Waterwise Gardener

NanStermanopens IMAGE file Nan Sterman is an award-winning author, designer, educator, and leading California garden expert. For nearly 20 years, Nan has reported on horticulture, agriculture, and gardening in San Diego County. Her understanding of how traditional techniques combine with modern technology helps her teach clients about edible and environmentally friendly plants and gardens.

Nan is also the host, co-writer, and co-producer of the public television show, opens in a new windowA Growing Passion, which explores the power of plants in our world. Nan’s most recent book is opens in a new windowHot Color, Dry Garden, available at bookstores, online, and from her website opens in a new windowwaterwisegardener.com.

The Otay Water District’s Pipeline, a quarterly newsletter, features a garden column by Nan. Her stories offer a guide to sustainable and low-maintenance gardening.

Pipeline features by Nan Sterman:
Working with the Wizards of Landscape Design
Featured in the opens in a new windowsummer 2021 issueopens PDF file
Do any of these sound familiar? Your garden needs a facelift but redoing it yourself is harder than you expected. You bought a home…

Common Citrus Problems
Featured in the opens in a new windowspring 2021 issueopens PDF file
Are your citrus tree leaves covered in black stuff? Do the stems and leaves have white fluffy spots? Are there hard oval bumps on the…

Mixed Fruit in Your Garden
Featured in the opens in a new windowwinter 2021 issueopens PDF file
If you would like to add fruit trees to your garden, this is the ideal time of year to do so. In early January, fruit tree growers delivered…

A Soil Saga
Featured in the  opens in a new windowfall 2020 issueopens PDF file
Animal, vegetable, or mineral?” is a question that kicks off every game of “20 questions.” In the garden however, animal, vegetable…

Six Ways to Prepare Your Garden for Climate Change
Featured in the  opens in a new windowsummer 2020 issueopens PDF file
The coronavirus quarantine has sent many of us into our gardens for sanctuary, escape, enjoyment, and new beginnings as well as to…

Plants to Stay Home With
Featured in the  opens in a new windowspring 2020 issueopens PDF file
It is hard to stay home. It is hard to be away from friends and family, school, work, and routine. Yet this time can also be an opportunity…

Post-Holiday Poinsettia Practices
Featured in the opens in a new windowwinter 2020 issueopens PDF file
The holidays are past, and all the decorations put away. What will you do with your poinsettias? Plant them, of course! Poinsettias’…

Tree Threats Update
Featured in the opens in a new windowfall 2019 issueopens PDF file
Our region’s precious trees are still under attack, threatened by various “bad guys.” Here’s an update from last year’s report. Oaks…

WaterWise Plants for Your Garden
Featured in the opens in a new windowsummer 2019 issueopens PDF file
If you’ve visited or lived in the East, Midwest, Pacific Northwest, or any other temperate climate region of the world, you may…

Plant a Tree, or Two…
Featured in the opens in a new windowwinter 2019 issueopens PDF file
Climate change is a big issue that overwhelms most of us. We are all part of the problem, but what can we do to be part of the…

Shrubs for Screens
Featured in the opens in a new windowfall 2018 issueopens PDF file
Evergreen hedges are among the many impressive features of European gardens. Classic English, French, and Italian gardens…

Beware the Tree Borers…
Featured in the opens in a new windowsummer 2018 issueopens PDF file
Trees and shrubs across the region are under siege. Along every major street and in every neighborhood there are dead trees…

Weedcloth Revealed
Featured in the opens in a new windowspring 2018 issueopens PDF file
A few years ago, we shot an episode of A Growing Passion about creating waterwise gardens. Among the gardens we showcased…

A Few of my Favorite Flowering Shrubs
Featured in the opens in a new windowwinter 2018 issueopens PDF file
In other regions of the country, residents are aching for the long, drab winter to end. As if to hasten its end, they take this time…

Plant and Tree Watering Basics: Keeping Plants Healthy After Hotter Temperatures
Featured in the opens in a new windowfall 2017 issueopens PDF file
Finally it’s fall! Cool days and cool nights are a huge relief, for both people and plants. It also means it is time to change the way…

Tree Watering Basics: Keep Trees Healthy After a Drought
Featured in the opens in a new windowsummer 2017 issueopens PDF file
It’s nice to get a breather from extreme drought, but we live in a water-poor region and our gardens – along with our lifestyles…

Planting Slopes and Hillsides: Gardening at an Angle
Featured in the opens in a new windowwinter 2017 issueopens PDF file
Many San Diego subdivisions are cut into hillsides and out of hillsides, thanks to our wacky topography and policy of building…

Feasting Through Fall
Featured in the opens in a new windowfall 2016 issueopens PDF file
It is always a bit sad to pick the last of the summer’s tomatoes, squash, pumpkins and eggplants. These are my favorite vegetables…

El Niño Finally Arrived – Now What?
Featured in the opens in a new windowwinter 2016 issueopens PDF file
We’ve had our first taste of El Niño rains; four inches in three days! That’s almost half the rainfall we normally see in a year. Fortunately…

Give That Tree a Drink
Featured in the opens in a new windowfall 2015 issueopens PDF file
The weather is finally (and thankfully) cooling as San Diegans await the El Nino rains. After four long years of drought, even when…

Figs Don’t Drink
Featured in the opens in a new windowsummer 2015 issueopens PDF file
You might wonder if the drought means the end of fruit trees in our backyards. The answer is “no.” There are many kinds of fruit…