Lindsay Del Carlo
Trial Garden Manager
Born and raised in Tracy, CA Lindsay grew up loving plants, but it wasn’t until 1998 that she got into gardening. After moving to Santa Cruz, she got a job assisting an older couple who were avid cooks and gardeners. The husband was a gardening expert and taught her all about plant propagation and how to grow from seed. She was in love with the gardening process from that moment on.
Lindsay entered the horticulture program at Cabrillo Community College and after only one semester as a student assistant, she was asked by the head of the department to take over the garden manager job which she did for quite some time. This led to her seeing a job posting at the college for the Trial Garden Manager position at Renee’s Garden.
She started working with Renee’s Garden in 2006 as trial garden manager. Her organic gardening and propagation background prepared her well, and she manages a crew of three assistants and grows out hundreds of varieties every season. Her varied responsibilities include planning and managing the garden, trialing similar varieties from multiple seed producers to evaluate seed quality and helping select varieties that meet our standards of easy culture and great flavor. Lindsay takes garden photos for our social media, acts as our YouTube host, and contributes the content for the “Trial Garden” column in our e-newsletter. In 2020, Lindsay also took over the complex job of purchasing the bulk seed for our many varieties.
Every spring Lindsay grows and ships all Renee’s Garden culinary herbs and scented geranium plants from her backyard home nursery. She begins by taking hundreds of cuttings from her big "mother" foundation plants. She roots them carefully in special cutting mix, and then transplants into ample pots in good potting mix so they develop into big, sturdy, well-rooted plants. She individually packs every order so it arrives in top condition, ready to pop into the garden or container.
Lindsay has three little dogs she brings daily to the trial garden that are known as her “dog entourage.” You may have seen them on our social media and YouTube videos! Fang, who recently turned 15, has been coming to the trial garden daily since he was two. Then there is Emma the chihuahua papillon, and Ranger, the heeler (a dog that needs a job). Lindsay enjoys walking her dogs at the beach in the evening after work and she is learning how to sail. She is a talented cook who shares ideas with Renee on how to enjoy bountiful produce from the trial garden.
Lindsay's garden wisdom: what you put into gardening is what you get out of it. Prepare your soil correctly and don’t neglect it. Get your watering down, be sure to thin and feed your plants so they have enough room to grow and thrive and protect your garden from pests. If you take the time to accomplish these tasks, gardening will be minimally frustrating, very satisfying, and rewarding!
Here are some of Lindsay’s favorite seed varieties:
- Flowers: Bells of Ireland, Sunflowers Heirloom Titan, and Amaranth Love Lies Bleeding
- Vegetables: Sungold Cherry Tomatoes, Chianti Rose Heirloom Slicing Tomatoes, Astia Container Zucchini, Merlin Celery, and Broccoli Raab
- Herbs: Mignonette Alpine Strawberries, Zinger Hibiscus, Italian Pesto Basil, Bicolored Shiso, and Heirloom Spearmint