Saturday, May 4, 2013

Plants for Problem Areas

I am in this month's issue of San Diego Home & Garden Magazine talking about plants for problem areas.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Meet Doug Kalal in person

I will be at the Tierrasanta Public Library this Tuesday, April 30th at 6:30pm talking about “30 Great Drought Tolerant Plants”. This power point presentation will feature gorgeous photos and fun tales from the field. There will also be sample plants to see, touch and smell and a take home list of all the plants featured.  The Tierrasanta Library is located at 4985 La Cuenta Dr. just off of Tierrasanta Blvd.

Happy Arbor Day!

In honor of Arbor Day, here is one of my favorite trees for San Diego.
This is the Crape Myrtle variety called "Tuscarora". 
Photo by Doug Kalal

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Photo - Silver Sheen Pittosporum (Pittosporum tenuifolium 'Silver Sheen')

This fast growing shrub is perfect for screening 10' to 12' in height.
Silver Sheen Pittosporum gets about 3' to 4' in width.  To create
a dense screen, plant these shrubs abou 3' apart and prune
twice per year to increase leaf density.
Photo by Doug Kalal

Saturday, April 13, 2013

San Diego Rose Show

Next week the San Diego Rose Society will be having their annual rose extravaganza with thousands of roses on display.  This year's rose show will be at the McMillin Event Center at Liberty Station (Pt. Loma).  The show will open on Saturday, April 20 at 12noon and will run until 5pm that day.  On Sunday the show will be open from 10:30pm to 4pm.  Tickets are $5 for adults and free for anyone under 18.  Here is the San Diego Rose Society's web page for more info.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Nursery Review - Jungle Music

     In San Diego there are some terrific specialty nurseries.  When it comes to palms and cycads, the best in the county is Jungle Music, up in Encinitas.  Jungle Music is owned and operated by expert Phil Bergman and it is a treasure chest of everything from the ordinary (King Palm),
King Palm box

to the very unusual (check out Phil’s Blushing Palm).  My favorites are the Mexican Blue Palms (Brahea sp.) and the Bismarck Palm (Bismarckia noblis),
Bismarckia nobilis, large box

     The web page for Jungle Music is one of the best in the country.  Phil has listed countless articles on everything from how to plant a palm tree;
To diagnosing cycad problems;
If you are interested in palms or cycads, the Jungle Music web page is the first place to start. April is a great month for planting palms and cycads.  So head on up and check out the fabulous Jungle Music.

Jungle Music
450 Ocean View Ave
Encinitas, CA 92024
(619) 291-5605 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

5 Fantastic Small Trees for San Diego

Here are 5 wonderful trees for small spaces in San Diego.  These trees are great for patio areas and are usually smaller than 20 feet tall and wide.

Cercis Canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’
Forest Pansy Redbud
A deciduous tree with pink flowers in the spring and foliage that changes from dark purple to green to yellow by the fall.

Lagerstroemia indica ‘Tuscarora’
Tuscarora Crape Myrtle
Another deciduous tree with bring pink flowers in the summer.  This drought tolerant tree loves the heat.

Arbutus unedo ‘Marina
Strawberry Tree
Edible fruit make this evergreen tree a winner with the birds.  The variety ‘Marina’ has pink flowers.

Prunus cerasifera ‘Purpurea’
Purple Leaf Plum Tree
A very tough tree for area with bad soil.  This deciduous tree thrives everywhere in San Diego County.
Hymensporum flavum
Sweetshade Tree
This tree is evergreen with nice summer flowers. It will slowly reach 20 feet tall and 20 feet wide.


Monday, March 25, 2013

Photo - Raised Patio made from Country Manor Keystone Walls

This raised patio was constructed using Country Manor
Keystone retaining walls and topped with Stone Top Pavers.
Photo by Doug Kalal, taken at a client's garden in La Jolla

Photo - Dry Stream Bed

Dry stream beds are a great way to combine a
focal point in a Xeriscape garden with a
way to drain water away from the house.
This dry stream bed connects with a drain in the back
yard so that on rainy days the water in the backyard
flows down the stream bed and toward the street.
Photo by Doug Kalal, taken at a client's garden in Lakeside

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Photo - Raised Vegetable Bed

This raised bed was made for Pavestone Keystone blocks,
available at Home Depot.  Raising a vegetable garden
allows for easier access to the plants as well as improving drainage.
Photo by Doug Kalal, taken at a client's garden in Carlsbad

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Photo - Costco Weed Block

This month at Costco, you can buy an 880 square foot
roll of heavy duty weed block (aka landscape fabric) for
about $45.  That is half the price of most nurseries.
This is a good material to use on flat garden areas for preventing weeds.
Water and plant food will still pass through the material but the
weeds are suffocated.  After laying the weed block, cover with mulch.
Photo by Doug Kalal

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Gardening Tip - How to plant a slope

