Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

August, 2003
Regional Report

Deadhead Agapanthus

Remove the faded flowers from agapanthus now. If you hurry, you may get another bloom from these hardy plants! Cut the flower stems at the base near the foliage to improve the appearance.

Clean Up Garden

Rake and clean garden beds to remove fallen foliage and debris. Slugs, insects, and fungus spores prefer trashy gardens to clean ones. By removing their favored hiding places, you reduce the amount of insect damage and disease in your garden.

Caring for Rhododendrons

This is your last chance to prune and shape rhododendrons and azaleas before they begin to set their buds for next spring. Fertilize the plants with a high-acid fertilizer after pruning to encourage maximum bloom.

Mulch Maples

Mulch around the base of ornamental maple trees. Acer japonica such as 'Burgundy Lace' will lose foliage color if reflected heat from nearby driveways and sidewalks is too hot. Mulching the surface of the soil under the plants keeps the ground cool and prevents colors from fading. Keep the layer of mulch a few inches from the base of the trunk to avoid fungus problems.

Plant Winter Annuals

Start seeds now for your winter annual garden. Pansies, calendula, ornamental kale, and stock can be started from seed now for planting out while the soil is still warm to the touch in October and early November. By planting from seed, you have a much larger selection of varieties available, plus it's much less expensive than planting from nursery stock.   

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