Southern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

November, 2003
Regional Report

Increase Broccoli Yields

For the greatest yields of broccoli, pinch out the main shoot a month after transplanting. This will force several large side shoots. Waiting to cut the main head after it's full size will result in more but smaller side shoots. Or sow seed for sprouting broccoli varieties to get many small shoots that will total more broccoli servings over the life of the plant.

Leave Citrus on Trees

Leave citrus fruit on the trees until you want to eat them. Many varieties become sweeter the longer they're left on the tree.

Plant Colorful Cabbage

Plant colorful ornamental cabbage and kale for vibrantly rich reds, blues, and purples to accentuate other garden colors all winter long.

Plant Bulbs

Plant the spring-blooming bulbs you've been chilling in the refrigerator for six to eight weeks, such as crocuses, hyacinths, and tulips. Some other spring bloomers -- anemones, freesias, paper white narcissus, ranunculus, sparaxis -- don't need this prechilling. For a single spectacular bloom period, plant the same type bulbs at the same depth. For longer lasting color, plant them at different depths over several weeks' time. The shallower ones will bloom first, and the deeper ones later.

Plant Annuals Over Bulbs

Plant winter color annuals above your spring- and summer-blooming bulbs for instant and long-lasting color. Some best bets include calendulas, pansies, Iceland poppies, primroses, and violas. Cyclamen are especially good in fast-draining containers in filtered dappled light. Knee-high sweet peas are wonderful, especially the fragrant ones, but keep blooms picked to encourage continuous bloom.

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