In the Garden:
Southern California Coastal & Inland Valleys
February, 2001
Regional Report

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Tangerines are ripening in my yard, starting the garden season for this year.

Starting This Year's Garden

February in Southern California means starting a new garden. This year, we're getting our "normal" rain nicely interspersed with sunny days, enabling the soil to drink up the rain while we harvest parsley, lettuce, and tangerines. Though still possible, frosts are not probable. Our average last frost date is January 28. So now it's time to think ahead to my new gardens.



Being Realistic

It's hard to resist planting everything I see in garden centers, especially when the seeds are so small and the tiny plants are so cute. After a long, dreary winter, I'm eager to overplant, only to be swamped with tomatoes and overwhelmed with zucchini. I try to limit myself to the amount of space I have and the number of plants I can take care of well when they're mature.

Trying Something New

I do like to try something new, if just for novelty. I automatically include the veggies and posies my family will enjoy, but adding something new gives me a sense of adventure. Maybe I'll find a new favorite.

Some varieties, such as the All-America Selections winners, are widely adaptable to various growing areas - but others are not. I try to purchase those varieties that are known to do well in my immediate area. Even then, a particular vegetable or flower variety that produces well for a friend a few miles away or across town may not produce for me. So it's always good to experiment with new varieties and keep chatting with your gardening friends to find out how they perform. Gardening and spending time with friends is a good combination for me.


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