For the Best Gardeners in the Cardiff Area

   Sep 25

Your Questions About Gardening

Carol asks…

Gardening/relandscaping question?

I have an approximately 900sq/f grassy/flower bedded area in my back yard that has been long forgotten and long unloved. I’d like someone’s advice on a diy project that would entail planting new grass, starting a small garden and filling the small flower beds with perennials. I live in sunny, hot southern california.

my main questions are:
1. if I want to replace the dead, dry, burr-filled grass, do I need to take out what’s there, or do I plant new things above it?
2. what types of flowers are the easiest to care for in a dry, hot climate, and which will give me the most color variety? also, I need them to be ok near a pool.
3. lastly, is this an attainable project to complete in 200 dollars? I’ll do all the labor myself, and I already have the things for the garden, I just need flowers (preferably already grown, but I can start from seeds if needed) and grass seedlings/supplies.

Thanks so much in advance for the help!

GardenersCardiff answers:

If this was mine to do, I would smother the square footage with tons of newspaper and horse manure until next spring. Once that is done, you can plant anything without digging. Or you can try lasagna gardening with the first layer being newspaper, lots of it, manure, peat moss, soil amendment and keep layering the last three over and over and also add compost, even fresh compost from your kitchen.
If you visit, you will see photos of a yard that was smothered with newspaper and manure and then replanted with flowers and a small patch of grass.

We have a 500 sq ft of common area next to our house that we have been working on. Fortunately, my husband has a skid-steer, so he excavated it and prepared a garden for me to plant in. He will be putting a fence up soon. We have planted two Colorado Spruce trees with plans to plant more trees, including flowering trees. My only concern is the south winds. It’s actually my greatest concern because the winds can dry your plants so quickly.

You live in a great area for growing so many things. Marigolds have different varieties now, and I really swear by them when it comes to hardy and long lasting. There are also many beautiful ground covers and grasses that do not require a lot of water. If you visit you will find a list of plant and seed companies to visit. I like bluestone perennials, urban farmers and american meadows.

Wish I could have been of more help to you. I hope you also have good friends willing to help you.

Richard asks…

Gardening help and support?

im wanting to start my own garden but i need help. I want to know what grows good, what supplies i need to start it with, when is the best time of the year to start, and if u could tell whats the average price of starting one?

GardenersCardiff answers:

If just starting, begin by selecting your favorite plants/foods. Then pick varieties you wont find in the store, this way anything you get from the garden is always special. Next depending on space, pick only 3 or 4 items that will fit in your space, then add more space permitting in the coming seasons. I prefer to choose those items that are the most expensive at stores and grow these first as this helps offset expense. Try tomatoes for example, but always get at least 2 different varieties. Each season is different and sometimes a tomato for example will do better if they can tolerate certain diseases or dry/wet weather. Beginning gardeners need not worry too much about what is what, just buy 2 different types of the same plant and that will increase the odds you get some return and allow you to test and compare what you like if you make some notes along the way.

What grows well, depends on where you are located. First thing first, just get something in the ground. You will learn a lot over a single season. One easy thing to check that will make the whole experience better though is to check the ph of the soil. Either get a soil sample tested or get one of those hand held ph testers at a local garden store ~$10. The ph is easiest to balance with Lime or Gypsum. Grab some time released fertilizer to side dress your plants and you will be set. For a small garden space about $40+ is expected. Mulch with whatever you have on hand to save work and improve the soil. In most areas of the US mid to late March is time for cold weather crops: broccoli, cabbage, potatoes, onions then around mid May begin some of the warm weather: tomatoes, corn, beans, melons. Look for lows on average that don’t go below 50 degrees F before planting warm crops.

Some people like to make certain plants part of their garden which help you know when to plant such as Lilacs, you can do an Internet search and find other examples. The idea is when they bloom you can start planting as plants know best. My experience is its one tool that helps, buts its not fool proof. Happy gardening!

Maria asks…

garden tillers_________________________?

hi :)
do tillers like this
get rid tough grass thanks 10 points for best asap

GardenersCardiff answers:

I recommend getting one from your garden supply place such as Home Depot, or Lowes. They are cheaper, and better built. I bought one there, it was great! Really dug down into, and turned the soil breaking it up, and aeriating it quite nicely. All I had to do thereafter, was line up the rows and plant.

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