Southern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

January, 2005
Regional Report

Sow Veggies

Seeds that can be planted now to sprout outdoors (given a little time) include chard, kale, leeks, bibb and iceberg lettuces, mustards, green and bulb onions, flat-leaf parsley, peas, radishes, and savoy spinach.

Spread Plastic on Outdoor Beds

You can help seeds germinate -- and early seedlings grow -- by covering the seed beds or trays outdoors with clear plastic sheeting after watering them in. Although the plastic doesn't alleviate very much of the chill from cold nights, it does help the soil absorb daytime warmth, and it lessens evaporation. This provides the seeds with a more comfortable environment in which to sprout and develop.

Transplant Veggies

Transplant broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, chard, garlic, kale, leeks, lettuce, green and bulb onions, flat-leaf parsley, radishes, and savoy spinach. Plant cole crops up to the first set of leaves to prevent their maturing into weak, leggy, less-productive plants.

Plant Small Fruits

Plant grapes, berry vines, and strawberries from now through March. If you made tip cuttings from last year\'s berry canes, they should be well rooted. Cut off the cane above the third node from the rooted tip and transplant these new cuttings.

Sow Flowers

Outdoors sow ageratums, alyssum, bachelor\'s buttons, calendulas, candytuft, celosia, columbines, coreopsis, English daisies (bellis), delphiniums, dianthus, forget-me-nots, four-o\' clocks, hollyhocks, larkspur, silver dollar plant (lunaria), pansies, California and Shirley poppies, salvias, snapdragons, stocks, sweet peas, sweet william, and native wildflowers. Inside, in a warm and brightly lit place, sow the above (except for California poppies), as well as asters, balsam, cosmos, African daisies (gazania), dianthus, gaillardias, impatiens, lobelia, marigolds, nicotiana, petunias, phlox, statice, verbena, and vinca.

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