Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

Sowing Seeds Between Rain Spells

California Poppy seeds are starting to sprout. The seeds were tossed into the gravel area before the last AR storm several weeks ago. Sharing the space are Nasturtium and Santa Barbara Daisies who found their way into the bed.

Experienced Southern California gardeners know that winter rains are a gardener’s best friend when it comes to getting seeds started.

“These periods of hard rain luckily are spelled with lighter spritzing so the soil can absorb the quantity of water as a moisture reservoir once it stops,” wrote Yvonne Savio, master gardener and author of “Gardening in LA” a popular blog for local gardeners.

“I made a point of getting my last bulbs planted and seeds sown so the rain would water them in well,” wrote Savio in a post she shared earlier this week. “After a quiet spell, the forecast is for more rain starting Sunday, so I’ll plan on sowing more seed then, especially carrots and parsley which take up to 3 weeks to finally germinate and are therefore somewhat tricky to keep sufficiently moist until then except when I can count on the repeated rains to do the job!”

Despite knowing that for ages, I only recently managed to put it into practice. Before the last Atmospheric River storm two weeks ago, I finally got organized to sow some California wildflower seeds in empty spaces in my front garden including a gravel-filled area near our side door placed there by garden designer Judy Horton.

“I love using gravel in gardens because it acts like a seed bed,” said Horton.

Tiny seedlings (hopefully, poppies) have started to sprout in a previous empty space covered with leaf mulch.

I found a tin of poppy seeds and several small bags of wildflower seeds left over from the seed bombs we gave out at the Larchmont Family Fair in October. The packages say they cover very large areas but the seeds look so tiny, I think I may have overdone it. Oh well, the seeds have already started to sprout and will hopefully yield a hyper local superbloom!

There’s more rain ahead, perhaps as soon as Monday. If you’re interested in adding California natives or starting some veggies, this is the weekend to get out there with some seeds. Seeds can be easily found in local home supply or hardware stores. You can also support a small local nursery; Sunset Nursery is a personal favorite.

Be sure to take photos and let us know how it turns out.

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Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard is the publisher of the Larchmont Buzz. Patty lives with her family in Fremont Place. She has been active in neighborhood issues since moving here in 1989. Her pictorial history, "Larchmont" for Arcadia Press is available at Chevalier's Books.

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