SoCal Gardens Need and Deserve Unique Attention

  • Dennis Hartley
  • 04/6/22

Now that two years have passed since the onset of the pandemic, one of this era's silver linings is said to be The Dawn of the Gardening Age.

In 2020, seed and plant sales across the country increased by 66%. This was considered a “unicorn” – a miracle in a single year. In 2021, sales dramatically exceeded those in 2020.

2022 is predicted to be the third “miracle year” in a row for the Great American Gardening Boom. Veteran and newbie gardeners are passionately studying new plant varieties and intend to generously invest in their gardens accordingly.

Did you know that southern California – especially our location along the ocean – is a unique growing region, unlike any other in North America?

Gardening in SoCal, especially the coastal areas, can be quite daunting to novice gardeners. Many residents newly interested in gardening – especially those who have moved from other US regions – do not fully understand what growing conditions we have here. Most gardening resources that focus North America offer tips / advice / hacks do not apply to our unique region.

For instance, the USDA Growing Zones Hardiness Map – the standard by which gardeners can determine a plant’s lifeline - is not so very helpful for coastal SoCal. This system is based on frost/freeze temperatures, which we do not have. (Redondo Beach is Zone 10b on this map.)

Sunset Western Garden Collection more accurately names our region as Climate Zone 24: Marine Influence Along the Southern California Coast. Sunset's resources offer much gardening wisdom for the Western US gardener.

The New Sunset Western Garden Book focuses on the Western United States and is an excellent, popular resource.

Southern California Organic Gardening Month by Month by Pat Welsh is said to be game-changer for gardeners.

For those who would like to explore and seek out new plant varieties in town with the help of others, Facebook has public Plant Identification groups. PlantNet and iNaturalist are favorite apps used by gardening enthusiasts.

At home in SoCal or anywhere else, quite possibly the most important impact this gardening revolution offers, is hope. This national shift in cultural values, priorities, and practices can possibly shape American culture for generations.

By now, millions of people agree on at least one thing – Food for the body and beauty for the soul are at our fingertips with the growth of seeds and plants, right outside our doors.

 

Photo by Elena Kloppenburg on Unsplash

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