Author Archive for Pat Welsh

Alkaline Vegetable Garden Soil

Gardening Question From Adriana: I added lime to my vegetable garden soil and I killed everything i planted last year. I tested the soil this year and it still shows too alkaline. What would be an easy repair? Buy compost bags and add to soil? or Nitrogen only? thanks Answer From Pat: Never add lime […]

Wilted Passionfruit Vine

Gardening Question From Allen: I purchased a passion-fruit vine to grow indoors. I set up a trellis and planted the plant in a very large container. I was growing beautifully. Plenty of morning sun, watering once a week and “spritzing” the leaves daily. One of the blogs I had read on-line suggested 10-10-10 fertilizer at […]

Gophers and Bird of Paradise

Gardening Question From Carolyn: I have a raised planter bed that has become a popular nibbling ground for gophers.  I’m removing the purple fountain grass that has succumbed and thinking about planting bird of paradise.  I live in San Diego about 2 miles inland from the ocean. Thank you!   Answer From Pat: You mention […]

San Diego Hillside

Gardening Question From Janet: I live in San Diego, in the mission bay area. I have a huge hill/ slope in my back yard. I have planted Rosemary and ceonothus. Some survived but the side of the hill that didn’t survive there was a pine tree at the top of the hill. We have since […]

Composted Topsoil

Gardening Question From Crystal: I am going to be doing some container gardening this summer for the first time. I am trying to do it as organically as possible. I have bough an organic potting soil but would like to add some compost. I have limited space, hence the container gardening, so I have reached […]

Eucalypus Mulch

Gardening Question From Frank: Dear Pat, I am happy to hear your comments about eucalyptus wood, leaves and  detritus as mulch.  Over a period of forty years I have found eucalyptus mulch to be very beneficial to my garden in all ways.  We hands on, non abstract gardeners are the ones who know! Watering it […]

Using California Pepper Tree Leaves

Gardening Question From Kathleen: I’m testing my young orange tree with a ph tester, and noticed the soil is too far on the acidic side. I was wondering if the leaves fallen from my California pepper tree would help to balance the levels out?     Answer From Pat: Never dig anything into the soil […]

Grafting A Pollinator For Holiday Avocado

Gardening Question From Charles: We have a young Holiday avocado, 10 ft tall and about 5 years old. It has given us about 13 large avocados last year.  At this time we have 5 hanging on the tree.  We did not know when we bought the tree that it yielded fruit every other year.  We’d […]


Gardening Question From Gambriella: Long time fan. I have all your books and I can’t find any info on your month by month book or on your website as to how to care for lemongrass in Southern California (Orange County) on the coast side (Zone 24). Do I cut it down completely in the fall […]

Nectarine Suggestion

Gardening Question From Dave: Do you have a preferred nectarine(s) for coastal Southern California?   Answer From Pat:   Yes. My favorite is ‘Panamint’. I have recommended this for years and people still thank me for the recommendation. It is much better than peaches in coastal zones. Easy to grow and very productive.     […]