c906f69f8e08040a4f01189eceeb5014
Region: Southwest
Sub-Region: Southern California Coastal, Inland

Brad Monroe

State: California
Business: Program Coordinator - Ornamental Horticulture Cuyamaca College
 

Biographical Information

Born and raised on a farm in the California Central Valley town of Hughson. Our farm raised canning cling peaches, grapes, walnuts, almonds and fresh market cherries.

I graduated from Modesto Junior College with an Associate Degree in Plant Science, California State University, Fresno with a Bachelor of Science in Plant Science and later received a Masters in Computers in Education from National University.

I began working in the landscape industry after graduating from college and I have been teaching horticulture and related courses since 1975. I began the horticulture program at Southwestern College in 1975 and then had the opportunity to start another program at Cuyamaca College in 1980 and have been the program coordinator since that time.

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.
Irrigation and water conservation have long been my main interests, but I enjoy all aspects of horticulture.

Where can members get more of your advice?
Cuyamaca College offers a full spectrum of horticulture classes and at the current time, I teach an introductory horticulture course and a principles of landscape irrigation class.

Cuyamaca College is located at 900 Rancho San Diego Parkway, El Cajon, California, 92019 and we have classes in the fall and spring semesters.

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.
My small home garden is near Cuyamaca College just south of Jamul. The garden is in Sunset zone 21 but because it is on a hillside, it gardens more like zone 23. We have very few frosts but the summer heat is a battle.

How long have you been gardening?
I began gardening by putting in a back yard at my parent's house when I was in high school, which was over 40 years ago.

What triggered your interest?
I think my interest in gardening came from growing up on a ranch. I was always involved in plants and my interest just migrated to landscape plants when I found you could actually work with plants in some other capacity than farming.

What is your specialty, expertise or claim to fame?
Irrigation technology is my area of specialization. I have written training manuals for the Irrigation Association and Hunter Industries in this area.

 Brad's Book Recommendations


Flowering Plants in the Landscape
 


Landscape Plants for Western Region: An Illustrated Guide to Plants for Water Conservation

  Brad's Favorite Websites

Google Images
Google images, good quick reference for most plants.

What formal education do you have?
Associate of Arts: Modesto Junior College - Plant Science, 1968. Bachelor of Science: California State University, Fresno, 1972, Master of Science: National University, Computers in Education, 1990.

What formal horticultural training do you have?

What is your favorite garden or plant-related topic? Tell us a little about them.
Lilacs are my favorite garden plant (though it is difficult to pick out only one plant.) I grew up with lilacs outside our kitchen door and have loved them ever since.

What is your biggest gardening pet peeve? Tell us about it.
People that like their gardens perfect. I think some of the most interesting gardens are those that have a lived-in look. I compare gardens to homes; designer homes are fun to look at but the most interesting homes are those in which interesting people live and I feel the same way about gardens.

How much time per week do you spend gardening?
Unfortunately, I only get about 4 hours per week to garden at home, the rest of the time, I am at the college.

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?
40 to 60 hours.

What gardening or horticultural clubs, societies, or organizations (or any other interest) do you belong to?
The Irrigation Association, California Landscape Contractor's Association and the San Diego Golf Course Superintendents Association.

What other biographical information would you like to share?

Gardening Questions

What do you like most about gardening?
The sense of accomplishment and the anticipation of the coming seasons.

What do you dislike most about gardening?

What individual has influenced your gardening interest the most? How?
A former colleague, Ed Dimond. He is a former University Extension Agent in New York and his love of gardens and gardening is contagious.

What is your favorite place or activity in the garden?
Sitting on the back deck at sunset with my wife and a glass of wine.

What is your favorite time in the garden?
Sunset, there is no other light that makes a garden look as good as the late afternoon, early evening light.

What is your favorite public or private garden in the world? Why?
The Gardens of Versailles in France for their incredible fountains and sheer size, Kew Gardens of England for the history and botanical collection, Longwood Gardens for the conservatories, Boboli Garden in Florence for their covered walkways, the Berlin Botanical Garden for their horticultural museum, the Royal Botanical Garden in Sydney for its collection and beautiful setting, the Horticultural Mosaics of Montreal for their fantastic plant sculptures and the Isle of Mainau in Germany for the overall experience.

What is your favorite color in the garden?
I have never met a color in the garden I didn't like.

If you could grow only one plant, what would it be?
Lilacs, I have loved them since childhood and the fragrance and flowers hold both beauty and memories.

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?
Delonix regina is a plant that would be spectacular in San Diego but our temperatures are too cool.

What is your favorite gardening outfit or costume?

Do you have a gardening philosophy you would like to share with other gardeners? What is it?
For a gardener, patience is a must.

Who is your own favorite gardening personality on TV, radio or in print? Why?
I don't watch TV gardening shows much, but Tom Piergrossi does a great job and is fun to watch.

What is the one question about gardening you would really like people to ask you?
What is calcareous soil?

And what's the answer?
Calcareous soils are those with excess free lime. This causes the pH to be too high (typically 7.2 - 8.3) and because there is excessive free lime, the pH can't be economically altered. Gardeners should choose plants that are tolerant of high pH, plant in raised beds or mounds of imported soil or in high visibility areas where raised beds, mounds or plant choices dictate otherwise, excavation and replacement of existing soil would be recommended. Calcareous soil can be determined by the home gardener if the soil effervesces when vinegar is poured on the soil. These soils are common in San Diego and often lead to problems with many of our common landscape plants.

