by Bernadette Griffith, Frozen Green Thumb Garden Club

Courtesy of 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 Gardening Club


  • 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 acting fertilizer).

  • 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 them outdoors. 

  • "Mountain Gardening, A Short Cut to Insanity" can be purchased at Jessica's Treasures.

  • 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. 









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