Southern California Coastal & Inland Valleys
Shows & Events
The Southern California Camellia Society's 29th Annual Camellia Show is happening on February 17 & 18 - Saturday, noon to 4:30 p.m., and Sunday, 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at Huntington Botanic Garden in San Marino. Displays of the South's best, biggest, and most beautiful camellia flowers will be exhibited. Demonstrations of pruning, grafting, and other techniques will be held. Be sure to also enjoy 10 acres of blooming camellias in the Japanese Garden and North Vista areas of the gardens. For more information, call (626) 405-2140, or visit the Web site at (www.huntington.org)
Tracking Chill Hours
Fruit trees need a certain amount of "chill hours" in winter to produce fruit the next season. In cold winter areas, it's not an issue, but in mild winter locations such as our region, it can be the difference between a good harvest and a poor one.
Chill hours begin to accumulate at temperatures below 60F, so you'd think we'd have no problem getting high numbers. However, temperatures above 65F cancel out the already accumulated chill hours, so each day is a seesaw of adding to and reducing the final total. Coastal areas can count on at least 100-200 of chill hours each winter; inland valleys can hope for 300-500.
Sunset magazine suggests growing "low chill requirement" fruit tree varieties, those that grow well with a minimum of chill hours, in our region. Some good bets include apricots ('Royal', 'Katy', 'Gold Kist'), nectarines ('Desert Delight', 'Goldmine', 'Panamint', 'Snow Queen'), peaches ('Babcock', 'Bonita', 'Mid-Pride', 'Red Baron', 'Santa Barbara'), and plums ('Beauty', 'Burgundy', 'Satsuma', 'Weeping Santa Rosa'). Check local nurseries, Web sites, and catalogs for these varieties.