Re: [gardeners] Fall in Southern California

Ron Hay (
Wed, 08 Sep 1999 07:18:01 -0700

Good morning, Penny.

You agree with the prescriptions/proscriptions in Sunset Magazine, the
local arbiter of what to plant and when, having delineated numerous
microclimatic zones over the 100 years they have been publishing. Why,
we, in the shadow of I 405, are in a different climatic zone than our
neighbors on the other side of Sepulveda Blvd., the main street a block
to our east, because the freeway alters the settling pattern of colder
layers of air.

When we lived nearer the coast, on the other side of the Santa Monica
Mountains, in the L.A. Basin 20 years ago, we tried growing beefsteak
tomatoes and had gorgeous green plants, but nary a fruit. Then, the
following year (?) Sunset opined that beefsteak tomatoes should not be
grown on the coast, but in the interior valleys where night time
temperatures averaged over 70 most of the summer, as opposed to the 50s
nearer the coast, on the other side of the mountains. And so far, their
advice in all things pertaining to gardening choices, as delineated by
the Sunset Western Garden Book have been right on target. That worthy
compendium is about the only dependable commonly-available reference
sources for gardening in the West, and, as I stated earlier, breakes
down each region's microclimates. It's idiotic to think that zone 9 or
10 apply uniformly. There are multiple gradations of local
microclimates, and our home in Van Nuys is living proof of that.

Thank you for your input.


penny x stamm wrote:

> .
> Ron, makes sense to me -- I raised special colored coleus all
> winter long, and then brought them to our Master Gardener plant
> swap in May. Came home with 4 kinds of tomato seedlings...
> So, to repeat our weather problem, from 6 tomato plants I now
> have 2 Sweet 100's tomatoes turning red on the vine, and it's
> Sept.8th~!  Incredible....  Out nights have been 50-55* for weeks
> now, even when the days are at 85-90*...  I feel certain that the
> problem is the cool nights.
> .
> .
> Penny, NY
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