Join CompostGal’s Lori Caldwell for Gardening 101

By Lori Caldwell, CompostGal

Lori Caldwell of CompostGal has given talks for Sustainable Solano on container gardening, perennial edibles and much more! Her next talk will be a Gardening 101 class on March 19.

Dear Fellow Gardeners or Gardeners-yet-to-Bloom,

If you’ve never gardened before or just need a refresher prior to next season, then please join us on March 19 for Gardening 101. I’ll be discussing the process from soil to fruit, touching on the terminology and all the tips and tricks I’ve used over the years. While it’s still “winter,” it’s time to start planning for your spring and summer gardens!

The idea of being a successful gardener to some may seem like a daunting enterprise. Maybe you think it’s too expensive or that you possess a “brown thumb?” Seeds or starts? In-ground or containers? Hand-watering? Drip irrigation?

Gardening is not perfect, but it is fun and rewarding. You will kill plants! There will be bugs, good and bad ones (more good than bad, promise). However, when the year is good, it’s really good! It is worth the journey for sure! Come along with me!

See you in the garden,
Lori Caldwell aka CompostGal

About me:

Gardening has always been part of my life. From houseplants to fruit trees, my family always had something growing. Seeing them tend to their plants gave me the idea that those plants had value. I remember the smell and feel of freshly turned earth, the scent of chemical fertilizers (yikes) and being small and looking up at towering tomato plants.

Grandpa’s garden (Pittsburgh, PA) circa 1970s

I’ve been happily teaching sustainable gardening classes since 2007. Some of my other fun jobs are gardening maintanance and garden consultations. If you need help, please feel free to contact me!

Find videos and handouts from Lori’s past talks and more plant resources here.
Want to connect with Lori? Find her information on our Sustainable Landscaping Professionals List!

The Solano Sustainable Backyards program and the talk are generously funded by the Solano County Water Agency.

Perennial Edible Gardening

By Lori Caldwell, CompostGal

Lori Caldwell once again answers your gardening questions — this time from her talk on Perennial Edible Gardening. You can watch Lori’s talk in the video here and read her responses to your additional questions below.

Watch Lori’s previous talk and answers to more questions on Big Gardens in Small Spaces: Container Gardening here.
Want to connect with Lori? Find her information on our Sustainable Landscaping Professionals List!

Thanks so much for all the great questions and discussions!

How many years do artichoke plants produce edible fruit?

You can expect about 3-6 years of fruit.  There are some maintenance tips I’d like to pass on:

  • Don’t overwater or over mulch the artichokes. They are pretty drought tolerant.
  • Cut the ripe artichokes often to encourage more to grow.
  • Feel free to let a couple of artichokes go to flower. They are beautiful and the bees love them!
  • Do a hard cut back of the plant at the end of the growing season or before winter comes. Leave about a foot of stem

Can artichokes survive the snow for a short time?

They can but only if you prep them for the cold season.  Cut the stems the stack on top of the main stem.  Put a coarse mulch around the base and top of the cut plant.  This should help insulate the plant from lower temps.

What frequency do you deep water, for how many minutes?

It depends on a couple of things:  the type of plant (tree/shrub, annual) and your soil type (sandy/clay)

Here’s a great PDF watering schedule link:

It’s specific to the San Francisco Bay Area, so adjustments would need to be made for other areas/climates.

What’s a good, tall, perennial edible that will grow well in the morning to just afternoon shade and pretty harsh afternoon sun?

  • Tree collards work great in all types of climate and sun/shade conditions.
  • Blackberries, especially if you can get the thornless variety, could work well, too.
  • Pineapple guavas are drought tolerant and can be trained for espalier. They can handle the heat and are quite drought tolerant.

Would starting an apple tree in a container be advisable?  If so, when is the best time to transplant into the ground?

You could start an apple tree in a container for sure! I’d recommend getting the largest container (10 gallons or larger) and if you can, a tree on dwarf root stock. A dwarf could last maybe 1-2 seasons in the large container. However, a traditional root stock tree may only make it 1 season before having to transplant. The roots would be fast growing and fill the space quickly.

Fall and Winter (depending on snow of course) is a great time to transplant:

  • Easier access to water from winter rains
  • Cooler temps will help the tree adjust much easier and prepare it for hotter days
  • The soil may be more forgiving to work with

What dwarf citrus trees do you recommend for a small garden?