What is a garden myth you hear frequently which you know is untrue?
It is more about farming, and the statement is that farming will destroy the soil.

And, what is the reality?
Soil is the growing medium; we can harm and/or help the soil by the practices we employ but the act of farming does not destroy the soil.

What group or kind of person do you think would benefit most from the advice you can give on gardening?
Our program at Cuyamaca College is directed toward individuals wanting to enter the horticulture field as a career and this is the group I find the most fun to work with.

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 (it's easy and a great way to promote yourself).


Plant Care Reminders

Plumeria Monthly Plant Care
Trees Steve Brigham

Plumeria spp (Plumeria) - Monthly Plant Care Calendar

You can have these monthly Plant Care Reminders sent directly to you each month!
Brugmansia Monthly Plant Care
Perennials Steve Brigham

Brugmansia spp. (Angel Trumpet) - Monthly Plant Care Calendar

You can have these monthly Plant Care Reminders sent directly to you each month!

Clivia miniata (Lily - Kaffir) -…

14627 Ron Vanderhoff
Clivia miniata Monthly Plant Care
You can have these monthly Plant Care Reminders sent directly to you each month!

Organic Rose Care

43952 Ralph (Jack) Shoultz
Rose Plant Care
Roses prefer a full day of sun. Give roses at least 6 hours of sun a day when possible.

The Orchid as a Houseplant

13776 Carole McCray
Orchid as a house plant
Oooh La La—The Orchid as a Houseplant.

Gardening Articles

Pocket Size Courtyard
Landscape and Design Kathleen Hassinger

APLD International Landscape Design Merit Award Winner: Patricia St. John

Association of Professional Landscape Designers Announces: Annual International Landscape Design Awards Program Winners
DIY Wreath
Projects Kate Copsey

New Winter Wreaths

December is a wonderful time of year in a southern garden.

Canna Leaf Rollers & Other Common Bugs

20159
Canna Leaf Roller
Summer has arrived in the south and the bright colors of the Cannas are everywhere.

Susi Torre-Bueno - Southwest

22669
Susi Torre-Bueno
Region: Southwest

Flower Seed Planting time for coastal southern California

18854
Delphinium
Walter Andersen was kind enough to let us publish this seed planting chart from his…

Plant Recommendations

Uncommon southern fruits
Plant Recommendations Kate Copsey

Less Common Southern Fruits

When people in the south think of growing fruit, the first one that comes to mind is peaches, a good crop for warmer regions, followed by apples.
Salvia lanceolata
Plant Recommendations Tom Piergrossi

Salvias - Southern California

Tom Piergrossi's Top Plant Recommendations: Favorite Salvias for Southern California.

Trees and Large Shrubs - Southern…

10274 Connie Beck
Heteromeles arbutifolia
Connie Beck's Top Plant Recommendation: Favorite Trees and Large Shrubs for Southern…

Great Bulbs that Naturalize & are…

20238 jim threadgill
Jim Threadgill
Jim Threadgill's Top Plant Recommendation: Favorite Great Bulbs that Naturalize & are…

Succulents for Pots on the Coast -…

5461 Julian Duval
Aloe cameronii
Julian Duval's Top Plant Recommendation: Favorite Succulents for Pots in Coastal Southern…

Featured Plant Care

Plant Care Reminders for Vines

Plant Care Reminders - Vines - Sunset Zone 24

in Vines
Do you live In coastal southern California? Do you grow any of these Vines?
Siberian Iris

Iris sibirica - (Siberian Iris) - Monthly Plant Care Reminders

You can have these monthly Plant Care Reminders sent directly to you each month!
Pot Marigold Mohtly Plant Care

Marigold - Pot (Calendula officinalis) - Monthly Plant Care Reminders

in Herbs
You can have these monthly Plant Care Reminders sent directly to you each month!

Latest Articles

Peach Leaf Curl

Peach Leaf Curl - Information Hub

Peach leaf curl is a common problem found on leaves of Peaches and Nectarines (and their…
Avocado Information Hub

Avocado - Growing and Plant Care Information Hub

in Edibles
We're bringing relevant information about Avocados (Persea americana) to one fantastic…

Popular Articles

Using the Mulch for Home Gardeners

Home Gardener: Using All The Great Features on the Mulch

You Can Use The Great Features on the Mulch For Free!
Baseball Field Maintenance

Baseball Field Maintenance - A General Guide for Fields of All Levels

in Lawn
More great baseball field resources can be found here (including a pdf version of this…
Queen Palm Care & Use

The Queen Palm (Syagrus romanzoffiana) Care & Use

in Trees
Jungle Music Palms and Cycads is a family owned and operated business established in 1977
Microgreens

What are Microgreens and How to Grow Them

in Edibles
Microgreens are tiny leafed vegetables that are grown from seed and require very little…

User Guides (Slide)

Popular Recommendations (Slide)

Upcoming Events

Sorry, we currently have no events.
View All Events

Who's Online

We have 1363 guests and one member online

  • SteveBrigham