Gardening Tips for Riverside, CA

With virtually sunny skies year-round in the Riverside area, homeowners can easily grow a wide range of plants that will be just a beautiful at Christmas as they are at Independence Day. Riverside’s location offers a lot of sunshine with a low amount of annual rainfall. The area receives only about 11 inches of rain a year which is drastically less than the national average at 30 inches annually. This can cause area gardeners to shift their gardens to become more drought tolerant throughout the summer or plan on spending a lot in added water costs.

Riverside lies with the USDA Hardiness Zone 9b which means that plants can tolerate temperatures that never go below 20°F. This low temperature will only occur in extreme cases and most plants in the area should be able to survive a freezing temperature this low for a limited amount of time. Zone 9b is quite high compared to the rest of the country and Riverside homeowners can justify planting more tropical plants in their garden due to the likelihood that winter temperatures won’t become too cold. Here are some more gardening tips when planting in the Riverside area.

Know When to Plant

Growing a garden in the Riverside area can be drastically different from gardening in other parts of the country. With the year-round growing season it can be difficult to know when to plant what kind of variety. Do your research and look into what kind of weather your plant varieties like. For example, cooler season vegetables could easily be grown all throughout winter and should be started in the fall. Warmer season fruits and vegetables will love the spring and summer months and should provide a wide range of produce for a large part of the year. Knowing when to plant certain varieties in the Riverside area is important to growing a year-round garden.

Rotate Crops

If you are growing a vegetable garden, consider moving the area of your crops from year to year in order to prevent disease. Rotating crops also helps to provide extra nutrients in the soil that were left behind by last year’s plant. Things like spinach or cabbage will benefit from growing in the same nitrogen rich soil where you planted peas or beans the year before. Other root crops like carrots, potatoes, or onions will also grow well in areas following heavy feeders like leafy greens.

Use Companion Planting

Another common planting technique is to use companion planting when establishing a new garden or adding to your existing landscaping. Companion planting is the idea that some fruits, vegetables, and other vegetation grow better when planted near each other. While some plants can bully others by taking more resources than they should, others work quite well together. Take for example the idea of Three Sister Planting which involves planting corn, beans, and squash all together in the same area. The corn grows tall stalks that the beans can use to grow vertically while also adding nutrients to the corn’s soil. Squash, usually pumpkins, are then planted at the base of the group in order to provide large low-level shading qualities to cut back on weed growth.

Look Out for Trouble

There are many different insects and diseases that could cause havoc in a Riverside garden. These insects enjoy the long growing season as well as it means that there is little die off of invasive species. Be sure to frequently check your garden and landscaping for insects that could be causing trouble. Anytime you see plants getting eaten you should be involved in ridding the garden of a destructive species.

Other things that could cause trouble in a garden include diseases that are common in the warmer climate of the area. Diseases can quickly invade a plant and cause major issues all across your garden. If you do find trouble in your garden, consider checking this resource from the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources office for a long list of possible culprits.

Add A Rain Barrel

Riverside homeowners know that summertime also means a period of drought in the area. Consider helping your own water bill, as well as being able to support your garden, by installing a rain barrel in your yard to collect rainwater and runoff. This will allow you to continue watering plants well into the drought season and can help support your plants during the summertime. Rain barrels also are great for the environment as less energy is used to funnel that water run off back to your home and you get the direct benefit of using the excess water for later use.

Riverside, California is a beautiful place to live with warm year-round temperatures and an ample growing season. Consider these tips when gardening in the yard and make sure to be aware of when to plant certain varieties during the year. Install a rain barrel to recycle rainwater for your garden during the drought season as well as keep an eye out for area pests and diseases that could thwart your gardening efforts. Rotating your crops and introducing companion planting to your garden are other easy ways that you can grow a strong and healthy garden in the Riverside area.

Need help preparing your lawn? Visit our Riverside lawn care page to get in touch with a professional! In addition to Fresno, we provide lawn care services in other California cities, including Los Angeles, Sacramento, and Fresno.

Featured image source: Zillow Riverside