Southern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

April, 2004
Regional Report

Keep Lettuce Coming

Continue reseeding a flat of heat-tolerant leaf lettuce throughout the summer to have seedlings to plant into unused spots as earlier crops are harvested.

Plant Herbs

Sow or transplant anise, basil, borage, burnet, catnip, chervil, chives, cilantro (when it's seed, it's called coriander), comfrey, dill, fennel, lavender, marjoram, mint, oregano, rosemary, sage, savory, tarragon, and thyme. Many perennial herbs make attractive, drought-tolerant, trouble-free landscaping plants. Herbs that also produce well indoors are dwarf green or dark opal basil, chervil, chives, dill, marjoram, oregano, parsley, savory, and thyme.

Feed Roses

Feed roses heavily to ready them for their long blooming season. Incorporate manure, bonemeal, and cottonseed meal within the plant dripline to a depth of 3 inches. Water deeply. Every week or so until fall, prune the spent blooms down to the next lower five-part leaf, feed lightly, and water. Repeating this process throughout the season will encourage continuous bloom. Water only in the morning or early afternoon to lessen mildew and other disease problems.

Don't Recycle Weeds

Continue pulling weeds before they form seedheads or scatter their seeds, and you'll have fewer weed problems later. Weeding the day after watering will ease the chore, and the entire root system will come out more readily. If you leave pulled weeds in garden pathways for dry mulch, be sure to leave them with their roots up so they don't reroot themselves. But don't leave weeds that have already developed their seedheads; some seeds may mature and germinate next year. You don't want to recycle your weeds!

Prune Winter Damage

Prune frost-damaged wood once the plant or tree has completely leafed out and you can easily see just what wood is dead. If you're in doubt, wait another month to avoid pruning wood that was just late in leafing out. By midsummer, any remaining dead wood will be obvious.

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