Any and all of them! My first question is what do you like to eat? What will you use this citrus for? Depending on where you live you should check to see what varieties grow well in your Hardiness Zone or your Sunset Zone. Most citrus trees varieties have certain heat and cold tolerance:

  • Lemons and limes can handle cooler temps
  • Valencia oranges require a lot of heat, but cannot handle cold temps

If you have issues with space, consider getting an espalier citrus. It will orient itself along a wall or fence (you just have to keep pruning to maintain the “flat” shape).

I’m very happy with my Meyer lemon and Rangpur lime. I’ve had them in 10 gallon pots for the past couple of years and they are about to get a container upgrade.

Fig Questions:

How often should a fig be watered?

The goal is going to be deep watering on an infrequent schedule.  The roots will go deeper with this type of watering.

Here’s a great PDF watering schedule link:

It’s specific to the San Francisco Bay Area, so adjustments would need to be made for other areas/climates.

Can you grow figs in Zone 8?

Yes you can!  Looks like Zone 8 is at the end of the range that favor keeping figs outdoors year round!

What makes fig drop their fruit before they are ripe?

It can be a couple of factors:

  • Not enough water : be sure to water regularly, especially during the fruiting period
  • Lack of phosphorus in the soil at the time of fruiting. Application just as the fruits start to appear should help.

Passionfruit? How do you prune?  How do you propagate?

Such a beautiful plant and flower! You prune them every year after harvesting the fruit.  Cut them back to about 1/3.  Prune dead branches especially. I’ve never propagated passionfruit before. If I had to guess:  root green stems in water? Dry out a fruit and plant by seed? There is also the option of rooting woody stems with rooting hormone.

Do you advocate planting onions and garlic around the plants that attract aphids?

I do! Onions are great companions for plants like broccoli, cabbage, tomatoes and lettuce. Not only do onions repel aphids, but also cabbage worms!

Can you deter aphids if it’s above/below a certain air temperature?

Sorry, aphids are pretty hardy pests in the range here in the Bay Area.  I’ve seen them in Vegas in the summer too.  I wish there was a way to deter them! Remember, you do actually need some level of pests in your garden in order to attract beneficial insects.

I have bark mulch around my trees. Do I need to scrape it back before amending the soil around the tree?

Yes, pulling it back would make amending it much easier. Actually, most plants should have a bit of space between the main stem/stalk and mulch. Too close could be too much water at the root base.

Any recommendations on which phosphorus to use?

I use Bone Meal for my garden mostly. Lately, I’ve been doing some research for my clients who are vegan/vegetarian and don’t want animal products in their gardens. I’ve discovered rock phosphate as an alternative.

  • Contains a slower release phosphorus so it’ll last longer in your soil. 1 application per season should be sufficient for your flowering and fruiting edibles/plants.
  • It also contains calcium as a bonus trace element.

Can an orange tree be grown in an 11-square-foot pot?

The smallest container that I’ve seen an orange in is 5 gallons. But that will only last a year at the most. A larger container (10 gallons+) will certainly keep a tree for longer to indefinitely. Regardless of the size, an orange tree will still need lots of nitrogen, well-drained soil and consistent watering.

Enjoy the talk? Take this survey to help us determine future sustainable landscaping classes.

The Solano Sustainable Backyards program and the talk are generously funded by the Solano County Water Agency.

Seasonal Planting for Raised Beds & the Benefits of No-Till Gardening

By Rachel Brinkerhoff, Dog Island Farm and Grow a Pear Nursery

Rachel Brinkerhoff, co-owner of Dog Island Farm/Grow a Pear Nursery, is a California licensed landscape architect with over 20 years of professional experience and is a Rescape (formally known as Bay Friendly) Qualified Professional. She has been vegetable gardening for over 35 years. Rachel taught this class to a large audience and wrote this blog to address questions she didn’t have time for during the talk. You can watch Rachel’s talk in the video here and read her responses to your questions below.

Hello Gardeners!

Thank you so much for attending the Seasonal Planting for Raised Beds & Benefits of No-Till Gardening webinar. We had a ton of questions that I unfortunately couldn’t get to, so I’ve put together this Q&A to answer some of them for you.

Do you have recommended books for the beginning gardener?

