Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

March, 2004
Regional Report

Fertilize Indoor Plants

Longer days are triggering your indoor plants into action. Apply fertilizer at half the recommended strength to provide the nutrients necessary for growth without shocking them. I use fish emulsion on my indoor plants, but you may not like the odor in your own home.

Groom Spring-Blooming Annuals

Remove faded flowers from spring-blooming annuals, such as pansies and calendulas, to prolong the bloom. Cultivate the soil around annuals so water and nutrients can reach the roots easily.

Fertilize Citrus

If your citrus plants aren't beginning to set buds, now is the time to apply a citrus-specific fertilizer. Citrus require a different type of nitrogen than most garden plants, and it's available only in citrus fertilizer. You can purchase it at nurseries, garden centers, or online.

Prepare Garden Soil

Before you plant your summer garden, make sure the soil is in tip-top condition by amending it with organic compost, manure, rotted leaves, or all of the above. If you use chicken manure, wait a few weeks before you plant. Use a rototiller or shovel to turn the amendments into the soil to a depth of 12 to 18 inches.

Plant Summer-Blooming Bulbs

Now is the time to select and plant summer-flowering bulbs, such as callas, cannas, dahlias, gladiolus, and lilies. The bulbs should be planted in a sunny, well-drained location for best results.

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