Can I Use A Liquid Fungicide Along The Drip-Line?

Gardening Question From Barbara: my flowering tree has Apple Scab disease. We live in Michigan, and the trees have lost most leaves and are beginning to go dormant. Can I use a liquid fungicide along the drip-line? Can I prune the tree first? Answer From Pat: When your tree is completely dormant and leaves have […]

Fertilizer Recipe

Question from Wil: At your presentation in Huntington Beach in September, you gave a formula for creating fertilizer. I’ve lost the list. Is it available? Answer from Pat: The homemade fertilizer recipe I gave that day was the one used by my brother John Fisher-Smith in Oregon. He mixes the following together: 4 parts seed […]

Horse Manure Compost

Gardening Question from Dave: I have a very reliable and steady source of horse manure (1 quarter horse, 1 draft horse and 1 shetland pony) and an equally reliable source of pine needles. Using the old compost addage “something green and something brown” can I combine the two to create useful compost?   Answer from […]

Sulfate of Potash

Gardening Question: In the rose-pro method of caring for roses in your book, it calls for sulfate of potash (0-0-22) which I can’t find in ANY nursery or hardware store around here.  I did find Sul-Po-Mag which has the same NPK numbers, but also contains sulphur and magnesium.  Can I use this instead? Answer from […]

Vegetables, Eucalyptus, Clay Soil, and Fruit Trees

Question from Christian: I live in Del Mar near Fairbanks Ranch, and I’d like to get some of your thoughts on gardening and adding some new organic fruits, herbs, and vegetables to my house to feed us!  My goal is to turn a portion of my property into a full blown garden.  The challenges are […]

Feeding and soil supplements

Question from Jill: I recently saw you speak in Laguna Beach and I enjoyed every second of it! I grew up on a dairy farm in the central valley and we had our own garden. I left the valley when I went to college and after a few degrees and a few years of work, […]

Do Not Dig Chipper Materials into the Ground

Question from Harry: I have heavy clay soil. When it gets wet, it sticks to my shoes. Recently I got a load of chipper materials from a local tree-pruner. I have been wheelbarrowing it around and spreading it on paths and beds and around my fruit trees. Would it be okay to dig it into […]

Fertilizing and Rain

Q. Can you give me some reasons that it’s not good to fertilize when it’s raining? A. Walking on heavy soil when it is wet can compact the soil, but other than that caveat what’s wrong with taking advantage of rainfall to fertilize with organic fertilizer all the things that need it now, like roses […]


Question from Robert: Where did you get the guano for your artichokes ? and the ratio 10-10-2 or ? and do you fertilize anymore during the season and if so do you still use the guano, Thank You, Robert, Newport Oregon Answer from Pat: Nurseries and mail-order catalogue companies that specialize in organic products often […]

Generic Fertilizers & Soil Amendments

This Generic Fertilizers Chart show you what products can be used for a “source of”, how quickly it works, approximate formula, and characteristics. Generic Fertilizers & Soil Amendments Chart. Be sure to reference “Southern California Organic Gardening: Month by Month” for in depth use instructions.