Gardens of California ® LLC 
Bridget Guzzi, Owner


Fresh Gardening

Simply Inspired! 

Garden fresh and clean. Build from the soil up for an outstanding harvest.

Find balance and peace through gardening. 
Trace your vegetable and fruit footprint to your very own home.

Engage in community gardens if you want some company.

Grow one .. grow two .. grow three favorite tastes.

Incorporate native wildflowers and herbs for teas, tinctures and everyday cooking.

Listen to this marvelous voice: ONE HOME and COMMUNITY GARDEN AT A TIME with Dr. Vandana Shiva

What are some of the steps we may take to garden safe and healthy? One of the most important decisions I make when growing organically is to watch what I plant. Keeping my garden area clean always lends to an ounce of prevention.
Pests are part of the garden scene but can be managed. Have you set your lady beetles out for spring? Many sources help. Copper taping around raised beds makes the climb for snails a slippery slope and botanical soaps help when one particular pest may not be getting the message.

Planting ginger, marigolds, lavenders, and rue will also help. Many pests are beneficial and should not be exterminated. I continue to learn which these pests are. Ladybugs, beetles, preying mantis and birds control pests and may be found in your local nursery or by simply putting in birdbaths. 

We do not always win the war against pests in the beginning as we lean into clean gardening. We must work towards that end. Environments need be given a chance to come into balance. We are on our way to helping our garden areas do just that, once we toss out as much chemical warfare as possible. 

Adding  natural elements to your garden is a great key to pest control and will bring some wonderful returns with both your edibles and your flowers and shrubs.

Watering is huge part of gardening. Without a sip the plants will drip! I encourage hand watering whenever possible as it completes the circle of growing your own food. When we are closest to our plants, we can better control their optimization. Yet when we cannot be on hand, a well placed irrigation system is suggested. Drip irrigation should be checked on a regular basis as well as all faucets to control for water loss. 

As I continue to grow without chemicals, I am amazed at how little if any pests and disease problems I am having. My thinking is that, out there in my little back yard, is a comfortable micro environment that is now working in harmony. This is exciting. You have to love those worms you get a bird’s eye of when digging up the spuds. Ah the treasures and pleasures of nature. Have you been fishing lately? 

Then there are weeds. In my garden weeds are hand pulled, dandelion, Taraxacum officinale with Beethoven, crab grass, Digitaria ischaemum with Iron Butterfly and bristly ox tongue, Picris echioides, with continued versions of "If I had a hammer" running through my head.
California poppies, Eschscholzia californica grace my garden at will, and are welcome as long as there is room at the inn. All said, I have learned and come to accept that I will never be weed free but I will be weed controlled. It is important to control weeds so that you reduce the nutrition loss from the soil that your  selected plants need. 

These are just a few things you can do to work in a healthy garden. There is much to learn. What better way to spend some down time than to learn how to better provide for yourself and the health of the planet?

Please take the time to educate yourself about clean gardening. Share what you learn with your neighbors, those whom you work with and meet.  I suggest starting with a read on Atrazine. It is not a pretty story but a great teaching story. Also, you may preview the documentaries listed on the web site. I almost guarantee you will see the correlation and call / need for home edible gardens. There are numerous sources on the internet and in bookstores. Support conscientious educators and authors, those who really get this.  Stay diligent, gardening without abuse of chemicals is very possible, I know, because I have done it for years. I still have so much to learn and am forever thankful to all who work to this end and share their knowledge willingly with me.

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