In short, reasonable cultural practices to avoid extreme fluctuation in soil moisture and fertilization levels throughout the growing season may help to minimize fruit split. Regular irrigation is key.
As the tree requires more water, it takes from the fruit, which in turn becomes soft and the tree leaves begin to cup. If a large amount of water is added soon after, the fruit swells beyond the skin's capacity and splitting occurs.
Just remember that not all native plants are drought tolerant and some are so sensitive to any water in the summer that they do not adapt well to being mixed in with other garden plants. So it is wise to do some homework or make a trip to a nursery that specializes in California natives to avoid setting yourself up for even more frustration.
Although it may seem like a native plant would be one that is easy to grow, some of them are very difficult to transplant. Think about how diverse California is and how different the soils and microclimate can be from one city to the next and you will understand why native plant requirements can be so specialized.
But once the right plant is in the right place, it can be beautiful, carefree and worth the initial work to make sure it is a well-established feature in your yard.
3/28 Bountiful Summer Vegetables - Tantalizing tomatoes, scrumptious squash, and crunchy cucumbers are just a few of the summer veggies to get planted in the garden now. University of California Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners will provide growing information and tips so any size garden can provide healthy, yummy veggies all summer long.
4/11 The Potted Fruit Garden - Nothing is tastier than fruit picked at the peak of ripeness from your own backyard or patio garden. In this workshop University of California Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners will share techniques and cultivation requirements for growing fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, citrus and other fruit trees in containers.
4/18 The ABC's of Good Gardening - Ever start a garden and been thwarted by troublesome soil, pesky pests, or mysterious plant ailments? University of California Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners will discuss how to prepare and maintain healthy soil and practice Integrated Pest Management to control garden pests and diseases.
5/2 The Colorful Garden - Nothing says spring like a burst of colorful flowers. Whether a single pot or a large flower bed, University of California Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners will share tips on plant selection, plant combinations and design to provide eye popping color in gardens of all sizes.
5/16 Water Wise Container Gardening - The warm (hot!) days of summer are just around the corner. Learn alternatives to thirsty flowers for your decorative pots. University of California Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners will share ideas for the creation of beautiful container gardens using succulents, native plants and other water thrifty planting material.
If you are inspired to plant some natives this month but need some help, check out these lectures at Tree of Life Nursery, specializing in California native plants:
Saturdays in November, 9:30 am:
Nov 8 - RYL I: Killing and Removing the Lawn Speaker: Jeff Bohn
Nov 15 - RYL II: Design Basics for a Gorgeous Water-Saving Landscape Speaker: Designer, Pat Overby
Nov 22 - RYL III: Creating and Caring for your Native Garden Speaker: Mike Evans
Nov 29* - RYL IV: Inspirations - Tour of the Nursery and Gardens*Also, 10% off all Plant Purchases on Nov 29!
If you are dreaming of a beautiful spring garden full of colorful perennials and cool season annuals like foxglove, hollyhock, Iceland poppy, primroses, snapdragons, pansies, and nemesia, now is the time to plant them so they will be established and ready to bloom next spring. If you wait until after the holidays, the weather will be too cold for them to get established and you will have to wait until the warmer days of early spring and then you will only get a few months of bloom from the cool season flowers. Start now and they will take off at the first signs of spring and you will be rewarded with a full and colorful garden bed as soon as the weather warms up.