Fans of Coastal San Diego

This site is for the many fans of coastal San Diego, those who have lived here for years, as well as those new to the area. Here you can learn more about the different communities, the many things to do and places to visit in and around San Diego, share your experiences, and ask for advice and recommendations for restaurants, shopping, visitor activities, places to live, and more! Buyers thinking about moving here will find lots of information to help, too!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Gardening in San Diego

One of the things I like about San Diego is the year-round greenery, flowers and tropical vegetation. While Boston is beautiful in the spring, summer and fall, I always found it depressing in the long winter months when everything turned sort of an ugly gray/brown, except for the pine trees. Because of the weather, fruits and vegetables are plentiful all year and are reasonably priced, especially at some of the farmer's markets, unlike other parts of the country.

Gardening here can have its challenges, despite how beautiful it is and being able to garden all year. Because of the warm weather you can grow pests all year too (unlike during the winter back East). I have never see as many ants anywhere else I have lived as I have here, and the termites, while not garden pests, can be especially problematic around your house, as everyone here knows.

Another big issue is the soil. We have lots of clay, which is practically impossible to dig in when it is hot and dry, and which turns into a sticky, flowing mess when it rains. While there are a few plants that seem to like it OK, for most you have to engage in some pretty significant soil enhancement in order to grow anything, at least in our area (soil buster, nutrients, fertilizers). In some cases it is simply better to just dig it up, cart it away, and bring in new soil, which many people have done. Learning what grows in what kind of soil has been a good learning experience, albeit a bit frustrating. And understanding the growing seasons which are so different from the East and mid-west has taken some time.

It's been very helpful to have some good nurseries and garden shops nearby that we like, for plants, flowers, fountains and pots, pest control (organically and otherwise), fertilizers, and expert gardening advice. Several we specially like include Green Thumb in San Marcos, Evergreen in Oceanside and other locations, Sunshine Gardens in Encinitas, and Armstrong Garden Center (Carlsbad, Encinitas and other towns).


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