My go-to gardening book for the last 15 years that I go to all the time is The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible by Edward C. Smith. If you can only have one book, this is the book you need.

For gardening specific to the SF Bay Area I also recommend Golden Gate Gardening by Pam Pierce.

How often do you recommend fertilizing during crop growth and what organic all-purpose fertilizer do you recommend?

This really depends on what your soil is lacking and the type of fertilizer you’re using. I generally do not recommend using an all-purpose fertilizer because if you don’t know what your soil needs you may throw off the nutrient balance. Always test your soil with a lab and ask for recommendations. They will tell you what your soil needs and how much to use.

Is there a table or website to see which plants need which nutrients? For example, which plants need extra phosphorous?

The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible mentioned above has all of this information for each type of vegetable species.

Is there research about no-till being better?

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service has a ton of information on their website regarding the benefits of no-till. Here’s a page to get you started:

The barrier under the raised beds only lasts 2 years, and then gophers eat through. Will digging out the soil ruin the quality?

If you’re finding that the gopher barrier isn’t lasting due to corrosion, switch to a plastic-coated hardware cloth which won’t break down as fast.

What is the difference between tilling and aeration?

Healthy soils that haven’t been compacted will have natural aeration due to worm/insect tunnels, decomposing roots and other organic matter. Tilling is the process of mixing the top layers of soil by mechanical means either with a rototiller or with a shovel.

How do you improve heavy clay soil?

Applying gypsum and lots of organic matter will help improve heavy clay soil.

 In sheet mulching is there an alternative to using paper and cardboard?

The reason you want to use thick layers of newspaper or cardboard is because it will create a strong barrier at first to keep weeds down but then eventually break down and compost into the soil.

Do you recommend the lasagna method for raised bed or just top dress the soil?

Lasagna gardening is great for both in-ground planting and raised beds.

Do you recommend hugelkultur for raised beds?

Hugelkultur was developed in Germany, which doesn’t have the dry summers that we have in the SF Bay Area. Without the summer rains, hugelkultur doesn’t work well here.

Can we use peat moss as an amendment in raised beds?

You can use peat moss but it’s not recommended to use more than 10% due to its high acidity. It is great for retaining moisture in beds but I wouldn’t recommend using it as an amendment to provide nutrients.

When can you grow tomatoes?

Tomatoes are a summer crop so you want to plant them in late spring.

What is the secret to growing Brussels sprouts? I’ve started them in fall and sprouts start forming in later winter and before they are mature the plant bolts in spring.

The secret to Brussels sprouts is that they must be planted out as transplants no later than mid-August.

Can you grow Scarlet Runner Beans in fall?

You can plant them in late summer, though winter frosts will kill the tops. They will resprout in the spring.

Growing cantaloupes in zone 9B? Any suggestions for a successful, good tasting crop?

LOTS of soil amendment and water very well during the growing and fruiting season. Make sure they are getting plenty of heat as well.

When should I plant asparagus root?

Late winter or early spring.

Do you have a good companion plant resource?

From our farm blog:

How to start a raised bed on dead grass?

Sheet mulch the grass area first and then build the bed over it.

If you put raised beds on clay soil, would you want to use something at the bottom to increase drainage?

No need to increase drainage if the bottom is open.

Is newer pressure-treated wood safe for using to build raised beds?

No. PTDF wood is treated with copper compounds, which are detrimental to soil organisms.

How often to irrigate raised beds?

This will depend on the type of soil mix you use to fill them. Some will require watering every day while others might be fine with every other day watering.

Enjoy the talk? Take this survey to help us determine future sustainable landscaping classes.

The Solano Sustainable Backyards program and the talk are generously funded by the Solano County Water Agency.

Avant Garden Scavenger Hunt Offers Fun Outside Activity Amid the Pandemic

By Maggie Kolk, Sustainable Solano board member and Avant Garden coordinator

These cousins take a break from the scavenger hunt to eat

The premier Kids in the Garden event was a scavenger hunt at Benicia’s Avant Garden, COVID-19 version. It proved to be a super successful, fun, educational and tasty event.

Bright orange ribbons rippled in the morning breeze identifying the ready garden plots as eager young hunters assembled to make their way through maze of Avant Garden. With yellow cards for ticking off their discoveries in one hand and bags to retrieve goodies in the other, 12 masked explorers between the ages of 5 and 11 gathered, in a COVID-19-compliant manner, on a sunny July day to escape the confines of pandemic restrictions and have some plain old outdoor fun. Raised garden beds chockful of tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, and yellow squash and the larger Avant share plot scattered with Halloween-sized orange pumpkins and red peppers, were fair game for the young hunters.

