DIG THIS! SLO Landscape Strategies

Fall Planting on the Central Coast

Anyone planning to take advantage of the abundant moisture and cool weather by planting a few of your favorite perennials this winter? Well, we’ve got some thoughts! The fascinating thing about plant growth is that while you may not see booming blooming in the leafy portions of plants, there’s a subterranean party in the root zone. As energy shifts from the leaves and stems, root production becomes the focus–for a whole season! Roots systems grow as long as the soil temperature is at least 50 degrees, which means most of the winter on the Central Coast is an ideal time for establishing new plants.

Cool season planting is not only good for the plants, it’s good for the gardeners too! Springtime can be overwhelmingly busy with all the tasks of getting the garden looking its best. Fall time is more reflective, and allows us some time to evaluate the garden and make a priority list of improvements. Take a few minutes this month to stroll through your garden and jot down some notes about the successes and challenges of your landscape this year. Imagine where you would like to include more color, where you’d like to place a fountain, a fruit tree or a comfortable place to sit. We invite you to get a jump on spring and develop your vision for the new year this fall.

Protea In The Water-Wise California Garden

Named after the legendary sea god, Proteus, who could changed his shape at will, the family of Proteas has a surprising diversity of form, flower, and foliage across the different species. From the trees, such as Grevilleas, to the shrubby Leucadendrons and the ground-covering Banksias, there is a Protea for every purpose in the garden, and it’s easy to see why they’re one of our favorite landscape ingredientsA Gardens by Gabriel protea pincushion collection

Their flowers are exotic looking and come in a warm spectrum of colors and extra-terrestrial forms. In fact, Proteaceae are cultivated commercially as cut flowers because of their striking forms and propensity to last for weeks to months in a vase.

All of the protea tribe appreciate well-drained soil and cool temperatures, so they grow to perfection on the fog-kissed dunes of the coast. They require minimal maintenance, and don’t want much water once established. If you’re looking for a few eye-catching plants to light up your garden in the winter time, the protea family is not to be missed!

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