Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

March, 2001
Regional Report

Remove Bulb Flowers


Daffodils and narcissus will form a stronger bulb for next year if you remove the faded flower before it can make a seed. If you prevent the flower from making a seed pod, the energy will go into strengthening the foliage and bulbs instead. Continue watering bulbs until the foliage begins to turn yellow, then remove the foliage.

Fertilize Indoor Plants

Longer days are triggering your indoor plants into new growth. To help the plant grow strong, apply fertilizer at 1/2 the recommended strength when you water. This amount will add the nutrients necessary for growth without shocking the plants with too much fertilizer all at once.

Groom Annuals

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

Add Organic Fertilizer


Chemical fertilizers encourage rapid new growth, which is more susceptible to insect, drought, and frost damage. Instead, provide your plants with slow-release nutrients by applying organic compost as a mulch to the soil surface. Each time you water, nutrients will be delivered to the roots.

Apply Mulch


Apply a layer of shredded bark, leaves, or newspaper mulch around shrubs, trees, and perennials to prevent moisture loss and keep weed seeds from germinating. Avoid inorganic mulches made of plastic, which will protect the surface of the soil but won't break down or improve the soil.

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