L.A. Gardening

Gardening in Southern California works a little differently than most of the rest of the country. We’ve got a dry Mediterranean climate with two growing seasons and one of the most diverse biomes in the world. To top it off, in the city the microclimates can be different block by block! Even different from one side of the patio to the other! Here are some resources our members have found to help figure out what to do in our unique region.

The U.S. has gardening programs via state extension schools through out the country.

Find one close to you in California: http://mg.ucanr.edu/

Top getting started links for selected topics:

Local Resources

Community Groups

These are groups that encourage peer-to-peer communications between gardeners through meetings, forums, community gardens, plant and seed trading, etc.

Take/Watch a Class (Local Org, Online Availability)

Some of the organizations above have meetups, including now via video. Additionally the below orgs are still offering online classes/videos.

Municipal Resources

Botanical Gardens

Misc LA/SoCal Area Based Resources

Local Vendors

General Information

Learn about where you’ll be gardening

Culver City is Tongva and Chumash territory.

Unlike much of the rest of the country we have two growing seasons. A hot season from March-October and a cool season from October-March. Each area has it’s own microclimate as well.

Find out your Climate Zones.

Where will the Sun be when? https://www.suncalc.org

What are the average temperatures? How much rain do you get?

What would be growing there naturally? https://calscape.org/

What’s already growing?

More Public Climate and Weather Data

Vegetable & Food Growing

Head over to the LA Victory Garden Program with articles in English and Spanish.

Another way to get started is to think about “Square Foot Gardening” (Beginners Guide

For ideas about creating themed gardens Niki Jabbour’s Ground Breaking Food Gardens has some interesting ideas to play with.

If you have a full yard to play with consider the systems approach found in Toby Hemenway’s Gaia’s Garden (Book | YouTube Videos). Home-scale permaculture can be a great way to introduce native edibles (in our case, the ethnobotany of the Tongva and Chumash tribes). Also it will make weeding less stressful as you learn that many plants labeled “weeds” (dandelions, purslane) can feed both people and their fellow plants!

Growing Natives

For more about growing edible natives, see the vegetable & food gardening section

Growing Urban Trees

Irrigation & Water Saving

Check out resources in the municipal section and classes section for more information.

Mulch, mulch, mulch, mulch. You can get free mulch from the city, via Chip Drop or by making friends with an arborist directly.

Search Terms: “self irrigating planters” “wicking beds” “h├╝gelkultur” “ollas” “porous capsule irrigation” “buried clay pot irrigation” “terracotta spike irrigation” “bottle wick”

Open Source Sprinkler/Irrigation Projects

Balcony and Patio

Small space solutions that members have had luck with:

Pest & Disease Management

Dealing with Pest Funguses

Soil Health

Overview

Composting

Pro Tip: Water your compost pile. It dries out here super fast.

Mycorrhizal fungi

Vermiculture

Please don’t release your worms directly into the garden. Many aren’t native to the area and can damage the soil for native plants.

Botany

Most of the rest of these links are about Horticulture. These are about Botany.

Agriculture

Right to Repair

Regenerative/Indigenous Practices