Climate change and the California native garden

Michael Mace
Mon, 20 Jul 2015 17:51:33 PDT
Chris wrote (about the southern California summer rain):

>>I hope these conditions don?t effectively steam my summer-dry bulbs into
moldy little balls of mush, but without digging them all up (and there are
too many) I guess there?s no way to know until I see or don?t see them
emerge in December.  Fingers crossed.  

I wonder if it would help to spray the beds with fungicide. That might just
make the soil moister, or it might help. I dunno.

If you do have a lot of losses, let the list know. I'm sure many of us will
be willing to help you rebuild your collection.

I hope it won't come to that. I grew up in Southern California, and I
remember getting very occasional monsoon storms in mid-summer in the
1970s-80s. They seem to be more common now, but it did happen occasionally
in the past. So I suspect the native plants have evolved to deal with it.

On the other hand, the serpentine soil that many native bulbs grow in is
remarkably good at absorbing water. I suspect that a single storm like this
wouldn't penetrate all that deep into the soil (and many native California
bulbs grow deep).* A garden bed with loose sandy soil is much more likely to
get wet at bulb level, in my opinion.

So I can think of reasons to worry and reasons not to worry. Good luck, and
please let us know what happens.


San Jose, CA

*If anyone in SoCal has access to a patch of serpentine soil, please go dig
a hole this weekend and let us know how deep the moisture goes.

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