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Planned downtime notice: This website will be unavailable starting Saturday, Dec 9, 6 a.m. to Monday, Dec 11, at 7 p.m.

Plant Bare-Root Fruit and Nut Trees

Winter is a good time to plant bare-root fruit and nut trees. This allows their roots and shoots to develop when the weather is cool. When selecting a tree for your garden, you’ll need to consider both your climate zone (A, B, C) and microclimate conditions (wind, fog, elevation) along with the chill hours required for fruit production. See this article for details: Selecting fruit nut berry tree for SM-SF counties

Landscape Fabric: the Hidden Truth

Landscape fabric, Photo by U.S. Dept. of Agriculture
Landscape fabric, Photo by U.S. Dept. of Agriculture
Before rolling out landscape fabric to keep weeds at bay, consider the effects on your soil and plants. Landscape or “weed blocking” fabric, usually made of plastic or polyester, has varying degrees of permeability. Over time, holes in the fabric get clogged, preventing the movement of water, oxygen and carbon dioxide between the soil and the air. This starves the microbial life in your soil, which in turn breaks down the nutrient cycling between these organisms and your plants. To learn more, see Landscape Fabric: A Cautionary Tale.

Leave the Leaves

Dry leaves, Photo by Janet Gilmore
Dry leaves, Photo by Janet Gilmore
It’s fall and the leaves are falling. Instead of raking or blowing, use the free mulch to protect your soil and the living organisms in it. The leaves also will help to suppress weeds, prevent erosion, and provide a winter home for many insects and invertebrates. As the leaves break down, they will feed the organisms living in the soil. If the leaves are diseased, remove and dispose of them in your curbside compost bin.

Get Ready to Plant CA Natives

Sage, Monkeyflower and Yarrow. Photo by Cathrin Callas
Sage, Monkeyflower and Yarrow. Photo by Cathrin Callas
Fall is the best time to plant most California natives. Cooler weather and (we hope) rain get them off to a good start by helping them grow deep roots – perfect for seeds or transplants. Many nurseries and native plant groups have fall plant sales. In our introductory California Native Gardening page, you’ll find inspiration and resources to help you get started and get planting. Check our Events page for seed starting classes for natives and more.

YouTube Channel - Latest Videos

  • Coastside November2023
    The Changing American Landscape - Sustainable Grass Alternatives

    What is a lawn? For many of us, those traditional squares of lush, green turf grass have not only been a part of the landscape, but also an icon of our American culture for generations. A manicured lawn symbolized prosperity and respectability. Learning...

  • Coastside Oct 2023
    The Wonder of Fibonacci in our Gardens

    Enjoyment of the world around us and in our gardens is a deep-rooted and multifaceted aspect of the human experience. The serenity of a well-maintained and organized green space that includes vibrant colors of blooming flowers, branching of...

  • CoastsideCover Sept 2023
    When It Rains: Ancient Wisdom for Today’s Troubled Waters

    Last winter's storms were unprecedented. The volume and intensity of rainfall turned creeks and streams into rushing torrents that overflowed their banks and flooded nearby areas. Gutters and drains couldn't handle the flow and turned streets into...