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Richard Frost

Sub-Region: Southern California Coastal, Inland
State: California
Business: Owner - Frost Concepts

Biographical Information

Richard is a retired professional from a variety of intertwined disciplines, including: music composition, applied mathematics, technical computing, horticulture, and post-secondary education. He owns a nursery in Rancho Penasquitos which specializes in edible plants, nutrients for plants, and garden supplies.

Please tell us briefly about your favorite cause/business/product in which you are involved that you would like to share with the general public and why.
The San Diego Horticultural Society.

Where can members get more of your advice?

Background Information

Briefly describe the climate where you garden now (climate zone, state, area) and any other areas where you have gardened in the past.
I am currently in USDA zone 10b, Sunset Western Garden zone 23, about 8 miles (line of sight) west of Del Mar, CA. I have gardened in many areas of Southern and Northern CA.

How long have you been gardening?
50 years.

What triggered your interest?
Eating fresh fruits and vegetables.

What is your specialty, expertise or claim to fame?
Applied research.

What formal education do you have?
M.S. Applied mathematics; CA secondary teaching credentials in mathematics and physics; B.S. degrees in mathematics and physics; 5 college minors including music composition.

What formal horticultural training do you have?

What is your favorite garden or plant-related topic? Tell us a little about them.
Clay soils are rich in minerals and can be made very fertile by applications of weak carbonic acids (humic acids) and liquid gypsum.

Richard's Book Recommendations

Sunset Western Garden Book
7th edition or later. A very thorough book for beginners and experienced gardeners alike -- plus: every plant listed can be readily obtained from a reputable nursery.

Cornucopia II
Culture and sources for all the edible plants you know of and 1,000's more: The 4-column index is 40 pages long!

American Horticultural Society Plant Propagation
The best book available on how to propagate plants from seed, cuttings, and grafts.

  Richard's Favorite Websites

Frost Concepts
Where I put condensed fact sheets and information for the general public.

The Mulch
Has the feel of a gardening community

University of California Agriculture & Natural Resources
A wealth of information about agriculture

What is your biggest gardening pet peeve? Tell us about it.
Over-use of the word "organic" -- which by itself has no legal definition.

How much time per week do you spend gardening?
16 hours.

How much time per week do you spend working at the business of gardening, such as consulting, reading, writing or talking about your gardening subject?
24 hours.

What gardening or horticultural clubs, societies, or organizations (or any other interest) do you belong to?
San Diego Horticultural Society; California Rare Fruit Growers; National Council Teachers of Mathematics.

What other biographical information would you like to share?
Read about the Frost family at http://home.san.rr.com/frost

Gardening Questions

What do you like most about gardening?
Putting my hands in the soil.

What do you dislike most about gardening?
Space is limited.

What individual has influenced your gardening interest the most? How?
My father: he knew how to grow things.

What is your favorite place or activity in the garden?
Watching others interact with it.

What is your favorite time in the garden?

What is your favorite public or private garden in the world? Why?
There are gardens in nature that surpass any of our feable human attempts. One must travel by foot to appreciate them.

What is your favorite color in the garden?

If you could grow only one plant, what would it be?
Sequoia day-neutral strawberries -- the plant that keeps on giving all year-round.

What plant have you tried to grow that has given you the most trouble? Or, what plant would you like to grow and can't, and why?
Contrary to the advertisements of nurseries, north-american raspberries will not produce in my climate (unless you dump several bags of ice on them every day in December). Fortunately, the acclimated cultivar "Bababerry" does produce well and thank goodness - raspberries are my wife's favorite berry.

What is your favorite gardening outfit or costume?
Jeans, Polo shirt (with collar), and Barmah hat.

Do you have a gardening philosophy you would like to share with other gardeners? What is it?
1. Find a credible source of information for the cultural needs of your plants. 2. Persons who think the word "organic" alone has a defined meaning are not credible sources of information.

Who is your own favorite gardening personality on TV, radio or in print? Why?
David Ross. Why? - every suggestion has been excellent!

What is the one question about gardening you would really like people to ask you?
What fruits and vegetables should I grow in my garden?

And what's the answer?
Depends on your location!

What is a garden myth you hear frequently which you know is untrue?
Blueberries and Pomegranates are the best source of nutrients you can grow at home.

And, what is the reality?
Although blueberries and pomegranates are good for you, there are a number of fruits that are better including: kei apple (aka tropical apricot), babaco, California huckleberries, and California serviceberries to name a few.

What group or kind of person do you think would benefit most from the advice you can give on gardening?
Those who are willing to put thought and effort into their projects.

Would you like to participate, or can you recommend someone who you think should? We're always looking for more expert gardeners to tell about their philosophies and give their plant recommendations contact us and we'll get started.

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