Fire Mountain Garden Exchange


October – Get out there and Garden!!! by Editor
October 5, 2009, 7:31 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Here we are, the month we have all been waiting for. This is without question my favorite planting month in San Diego County. We have seen dramatic temperature swings this past month, I hope today’s weather is an indication of what we can expect in October. I hope you have been saving space and preparing your beds for this opportunity.

I have been stock piling humic mulch from the El Corazon Recycling area on Oceanside Blvd. I have been reluctant to use this product this year, but I was unable to get the bulk mushroom compost I was hoping to get. I have used this humic mulch for a long time and noticed that several types of vegetables seemed to not sprout in situ. It is my unproven theory that the composting materials accepted at the facility contain myriad chemicals from every landscape contractor in town. I am certain that a vast majority of commercial sites use pre-emergents to keep the weeds down. Additionally there is probably a large component of eucalyptus. All that being said, our soil is so sandy that any ‘organic’ material is better than nothing (I hope).  It also helps the soil retain water. If you are container gardening or are feeling like money is not a issue, I would purchase prepared topsoil or compost.

I have built two large compost piles, but they won’t be coming on line until next year.  To offset the potential that the pre-emergents are defeating my attempts, I now sprout all my veggies in starter blocks or in flats in potting soil.



October Planting Suggestions by Editor
October 5, 2009, 7:30 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

As is our custom, we shall use the 1994 Edition of Charles Ledgerwood’s “Reliable Seeds” as our guide to planting.

For October:
(All best plantings are in Caps)

BEETS, BROCCOLI, BRUSSEL SPROUTS, CABBAGE CARROTS, CELERY, CAULIFLOUR, ENDIVE, KALE, KOHL RABI, LEEK, LETTUCE, onions, MUSTARD, PARSELY, PARSNIP, PEAS, RADISH, RUTABAGA, SPINACH, SWISS CHARD, TURNIP, COLLARDS, FAVAS, WINTER ZUCCHINI.

For flower planting in October, November and December, Mr Ledgerwood recommends:

Acroclininum, Alyssum, Aquilegia, Basil, Calendula, Candytuft, Carnation, Centaurea, Clarkia, Delphinium, Dimorphotheca, Escholtzia, Foxglove, Larkspur, Linaria, Linum,
Lupin, Nemesia, Nemophila, Pansy, Phlox, Petunia, Poppies, Primula, Scabiosa, Schizanthus, Stock, Sweet peas, Verbena, Viola, Snap Dragon, Wall flower, wild flowers.

I would personally recommend basil, it can be made into pesto and frozen, poppies of all varieties, and Sweet Peas. These are all proven winners up on our hill. When Mr Ledgerwood was alive, he told us that he was able to buy color segregated flower seeds, so in the 80’s we were able to buy all purple or all white sweet peas . Seed companies (even the good ones) stopped offering single color seeds for many varieties in the early 90s. Mr Ledgerwood used to segregate his own seeds for his customers. If you grow poppies or sweet peas, you can put markers on same color or bloom type plants or for other traits you want to select.

Don’t forget to refer to Sunset’s Western Garden as a good starting point to selecting flowers and understanding water demands.

Get out and garden!