Ask the Garden Guru

Fog-tolerant herbs, fruits, veggies, and flowers that attract bees & hummingbirds

Dear Garden Guru,

Can you recommend a list of fog/Mediterranean climate tolerant herbs, fruits, veggies, and flowers (which attracts bees and hummingbirds)? Any guidance will be much appreciated.

Wayne in San Francisco

Hi Wayne,

The first tip is to take care of the soil. Don’t skip on the amendments that will help retain moisture and offer nutrition. Water regularly, especially the flowers and vegetables. Choose organic fertilizers that will not harm the beneficial soil organisms that help your plants’ root systems by improving nutrient uptake and guarding against disease. Actinovate is a wonderful supplement for any new garden plant.

Vegetables: peas, lettuces, chard, beets, cabbages, broccoli, mustard, spinach, carrots, radishes, kohlrabi, arugula (actually all your greens), in the summer- cherry tomatoes too. Herbs- parsley, cilantro, rosemary, chervil, savory, sage, thyme, oregano, marjoram

Fruits: raspberries, southern highbush blueberries, apples, pears, strawberries, loquat, pineapple guava, lemon, kumquat, Trovita orange

Flowers that attract beneficials and pollinators- white alyssum, cosmos, achillea, agastache, tulbaghia, Oenothera, Eriogonum (Buckwheat), Erigeron, Dianthus

Hummingbirds:– Abutilon, Fuchsia, Agastache, Salvia greggii, Salvia clevelandii, Nasturtium, Delphinium

There is so much more, but this will get you started.

Low maintenance trees to plant in foggy areas

Dear Garden Guru,

We live in the Balboa Terrace area in SF where it can get cold and foggy. We are wondering what type of trees would be suitable to plant in our back yard that would not require much maintenance. Flowering Cherry Bloosom? We are open to suggestions.

Frances in San Francisco

Hi Frances,

The trees most often recommended are the Arbutus ‘Marina, Ficus nitida, Magnolia grandiflora, Melaleuca quinquenervia and Dodonaea. Flowering cherry and plum will survive, but may show signs of leaf burn later in the season.

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