As Avant Garden coordinator, I organized the scavenger hunt with the help of Raquelmarie Clark of WAHEO: We Always Help Each Other, who recruited the young hunters through her social media connections.

The group met at the big freshly painted picnic tables to collect their hunting tools: lists of garden veggies, pencils and paper collection sacks. With instructions to collect only from the orange ribbon areas, they set out to identify or collect their treasurers. Eleven-year-old Toni, with cell phone in hand, was assigned the role of chief Googler to help with mystery plant identification. Shouts of “I found a tomato!” and “There’s a zucchini!” or “Can I eat this?” could be heard as the girls and boys filled their bags with freshly picked veggies. Mid-scavenger hunt, a dad arrived with arms full of goodies to celebrate the fifth birthday of one the young collectors. The kids gathered around to enjoy juice, cookies and fruit and shower the birthday boy with good wishes.

When time was called, with overfilled bags in hand, the hunters huddled around to share their stories and bounties, which included large pumpkins, tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers and a few peppers. Zucchini muffins made with zucchini from the garden were enjoyed by everyone before the final project of the morning. Each child was given a pot filled with soil along with seeds for planting marigolds. While planting the seeds, a pop quiz on what plants needs to grow was enthusiastically answered with shouts of “water! … dirt! … sunlight! … and love!”

Everyone, parents and kids alike, left Avant Garden with contented smiles and shouts of appreciation, looking forward to the next Kids in the Garden event, which is planned for Oct. 3. Kids in the Garden events are for kids ages 8-12 (kids under 8 may attend but must be accompanied by an adult over 18).  Attendance is limited to 12. Registration is first come-first served. Register here!

Regrow Your Own Vegetables From Kitchen Scraps

By Mallory Traughber, Living Classroom

We had a large turnout for Mallory Traughber’s talk on how to regrow vegetables and save seeds from kitchen scraps, and there were plenty of questions beyond those she answered during the class. Mallory provided a variety of resources and even a tutorial on how to make your own newspaper seed pots. Mallory was kind enough to answer some additional questions in this blog. You can watch her talk in the video here and read her responses to your questions below.

Find the handouts from Mallory’s talk and more plant resources here.

Thank you all for tuning into the webinar last month. It was wonderful to chat with you and answer your questions about regrowing vegetables from kitchen scraps! More great questions came in through the chat box after the talk so we wanted to make sure we answer a few more here regarding transplanting your vegetables from a container of water to soil, more specifics on regrowing particular vegetables, and questions about starting seeds. 

Regarding Transplanting: Some folks were curious about leaving the vegetables they are regrowing in water or transplanting them to soil. I recommend transplanting the following vegetables to soil as a more permanent location — scallions, celery, bok choy, and all of the herbs we discussed (chives, cilantro, basil, mint, and parsley). This will save you from having to remember to change out the containers of water every other day and it gives the vegetables a chance to thrive in a lasting location. However I would keep the romaine lettuce in water since you are only going to get one “harvest” from it.

Getting specific on Regrowing: A question came in about regrowing a celery stalk that is starting to go limp. There is a trick to keeping your celery nice and crisp and that is keeping it hydrated! Wrap the stalk tightly in aluminum foil so moisture cannot escape. If it’s already going limp, you can revive it by soaking it in cool water for a few hours. Once you’ve revived the limp celery stalk, be sure to regrow the end! New shoots will appear after several days. It can be transplanted to your garden to grow a new stalk over the course of a few months.

Another question came through wondering if lemongrass could also be regrown using these methods. Lemongrass is a wonderfully fragrant herb and after you have used the top, you can regrow the leaves. Place the stem of the lemongrass into a clear glass with enough water to cover the roots. Place the glass in a sunny window and replace the water at least every other day. After the lemongrass re-shoots new leaves, you can plant it out in your garden.

More questions came in regarding regrowing lettuce. Romaine lettuce works best for this experiment but you can certainly try a head of lettuce. Once roots grow from the stump, new leaves will begin to form. You are going to get all you can out of it after 10-12 days — definitely not a new head of lettuce but enough to top a sandwich or two!

