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We just recently bought a Berkeley home and have put significant time and money into renovating the interior. Now we are a few weeks from finally moving in and the front and backyards (both small) look overgrown and very neglected (plus are apparently harboring rats, etc...). Neither of us has worked in a yard since high school and while we can tell that the yards were once nicely landscaped we don't know where to begin. We're also out of money to pay a landscaper and really want to dig in and do this ourselves. Are there good web or book resources out there that can help us know where to start? We don't even know what is a weed and what isn't, what kind of plants do well here, what are the 'must have' tools, etc.... Thanks for your help! clueless about yardwork
1) The East Bay Municipal Utility District publication, Plants and Landscapes for Summer-Dry Climates: http://www.ebmud.com/resource-center/district-store/plants-and-landscapes-for-summer-dry-climates
2) the Sunset Western Garden Book - be sure to look up your microclimate zone. In some areas of Berkeley, you can grow bananas and avocados. In other areas it's like an arctic wind blows through every day at 3:15.
3) Golden Gate Gardening (they have both ornamental and vegetable gardening books
4) Annie's Annuals - the BEST place in the world for flower floozies to get their fix. It's in Richmond, very close by, with plants specifically adapted to our Mediterranean climate (cool wet winters, dry summers). Have a look at their website. They have a demonstration garden at a home in Richmond that is literally off the grid; they have something in bloom year-round and use only graywater to supplement rains. Their Mother's Day parties are really fun too.
5) Renee's Garden seeds
6) Berkeley Horticultural Nursery (aka Berkeley Hort)
7) UCB Botanical Garden
Note: I don't work for any of the above, I'm just an ardent fan 2 favorite garden tips:
A) if you have roses, put banana peels at their roots. For some reason, they seem much more resistant to aphids - maybe potassium toughens the stems?
B) snails and slugs are a problem around here, especially in spring. Drowning them in beer just gets the raccoons drunk. I like white 'Sluggo' snail bait granules. It's much safer than the brown pellets that look like pet food and poison everything that eats them, including pets. *** - wannabe flower floozie
There are a few important things to know,
1) plant the green side up, the roots down. (that's the most important)
2) determine shade area, full sun areas.
3) Do you have a sprinkler or drip irrigation system? If so, run in once and find areas that get a lot of water, a little water, no water.... that will also help you decide what goes where.
4)Perenials and annuals (generally flowers that you see it payless) are more work and require good water/ native plants do very well with little care.
5) Get a Sunset Garden Book (the bible) and look up everything you see at the nursury, paying close attention to HOW BIG IT GROWS.
This might be the time to consider something romantic to cook from : ) Definitely herbs: Rosemary Thyme Oregano Basil Maybe a plot for tomatoes or strawberries?
You can look at what's there and pretty much know what will thrive there. so don't rip anything out until you have someone take a look at it. I'll come down and take a look at it just for the pleasure of it (maybe a cup of coffee) and point out what I see. It would bring me joy. Reenie
Also, the weekly gardening section in the Chronicle can be helpful. They often list what you should be working on that month, regarding the season (e.g., when to prune certain bushes, when to plant, etc.).
Lastly, frequent your friendly neighborhood nursery or garden center. Just go browse around, see what they have, see what you like, and read the tags. You'll get to know the employees and can ask them questions. Mary
I would love a recommendation for a book or website that gives detailed information on planting in the Bay Area. I already have the EBMUD book but am looking for other resources. Specifically, I want to plant my meyer lemon tree which has been in a pot for the past three years and not producing. I also want to try a gardenia bush. I need info on what to plant, when to plant it, and how (soil prep, etc.) Any recommendations/advice would be appreciated. thanks!
I am looking for suggestions for books about gardening - specifically in San Francisco. I would also like suggestions as to nurseries that serve that area - wholsale or retail. If anyone knows of local organizations that would be good resources for a SF gardener - horticulture groups and other resources specific to San Francisco that would be great. Any other thoughts about gardening in the city are welcome. Thanks. MoreQsThanAs
For selecting landscape plants for our area, nothing beats the new EBMUD book ''Plants and Landscapes for Summer-Dry Climates of the San Francisco Bay Region'' (available from their web site, www.ebmud.com). It doesn't have a lot of garden-skills type information, but does have a wealth of information on understanding our area's three-season year, selecting suitable plants, and beautiful pictures of hundreds of recommended landscaping plants. The one thing it fails to do, though, is mention which plants are toxic. So if you have young kids in your garden, you might want to research that separately once you narrow down your plant selections. R.K
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