchen scraps. Chop, use an
electric blender or freeze the scraps. Kitchen
scraps can draw unwanted vermin which will in turn
draw snakes to your yard.
Transplant in the fall
while the soil is still warm enough for the root
system to get its hold in the ground.
Put your garden "to
bed" by raking fallen leaves over your planting beds
to prevent winter damage.
New plantings do
better if you wait until after Mother's Day to plant
"Mountain Gardening, A
Short Cut to Insanity" can be purchased at Jessica's
Always be vigilant of
snakes and other critters in your garden as you're
working in it. They can hide under leaves and
go unseen until it's too late.
Donations to VFCCI