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Author Topic: 2015 - Robert's adventures in the Northern Sierra Nevada - California  (Read 51882 times)

Gabriela

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Re: 2015 - Robert's adventures in the Northern Sierra Nevada - California
« Reply #765 on: January 09, 2016, 01:15:44 AM »
I have seen manzanita growing OK in Vancouver and also in the wild in Central Mexico - I don't know what species were though. But in both cases it shows they
can take quite a bit of moisture over certain periods of time.

As you said I have to concentrate on what can be grown here :) I don't have A. alpina, it grows in Northern parts of Canada but I have never been that far away. I like it, it is very handsome, maybe even more than A. uva-ursi which I could grow. Actually I may start some seedlings since at our new place there is a good area for it.

But still, I imagine how splendid a manzanita would look when sprinkled with snow!  :'(
Gabriela
Ontario, zone 5
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Robert

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Re: 2015 - Robert's adventures in the Northern Sierra Nevada - California
« Reply #766 on: January 09, 2016, 02:04:49 AM »
I have seen manzanita growing OK in Vancouver and also in the wild in Central Mexico - I don't know what species were though. But in both cases it shows they can take quite a bit of moisture over certain periods of time.

Gabriela,

My mistake  :-[    I regret I did not make myself clear. Generally wintertime moisture is not an issue with xeric California Arctostaphylos species. The challenge often faced with the xeric California Acrtostaphylos species is tolerance to summertime irrigation. Some species dislike some degree of summer irrigation. Mostly, but not always, root diseases of many sorts become problems. There is variance in their tolerance to summer irrigation, some species can be very tolerant of summer irrigation, others not much at all. Of coarse, soil type can be a factor too.

With some of the more irrigation tolerant species I can get away with irrigation every 10 days or so when it is very hot (i.e. 38 C +), however I am uncomfortable with this. Most are much happier with irrigation once a month or not at all (completely dry during the summer). Some species that I do not irrigate grow very slowly. I have a choice deep pink form of Arctostaphylos manzanita from Shasta County that is only 30-40 cm tall after 30 years (the original plant was huge). This species can reach up to 3 meters or more in height. This is an extreme example. In most cases they will grow faster than the above example.

I agree, many plants look fantastic when sprinkled with snow. Very  8)  ( pun intended  ;D  )  Maybe we will get a good dusting of snow and I can photograph some of our Arctostaphylos with snow on them.  :)
« Last Edit: January 09, 2016, 02:09:00 AM by Robert »
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
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If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him stepto the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
- Henry David Thoreau

Gabriela

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Re: 2015 - Robert's adventures in the Northern Sierra Nevada - California
« Reply #767 on: January 10, 2016, 11:56:13 PM »
The pink form manzanita that you mentioned may be a natural dwarf form?, it happens.
If you don't get any snow I could send you some in a couple of days  ;) - enough to sprinkle all the manzanitas!
Gabriela
Ontario, zone 5
http://botanicallyinclined.org/

Robert

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Re: 2015 - Robert's adventures in the Northern Sierra Nevada - California
« Reply #768 on: January 11, 2016, 05:06:38 AM »
The pink form manzanita that you mentioned may be a natural dwarf form?, it happens.
If you don't get any snow I could send you some in a couple of days  ;) - enough to sprinkle all the manzanitas!

Gabriela,

The deep pink form of Arctostaphylos manazanita is a clone of the original plant i.e. rooted cuttings of the original plant that was very large.

The farm property has an underlying band of serpentine rock that runs through this area. Within this area I can easy dig a hole 2 meters deep move 1 meter in any direction and maybe hit solid serpentine rock after 30 cm or even less. My guess is that it is sitting on top of (a) rock.

In addition, over the years I have rooted and given away many plants derived from this plant. They all grow normally i.e. tall.

Still, with irrigation most of the Arctostaphylos species grow much faster than when given no irrigation at all. At least that is how it works here in our part of California. How they grow elsewhere - well this would be better for someone with empirical knowledge of their situation to discuss.

I have to agree a dwarf form would be very sweet and certainly an asset.  :)

As for snow, we need all the precipitation that we can get! HELP!  :o  It is getting worrisome as we start to fall farther, and farther below average with this season's precipitation. The pattern is clearly much different this season; many cloudy days; much cooler temperatures; and some precipitation every week, however it is not enough at the moment. Maybe everything will change and El Nino will show up. Right now I would call it "Nada"!   :'(
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
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If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him stepto the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
- Henry David Thoreau

Maggi Young

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Re: 2015 - Robert's adventures in the Northern Sierra Nevada - California
« Reply #769 on: January 11, 2016, 07:15:47 PM »
Robert- I thought of your drought problems as I read this article by a fruit farmer  who is giving up because of the drought... http://www.myjobdependsonag.com/the-end-of-the-figlady/

Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

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Robert

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Re: 2015 - Robert's adventures in the Northern Sierra Nevada - California
« Reply #770 on: January 12, 2016, 05:32:04 AM »
Robert- I thought of your drought problems as I read this article by a fruit farmer  who is giving up because of the drought... http://www.myjobdependsonag.com/the-end-of-the-figlady/

Maggi,

A very interesting article. I can very much relate to her situation as a farmer. Her down fall is most likely a bit more complex than stated. Some examples:

10 Years ago in California, a farmer could drill a well and start pumping water for their farm. Now ground water is regulated by the State of California. Even if she had a well drilled she still may not have been permitted to draw any ground water. This is a very complicated issue. So much ground water has been drawn from the San Jaquin Valley aquifers that they have started to collapse and the ground sink. The situation is very serious. In some places the ground has sunk well over a meter. Needless to say this has had an impact on roads, canals, and other infrastructure.

Another issue is farm debt. The few farmers that can stay out of debt have far more flexibility and ability to keep going when the going gets tough (which these days, for many farmers, this is seems like all of the time). Her debt load undoubtedly contributed greatly to her down fall. I see this all of the time and it is very sad. In many ways, most farmers in the U.S.A. are nothing more than share croppers for banks and other farm credit groups, including multinational corporations. From my perspective this is a very worrying trend in "farm(er) land".

My grandfather and his sons (my father and uncle) were able to survive the great depression on West Wind Farm in Brentwood. My farther told me stories about how they worked the drying racks with Apricots, Peaches, Prunes, and Figs. There was a storage building as large as a football stadium that was filled with giant piles of dried fruit. They could not give the stuff away. Somehow they survived, heating the home with peach pits in the cook stove, and who knows what else.

Some time after the second great war, my grandfather lost the farm. My father never told me what happened, just like he never talked about landing on Okinawa in April of 1945. Today there is nothing left of West Wind Farm. There were 100 acre blocks each of Peaches, Apricots, Prunes, and Figs. Not a tree left! The sulphur house, drying sheds and the giant storage building have all burned to the ground. The last time I took my father out there he could hardly find the location. All very sad, but this is how it is in "farm(er) land" here in the U.S.A. Where I lived out at Gold Hill all the farms are gone now: Uncle Elwin's Cattle Ranch, Cousin Sam's Dairy, Lee's Pear Ranch, Clinton's Pear Ranch. All gone now. They all owned their farms free and clear going back to the 1800's (during the gold rush). Makes me wonder what is going to happen to farming in the U.S.A.?
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
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If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him stepto the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
- Henry David Thoreau

Maggi Young

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Re: 2015 - Robert's adventures in the Northern Sierra Nevada - California
« Reply #771 on: January 12, 2016, 10:57:25 AM »
  No farming =no food ....... a frightening scenario.
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

Editor: International Rock Gardener e-magazine

 


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