After you have cleared the slope of the old plant material, the next step is to upgrade the irrigation system.  Drip irrigation is a good method for irrigating a slope that will have a relatively few amount of plants (1 per 20 sq ft).  The drawback to drip irrigation is that in some rural areas, the local critters (gophers, squirrels, raccoons) love to chew up the lines in search of water.  So I actually prefer using rotors for irrigating a slope.  MP Rotators by Hunter are an outstanding product for controlling water on a slope.  This product can be found at both Ewing Irrigation and Hydroscapes here in San Diego.
      Following the irrigation tune-up (or overhaul if needed), you next need to amend the soil.  Gro-Power and composted top soil are usually the best materials to use for fixing up the soil (although every slope is different).  See the earlier article in March about fixing soils.
     After you have put down your soil amendment, you need to lay jute netting up and down the slope (see photo).  Jute netting is a bio-degradable material (sometime referred to as erosion cloth) that serves 3 purposes and is critical to the success of slope planting.  Jute netting not only holds the soil amendments in place but after planting it holds the mulch in place around the new plants.  Finally jute netting helps to keep water from just running wildly down the slope.   One large roll usually measures 4’ x 225’ (900 sq ft).  Always lay the netting up and down the slope, never side to side and use the pins to secure it in place.
      Once the netting is in place, it’s time to plant the plants.  On each plant it is important to build a little berm on the downhill side of the plant.  This helps to hold the water in place around the new plant’s root ball.  Also when you place the plant in the ground don’t forget the Best-Pak (the slow release fertilizer I have mentioned in earlier articles).  Place the Best-Pak on the uphill side of the root ball then soak each plant with a hose.
     Next add some mulch and a pre-emergent herbicide like Preen to the slope to control the weeds.  Spread at least 2 inches of mulch over the entire slope (the depth of your thumb).  1 cubic yard of mulch will cover 150 sq ft feet to the depth of your thumb.
      Finally, carefully water the new plants again in order to wash the mulch and Preen off of the foliage.  Continue to soak each new plant over the next few weeks to help them get established.  The exact watering schedule depends on the plants and the time of year you have planted your slope.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Photo - Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii)

This charming little native of Texas and Mexico is great
for both drought tolerant and hummingbird gardens.
Autumn Sage can reach 3 feet wide x 2 feet tall,
and comes in pink, red, white and salmon.
Photo by Doug Kalal, taken at a client's garden in Tierrasanta

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Photo - Marble Queen Coprosma

Here is one of my favorite Coprosmas, "Marble Queen".
This shrub gets about 4 feet tall and is great for part shade areas
next the house.
Photo by Doug Kalal

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Photo - Tequilla Sunrise Coprosma

Here is a small Coprosma that is great for tight spaces
against a house.  Tequilla Sunrise gets about 2 feet tall and wide.
Photo by Doug Kalal, taken at a client's garden in Kensington

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Photo - Taupata Gold Coprosma

It's Coprosma week here at the 2 Minute Gardener.
This week I will be looking at all the great Coprosmas
that do well here in San Diego.
This one is Taupata Gold Coprosma, which reaches
4' tall x 4' wide.
Photo by Doug Kalal, taken at a client's garden in Kensington

Monday, February 11, 2013

Gardening Tip - How to Divide a Kangaroo Paw

Every 3 years, Kangaroo Paw plants (Anigozanthos flavidus) can be dug up and divided.  Doing this allows you to get free plants (Woo-Hoo!!) as wells as healthier plants especially if you use these Australian natives in containers.  The plant needs to have a root ball that is at least 18 inches wide and deep to be ready for dividing.  The best time to do this is January through March here in San Diego.  Here are the steps;

1)     Pull the Kangaroo Paw from the pot or the ground.

    2)     Trim all leaves, leaving only about 12 inches.

3)     Lay the plant on its side.

4)     Take a pointed shovel and drive it into the side of the root ball (right into the middle). 

5)     Pry the root ball into 2 halves.
      6)     Repeat the process with the shovel so that now you have 4 equal parts.
7)     Plant each new Kangaroo Paw into a 5 gal pot.  The root ball should fill about half of the pot.  Fill the rest of the pot with potting soil.  A 5 gallon pot works best because it will keep the water close to the roots of the new plant.
8)     Put 5 Best-Paks in the pot, or any other slow release fertilizer to slowly feed the new plant.

9)     Water immediately.

10)   Place the pot in a part shade location while the new roots grow. Water every other day unless it rains.

11)     After 1 month, plant the Kangaroo Paw in the ground or a bigger pot.

250,000 Page Views

Thank you blog readers for help this blog surpass a quarter of a million page views is just over 2 years!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Photo - Wooden Garden Gates

These beautiful gates were ordered from J & W Redwood.
Photo by Doug Kalal, taken at a client's garden in University City

Photo - Portable Wood Burning Firepit

Photo by Doug Kalal, taken at a client's garden in La Jolla

Friday, January 11, 2013

Happy 2nd Year Anniversary 2 Minute Gardener!

Two years ago today I started this blog with the idea of providing an online resource for my clients and lecture guests.  After 2 years and over 200,000 page views it has grown to so much more.  Thank you to all my loyal readers and stay tuned for more great garden photos and ideas in 2013.