Pat Welsh

Pat Welsh

No one knows more about the subtleties of making things grow in San Diego County than Pat Welsh. Born in England, she settled in Del Mar in the 1950s, and in 1992 she poured her years of local gardening experience into Pat Welsh's Southern California Gardening, a month-by-month guide to planting, pruning, propagating, watering, and otherwise tending to an impressive number of the fruits, vegetables, and ornamental plants that grow here. Witty, opinionated, and crammed with everything from botanical principles to detailed, practical tips, this book serves as a Bible for legions of local gardeners. Dipping into it is almost as inspiring as hearing Welsh talk, something she does often at various local forums. Her passion for gardening makes you want to run home and get your fingers in the dirt.

In 1995, she was the subject of a Reader cover story: Pat Welsh, the Julia Child of Gardening.

Articles by Pat Welsh

Adventures with the Compost Pile, Part 2

Childhood experiences in England demonstrate composting as an easy, beneficial way to recycle organic waste, but in San Diego County the author encounters drought, animal pests, and the concerns of neighbors. Ancient compost piles were ...

Adventures with the Compost Pile

Homemade compost adds nitrogen and other nutrients to soils. It improves tilth and contributes to microbial action that greatly enhances plant health. No wonder throwing good stuff from the kitchen down the drain or sending ...

San Diego garden writer Pat Welsh watches her friends plant vegetables

Beginner's luck

A few years ago a friend of Lou’s and mine planted a vegetable garden for the first time. George and his wife Sally lived in an old house high on a hill with an ocean ...

The heartbreaking Monterey cypress

Pull it up by the roots before you fall in love with it

The Monterey cypress is one of the worst trees for Southern California. It drips needles and sticky sap, is prone to beetles and fungus, and its roots are so invasive it’s difficult or impossible to garden under.