Southern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

December, 2003
Regional Report

Clean Garden Debris

Clean up all garden debris, and compost it, except for the diseased items which should be discarded. Leaving debris in the garden provides harboring areas for overwintering pests. Periodically rough up soil surfaces to bring these pests and their egg cases to the surface where they'll die of exposure.

Cover the Compost Pile

Cover the compost pile loosely with a tarp or black plastic to hold in heat and keep rain from leaching out the valuable nutrients.

Caring for Tools

Thoroughly clean, sharpen, and oil tools and apply linseed oil to wood handles. Store tools in a protected area, as severe weather and moisture contribute to their premature aging. Coat the underside of your lawn mower with used oil to inhibit rust and help keep grass clippings from sticking, thus enabling easier cleanup.

Provide for Birds

Provide feeding stations for winter\'s hungry birds, and keep them well- supplied with seeds, suet, and water. They\'ll reward you in the spring and summer by eating the garden\'s undesirable insects.

Make Notes for Next Year\\\'s Garden

Make notes on last year\\\'s garden while your memory is still fresh. Your initial choices, impressions, and the results of last year\\\'s garden will provide a starting point for next year\\\'s choices.

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