Gardening Resources in Los Angeles County

Opuntia illustration

Perhaps because the real estate market is heating up again, we’re getting a lot of requests for gardening resources in the Los Angeles area. It thought I’d list our favorite resources in this blog post that I can refer people to. But I need your help–please let me know in the comments if you know of a resource that I should have included.

Soil Testing
Wallace Labs. When you fill out the form check off the box for “Standard Agricultural Soil Suitability Analysis.” All healthy gardens start with a soil test and Wallace Labs will have your results delivered by email within a few days.

Arborist
Tree Care LA (Nick Araya, ISA Certified Arborist and Oscar Sanchez). Nick and Oscar did a great job with our trees. If you care about your trees, hire a certified arborist not just some dude with a chainsaw. It costs is nothing when you consider how much you’ll pay to fix the damage from a limb falling down on your roof in the next big winter storm.

Fruit Trees/Berries
Bay Laurel Nursery (mail order bare root). Order in the fall for January/February delivery. Get your order in soon as they often sell out of popular trees. Get trees with low chill hour requirements. Look up your chill hours here.

Check out Dave Wilson Nursery’s handy guide to backyard orcharding,

Do not plant any grapes that aren’t Pierce Disease resistant. And personally, I would not plant citrus.

Vegetable Gardening
When to plant: http://www.scribd.com/doc/154952660/What-to-Plant-When-in-Southern-California

Our favorite seeds, Franchi Seeds, are available at http://theheirloomseedstore.com/ and at Sunset Nursery in Silver Lake.

Vegetable gardening classes: Grow LA Victory Gardening Initiative.

Visit the Huntington Ranch for ideas and inspiration.

The Environmental Change Makers offer a number of great classes and publications: How to Get Rid of Bermuda Grass, and How to Make Your Garden GMO-free http://www.scribd.com/EnviroChangeMakers/. Booklets about high-yield organic vegetable gardening in SoCal’s unique year-round growing season http://envirochangemakers.org/publications/. Monthly organic vegetable gardening classes at the two community gardens in Westchester http://www.EnviroChangeMakers.org

Monthly vegetable gardening classes at The Learning Garden at Venice High School.

Seed Library of Los Angeles SLOLA.org (meetings and seed saving classes).

Keeping Chickens
Los Angeles Urban Chicken Enthusiasts

Beekeeping
Honeylove.org.

How to videos starring Kirk Anderson at the Backwards Beekeepers blog.

Greywater/Rainwater Harvesting
DIY option: Art Ludwig’s free laundry to landscape plans at Oasis Designs. Or buy his books, Create an Oasis with Greywater: Choosing, Building and Using Greywater Systems – Includes Branched Drains and Water Storage: Tanks, Cisterns, Aquifers, and Ponds for Domestic Supply, Fire and Emergency Use. Brad Lancaster’s book: Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond (Vol. 2): Water-Harvesting Earthworks

Greywater Corp (design, installation and classes)

Retail Nurseries
Apartment Therapy has a good list.

Annie’s Annuals (mail order from SF Bay area).

Garden Design/Maintenance
Help me out here readers–if you know of some good folks leave a comment . . .

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10 Comments

  1. Vegetable gardening:

    We have reworked the San Diego-based Digitalseed chart with our experiences here in Los Angeles http://www.scribd.com/doc/154952660/What-to-Plant-When-in-Southern-California

    We also offer other free how-to’s like How to Get Rid of Bermuda Grass, and How to Make Your Garden GMO-free http://www.scribd.com/EnviroChangeMakers/

    Plus we are publishing a series of booklets about high-yield organic vegetable gardening in SoCal’s unique year-round growing season http://envirochangemakers.org/publications/

    On the Westside, we offer monthly organic vegetable gardening classes at the two community gardens in Westchester http://www.EnviroChangeMakers.org

    And there are monthly vegetable gardening classes at The Learning Garden at Venice High School.

    Plus there is the Seed Library of Los Angeles SLOLA.org — their monthly meetings include a class in how to save heirloom seeds. (and then you can take some home!)

  2. LOVE Annie’s Annuals :-) The ornamentals are beautiful, and they have some wonderfully unusual varieties of common things (and not all annuals!) Very helpful that they tell you on the site what can handle drought or deer, what reseeds etc etc.

    And while lots of local places carry at least *some* herbal/medicinal plants outside of the usual garden kitchen items, it can be tougher to find the real medicinal/indigenous food gems (and especially, ones that are grown organically etc.)

    Local LA gal Loretta Allison of Spade & Seeds sells biodynamically grown edible/herbal/medicinals at Farmers’ Markets in LA (eg I think she’s at the Pasadena Market on Thursdays), her website is http://www.spadeandseeds.com (still under construction, but she also has a FB page).

    For organic herbal/medicinal plants by mail order, both of these companies are very ethical with their sourcing and production:

    http://www.crimson-sage.com (in NorCal).

    and http://www.horizonherbs.com – They are in Oregon, but in addition to the live plants, they also have a huge range of seeds – including some wonderful package deals on edible seeds and a kids herbal garden, and many plants that you are hard pressed to find seeds from elsewhere.

  3. quick question on the specified lab- do they analyze for heavy metals (lead)? also- what are experiences with the UMASS lab, their quality etc? I recall them being much cheaper.
    Thanks

    • Wallace does test for heavy metals, reporting “plant available” amounts. Timberleaf does straight PPMs for lead. Frankly our results with UMASS have been mixed, but if you’re on a budget it’s better than nothing. The UMASS reports can also be a little opaque if you aren’t comfortable with interpreting the data yourself.

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  5. Hi there. Just wanted to let you know the Huntington Ranch link appears to be broken. You should also check out “https://www.plumbersstock.com/category/7/sprinklers/”. It has a lot of landscaping resources. Full disclosure: I do work with Plumbers Stock. :) Thanks!

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