Home Garden - How We Grow | Natural History Museum of Los Angeles

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Showing Up the Local Pigeons

Ever wonder how flocks of exotic Yellow-chevroned Parakeet ended up inhabiting urban areas in Southern California? Read more about these colorful birds on our Ornithology page. Learn more >

Lost Lizards of Los Angeles

Where are the lizards in L.A.? We hope to answer this question and we need your help! 
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How We Grow


Ten Beginning Steps for Every Home Garden

These are tried and tested practices that we use in our garden. Want to learn more? Join one of our upcoming gardening classes.

1.   Research your garden site for best soil, exposure, and accessiability to water.
2.   Caring for soil is most important)
3.   Grow only plants proven to do well in your micro-climate
4.   Transplant only the healthiest seedlings
5.   Wait until the soil has warmed sufficiently
6.   Have plants grow up trellises
7.   Constantly plan ahead
8.   Know what fertilizer to use and when
9.   Water properly
10. Mulch, mulch, mulch


Organic soil does not contain chemical ingredients (fertilizers, pesticides, etc), providing a rich substrate for plants to grow.   Leaves, straw, hay, corncobs, sawdust, wood chips, compost, peat moss and lawn clippings are all organic amendments for improving your garden soil.


• Compost is a natural fertilizer.  It is made up of dead plant and animal material that has been piled up and allowed to decay to the point where it can be easily worked into your garden soil.

• One of the many benefits of adding compost to your soil is that the nutrients in it are slowly released into the soil and then are available for use by the plant.   Compost is a slow- release fertilizer.   Also, compost can be added to your soil to improve its structure for better drainage in clay soils, and better water retention in sandy soil.   It is also a great way to recycle yard and other wastes.

Reference: Fall and Winter Gardening Basics for Los Angeles County, University of California Cooperative Extension, Los Angeles County Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources