Gustavo Uribe is a fifth generation agricultural specialist who has worked as a professional gardener in Santa Barbara for more than 30 years. Among other clients, he’s tended to the Marymount Academy, the SBCC Wake Center, and plenty of multimillion dollar homes. Originally from a ranch town outside of Guadalajara, Mexico, he grows avocados, limes, peppers, herbs, and roses at his home near San Marcos High School. These weekly columns are translated from Spanish to English by Gustavo’s son, Gustavo, a staff member of The Santa Barbara Independent.

The Gardenator

‘What’s the best way to know I am hiring a good gardener?’

—Harry Homeowner, The Mesa

Five Signs of a Good Gardener

1) “Saber plantar plantas. Si no sabes, se mueren las p&%$# plantas.” To know how to plant plants. If you don’t know, the f%$#@ plants die.

2) “Saber como cortar sacate.” To know how to mow the lawn. There are three common patterns: straight, diagonal, and crossed-hatched. A good gardener knows all three.

3) “Saber a fertilazar.” To know how to fertilize plants and grass. Organic fertilizer is slower, but it lasts longer. After you water it, the smell goes away after a couple days.

4) “Saber a spreyar.” To know how to spray for bugs and disease. Mostly used for roses and citrus, you should consult with a nursery chemical specialist before spraying. The wrong spray and overdosing can burn and harm the plants.

5) “Saber a podar.” To know how to trim hedges, roses, and bushes, and remove weeds. A skilled gardener knows how to trim a straight, rectangular, round, and an arc form edge.

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