Help! I need advice for my California Garden?

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I live in So Cal (IE) and I just ripped out a large section of old, neglected, half dear overgrown rose bushes from a section of my yard (new rental house, I did not let it get this bad).
Anyway, I'm new to gardening and I've decided to grow a few large sunflowers and poppies. Relatively easy, right? Well, not so much for me, I hardly know where to start.

Ok, so the ground is hard, almost solid, rocky and dry. I wet the area and started digging up the ground. I need more dirt in that particular area, so here's my question. What do I use to fill? do I just look for dirt? Should I fill it with manure? Miracle grow potting soil? Is there something I cold buy from Home Depot? HELP!
Also if you have any more advice, or notice I'm doing something butt-backwards, please let me know.

I absolutely love poppies and I would be devastated if my garden fails this year. Thanks!

Happy Answering!
<><><><>Love and Kisses<><><><>

If it's a large area you might think about renting a rototiller from Home Depot or Lowes, it will make your work easier.
You need to condition the soil, you can get large amounts of soil conditioner instead of the bags from Home Depot as well. Soil Conditioner and Steer Manure are your best additives. You don't need Potting Soil, that's to put in pots.
After you have added the conditioner & steer, turned the soil, now you're ready to get your plants and seeds.
Sunflowers are annuals, so will only be here for the one season. Poppies will reseed and spread. If you want some brushes that flower in the IE consider Margariet Daisies, Shasta Daisies, Crepe Myrtle, Butterfly Bush. Tubers of Bearded Iris are nice. Then sprinkle your poppy seeds or a mix of wild flower seeds. Lightly sprinkle some top soil or planting mix over the seed, and water the area with a sprinkler.

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No Responses to “Help! I need advice for my California Garden?”

  1. Cowboy Rance Says:

    If it's a large area you might think about renting a rototiller from Home Depot or Lowes, it will make your work easier.
    You need to condition the soil, you can get large amounts of soil conditioner instead of the bags from Home Depot as well. Soil Conditioner and Steer Manure are your best additives. You don't need Potting Soil, that's to put in pots.
    After you have added the conditioner & steer, turned the soil, now you're ready to get your plants and seeds.
    Sunflowers are annuals, so will only be here for the one season. Poppies will reseed and spread. If you want some brushes that flower in the IE consider Margariet Daisies, Shasta Daisies, Crepe Myrtle, Butterfly Bush. Tubers of Bearded Iris are nice. Then sprinkle your poppy seeds or a mix of wild flower seeds. Lightly sprinkle some top soil or planting mix over the seed, and water the area with a sprinkler.
    References :

  2. fat_keebler_elf Says:

    best advise i can give ya is go to your local nurseries
    References :

  3. jt c Says:

    Sounds like you need to buy a truckload of top soil. Mix in some grass cuttings and tree leaves to add organic material.
    References :
    gardens for beginners
    http://www.geocites.com/mastergardener2k

  4. slumberdebbie Says:

    I would recommend getting some top soil and Pozzolan to mix with the hard soil you have. You will need to break up the hard compacted soil as best you can and then mix the top soil and Pozzolan into it.

    Pozzolan is an all natural soil amnedment that will absorb and hold water, releasing it back to the plants as they need it. Greatly reduces water and fertilizer use. It comes from volcanic diatomaceous deposits in the California mountains. It is completly natural and contains nutrients that are very benefitial to plants.

    Pozzolan is also great for breaking up hard, compacted soil. It is very porous which helps to create passageways in the soil for air and water.

    Best of all, it is a ONE time application. Once you put it in the soil, it stays there.

    You will need to ask at your local garden center if they carry it, or check out one of the websites below, they might be able to direct you to a place that sells it near you.

    Good Luck!
    References :
    http://www.pozzman.com/

    http://thepozzblog.wordpress.com/how-to-use-pozzolan/

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