Coastal California

I don’t spray here ever. The cost and the effort isn’t worth it to me. I’m lucky I live in sunny California, not as bad as some other areas in the USA.

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Suzi’s interest is in native ornamentals and landscaping; we compromise on food crops. That’s how I can get away with having forty fruit trees here among the manzanitas and bunch grasses and flowers.

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I bet it is really beautiful. Show us pictures sometime?

I’m also ten miles from San Luis Obispo but away from the ocean and I’ve seen low temperatures as low as 17F in March. Pretty wild how close we live to each other and how different our climates are!

I clicked on Susie’s website, the native landscaping is beautiful.
But I’m a zone pusher, so I have peonies and roses here. So far they are thriving. And I’m adding more hostas.

Yes, maybe we will meet sometime and can compare notes!

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I planted about 20 roses this year, just to see how they would do. Some are doing great with not a sign of disease, while others are struggling. In the “great” category is a rose I bought from the floral dept. of a big box store. It was in a 4" pot being sold as a mini, for $6.99. When I got it home and repotted it, I discovered there were actually 4 very small rose plants, so I potted them up separately. Now it is obvious they are not miniatures, and they are bigger, healthier and more beautiful than any of the other roses I bought this year, that I paid $20-$60 for.

Some rose varieties that are doing well for me here are Tropical Lightning, Tangerine Skies, and Raspberry Creme Twirl. They are all climbing roses.

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I have 160 roses here, most are David Austin roses, I’m trying to create an English garden, cottage kind of look, either that a controlled chaos look, lol.

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I’m in the coastal fog belt, too, in Ventura, 3 miles from the ocean. You can grow most plants here – and it seems like every kind of fungus that grows on plants! I try to minimize the spraying I do, both because I don’t want to spend the time on it and feel better about not adding chemicals to the environment. But I have found that I need to use (1) a dormant spray of horticultural oil and copper on the stone fruits; (2) azoxystrobin for fig rust in summer; and (3) Daconil for tomatoes.

Plants that need heat to ripen top quality fruit are a challenge. Most peaches and nectarines need more heat to develop adequate sugars than I get. Saturn (the one with double flowers and normal shaped fruit – not donut) is the best of the many varieties I have tried.

Carefree plants that produce fruit that I love include bananas, cherimoya, Surinam cherries, avocados, and mulberries (not Morus nigra, which also struggles with fungus on fruit).

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Thanks for the Daconil tip. I’m going to try that on my tomatoes and roses.