Folks were curious about regrowing garlic. A method I like to use is placing the cloves of garlic in a cup (in a sunny window) root side down, with a little water on the bottom. I change the water everyday. In about a week, the cloves will start to sprout at the top and grow roots on the bottom. Now I’m ready to transplant them into the soil. I plant them 6 inches apart in good potting soil with drainage. They should be watered every time the top inch of soil dries out. Growing garlic is a game of patience as they won’t be ready to harvest for 6-9 months, however the cloves will MULTIPLY in the ground, forming new bulbs!

Finally let’s address some of your questions on starting seeds you are collecting in your kitchen. One participant wanted to know if cucumber seeds should be saved using the same methods we demonstrated for tomatoes. You can certainly give this a try, however avoid using seeds from cucumbers labeled “hybrid” as they are often sterile. You would want to let the cucumber seeds ferment in warm water for a few days so the gel coat that surrounds the seed will be removed.

We talked about growing lemon seeds from organic lemons, and how the seeds should be rinsed of all sugars and then planted while moist. A participant wanted to know how long it would take to produce a lemon in this way. It truly depends on a variety of factors, it could take anywhere from 3-10 years, or it may never produce fruit as seeds are not always dependable. The health of the seedling depends on its location, the amount of sunlight it receives, the amount of  water it receives, if it’s growing indoors/outdoors, etc.

You can also grow an avocado at home from the pit. You will remove and clean the pit, and then identify the ‘top’ and ‘down’ ends (the top is where it will sprout and will be pointier and the bottom is where the roots will grow and will be flatter).  Pierce the pit with 3 toothpicks and place it half submerged in a cup of water, bottom side in the water. Change the water regularly to prevent fungal growth, and once the sprout has grown to about 6 inches long, you can transplant it to soil. This may take anywhere from 2-8 weeks. The more sun, the better for your avocado plant! This plant may never produce fruit, and if it does it may not be quality produce, however it is a lovely (and free!) houseplant to grow.

Thank you all again for your wonderful questions, for your beet recipes, and your courageousness to try new methods for making the most out of your produce. Always remember, “There are no mistakes in gardening, only experiments!”

Enjoy the talk? Take this survey to help us determine future sustainable landscaping classes.

The Solano Sustainable Backyards program and the talk are generously funded by the Solano County Water Agency.

Big Gardens in Small Spaces: Container Gardening Tips

By Lori Caldwell, CompostGal

Lori Caldwell’s talk “Big Gardens in Small Spaces: The Adventure of Container Gardening” was a big hit. We had a ton of interest in this class, with 216 people registered! Lori provided great resources and her presentation was perfect for new gardeners and also very informative for seasoned gardeners. There wasn’t enough time to answer the many great questions during her talk, so Lori was kind enough to answer the questions in this blog. You can watch Lori’s talk in the video here and read her responses to your questions below.

Find the handouts from Lori’s talk and more plant resources here.
Want to connect with Lori? Find her information on our Sustainable Landscaping Professionals List!

Hello gardeners!!!

Thanks so much for participating in the Container Gardening Talk! I really appreciate all the great questions! I know we ran out of Q&A time, so I thought I’d respond to them here.

What is a bumper crop?

A bumper crop is when you get A LOT of fruits and veggies in a given season. This windfall is above and beyond what you expected. I wish you all bumper crops this year!

Would the fish emulsion smell attract neighborhood cats?

I’ve been happily using fish emulsion for years and there’s been no indication that cats have messed with my plants or soil. If that’s a problem, there are other options to provide nitrogen for your plants: alfalfa meal, worm castings or fish meal.

How do you add castings when you’re feeding your plant?

I make a dilution of the castings: take a small handful of castings and put in a bucket. Add water until they are the color of weak tea. The color is important as worm castings are like a fertilizer. Too much could kill your plants so be careful! I start by adding castings right after planting and feed on a regular basis until the plant starts to flower.

When you chop plants down do you chop them in the soil or put into the compost?

For plants like fava beans, I wait until the plant has mostly flowered before I chop it at the soil level. It’s important to keep the roots in the soil, the nodules (see picture above right) hold the nitrogen. I compost the stalk and eat the flowers!

For container gardens I’ll completely remove other types of plants and roots to make room for the next crop.

