Getting Ready for Summer Gardening

The long, hot summers of our Southern California inland valley can be both a blessing and a curse for growing food.  Harvests of summer crops can last well in to late fall -- if the plants don't succumb to our fierce heat waves.  The key is preparing the soil well, making the right plant selections, and paying close attention to water needs.

Delia Hitz, plant propagator and gardener at Descanso Gardens, conducted the school’s last Community Peace Garden Workshop of the school year on Saturday, May 5.  She shared her wisdom on Summer Food Gardening letting attendees know about soil-building methods that nourish vegetable plants and retain moisture in the eat; crops such as chili, corn, beans, eggplant, tomatoes and herbs that will thrive in hot, arid climates; and when and how to water during the summer months. Topics such as where to purchase seeds, whether and when to fertilize, and pest protection were also covered in brief. 

About Delia Hitz: 

Delia Hitz works as plant propagator/gardener for Descanso Gardens in La Cañada-Flintridge, where she manages the nursery and cares for the educational Harvest Garden growing vegetables, herbs, flowers and fruit. She completed a one-year internship in urban ecological agriculture at the Huntington Ranch in 2014, and has volunteered on farms in Northern California and New York. Prior to pursuing farming and gardening professionally, Delia worked in grant writing and fund development for Bay Area environmental nonprofits for 12 years. She volunteers and teaches at the community garden at her church in Lincoln Heights, the historic Church of the Epiphany, a civil rights landmark in East Los Angeles.

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