Gardening around the Kern River Valley

By Elizabeth Mendia

Hello, friends!
We’re pleased to announce a new article series on gardening around the Kern River Valley. We plan to interview and feature local gardeners, horticulture experts, students in our local 4-H club and others to explore a myriad of topics.

We’ll explore pest management, what grows best in our ecologically diverse area, soil improvement, landscaping, native plants and much more.

In anticipation of developing this series, we reached out to Dr. John Karlik, extension adviser for the University of California Cooperative Extension office in Bakersfield. Dr. Karlik is known to many throughout Kern County, having taught the UC Master Gardener certificate program classes in the community for over 30 years.

Dr. Karlik directed us to educational resources through the UC Agricultural and Natural Resources division that we will share throughout the series. Karlik also said that if at least 12 local individuals are interested in taking gardening courses through the extension office, a future in-person class series could be planned for our area. Please reach out to us on our website or Facebook page and let us know if you’re interested.

Given current COVID restrictions, those classes would not take place until next year, and generally the in-person class series runs approximately $75 per person.

That being said, many local residents are preparing plantings for their fall garden. We asked members of the Kern River Valley Garden Group
on Facebook what they planned to include in their gardens this autumn.

Lettuce, radishes, potatoes, yams, garlic and onions were mentioned, as were kale, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts. Both Holly Miller of Lake Isabella and Patrica Terrell of Wofford Heights said that they plan to garden in raised beds. Only Dawn Heather of Wofford Heights broke from convention: she’s looking forward to gracing her home with the planting of beautiful fall mums.

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