These shorter days can be a challenge to serious gardeners. On one hand, this is an excellent time to be cleaning up, winterizing, and preparing for the spring growing season. On the other hand, it can be difficult to muster up the energy to get out in the damp, dark, and often gloomy conditions that we experience this time of year. Adding to these weather challenges are all of the rich foods and beverages we consume during the holidays, which can have a way of making us somewhat lethargic. But we say, “get out there!” It is important to stay in touch with your garden. 

This is an excellent time to be planting. The only time you should really avoid digging or planting is when the soil is saturated, or during heavy rains. Even then, there are many people who swear by sowing their cover crop seeds during a soaking rain. This works best for smaller-seeded cover crops, not fava beans, which need to be manually poked into the soil. If doing this kind of rain dance is your idea of a good time, my advice is to tread lightly. And if you forgot to add a soil amendment earlier, remember that applying a surface mulch of composted organic matter is actually better than blending it in. Go ahead and just scatter it around, then let the rain do the rest…you’re not being lazy. You are doing the right thing! 

Because of the many events going on in the nursery this year we had to delay our biggest plant deliveries of the year until November. We are hard at work processing tons of new Camellias, Azaleas, Rhododendrons, Maples and Conifers, getting them into our inventory and preparing them for a new home in your garden. I will leave it to buyers Che and Margaret to elaborate on this in New Arrivals, but we have our work cut out for us getting these plants tucked into their nursery beds.

Here at The Hort we want to inspire you. When you come in you will be reminded just how lucky we are to be living in a part of the world where year-round gardening is a real option. There are a myriad of choices of winter-blooming perennials and CA natives, dormant fruits, and cool-season veggies to choose. We also make it a point to stock a full selection of soil-builders, garden tools, and other paraphernalia to make your visit a pleasant experience.

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