How to control pests without killing them (snails, slugs, tomato horn worms)?

Slugs & snails: Without actually killing it will require you to setup a series of barrier method options:

  • Crushed eggshells: put a ring of finely crushed shells around the base of your plants. It’ll be like crawling over glass for them.
  • Cloche: fancy ones are beautiful and glass; DIY ones are recycled bottles (glass or plastic). Cut bottoms off bottles and remove caps. Cover the hole with something breathable (cheesecloth, old nylons, etc). Cover plants at night to keep those night feeders away. Take off during the day.

Tomato horn worm: So not killing these creepy guys is going to take some preventative measures. One of the reasons hornworms show up is because of not doing crop rotation. The moth responsible for the worm is gorgeous! However, she likes to lay her eggs at the base of existing tomato plants. Planting tomatoes in the same container every year allows those eggs to
hatch right next to their favorite foods. Now, I know with container gardening crop rotation might not be possible. What about rotating soil? The following season after a “hornworm incident,” remove the soil from the container and replacing it with fresh soil. Reuse the soil in other containers that won’t have tomatoes that year.


Flickr: Amanda Hill
Flickr: Didier Descouens

Do you ever recommend neem oil?
I have never used neem oil actually!

I’ve heard recently about cloth pots. Have I had any experience with them?

I have used cloth pots in the past. I found that they dried out very quickly, even faster than terracotta! If I were to use them again I’d use drip irrigation to keep the moisture level up. They might be good for woody herbs that require decent drainage.

I wanted some tips to save my plants in winter. My basil does not survive the winter in my patio space.

Crops like basil need warmth in order to thrive. You may need to bring the plant indoors if you want it to overwinter.

Some tips for possible success:

  1. Place next to a window that gets afternoon light. Be careful that the light coming in isn’t too intense, it could burn the leaves.
  2. Clip back any brown or dying leaves.
  3. Go easy on the water. Test the soil first before watering. There won’t be as much heat like summer (unless you’ve got it near a heater vent).

How can I plant herbs from stem cuttings? Do I just stick it in the soil? How do I grow roots on mint that I bought at the farmers market?

Rooting them in water first works well!! I’d try to root them before/while you use the herb. They will take to transplanting to soil a bit easier. Just change the water every few days.

Where can I learn how big of a perimeter is required for different plants?

Most plant tags and seed envelopes give you a recommendation as to how far apart the spacing for mature plants should be.

I have some very large pots, way bigger than need be. What can I put in the bottom?

Well I guess my first question is what are you planning to put in these pots? If it’s a perennial plant, you might consider leaving the space. Having a fruit tree in the forever home has a lot of benefits: uninterrupted root development and allowed to grow larger much faster.

If it’s a shallow plant situation then you have some options:

  • Rocks or bricks – it will make it heavy so pick a permanent place for it.
  • Wood mulch or stumps – the wood helps hold onto moisture longer, so that’s great. However, sometimes new plantings die because the wood fiber in the soil is dragging nitrogen from the soil. New plantings rely mostly on nitrogen to get going. I’d suggest adding more nitrogen amendments to compensate.
    • Pros: inexpensive option
    • Con: nitrogen drag and the soil will start to sink into the pot as the wood material decomposes

Any recommendations for dealing with possums and raccoons?

I’ve never had to deal with either of those pests (knock on wood). All my research has pointed to creating barriers and getting rid of things that attract them. UC Davis has a wonderful website dedicated to helping you deal with those pest problems. I’ve included a couple of links to help:

What does Lori think about cucumbers in containers?

I think it’s great! I’m planting them in a container this year too. Try and plant on mounded soil or provide a trellis for them to climb.

Is liquid fertilizer better than powder?

I like both because some of my favorites come in either forms: Bone Meal (powder), fish emulsion (liquid), worm castings (dilute to make liquid). I like liquid because it’s easier to side dress (application during the growing period) my plants.

How do you prevent rosemary and thyme from getting too woody to cook with?

I haven’t noticed woody leaves on my older branches, guess I’ll have to check! I usually harvest and dry once a year from the new growth. That might be an option to prune back once a year. Sorry, I’ve never grown thyme … I’m not much of a fan.

Enjoy the talk? Take this survey to help us determine future sustainable landscaping classes.

The Solano Sustainable Backyards program and the talk are generously funded by the Solano County Water Agency.