Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

May, 2005
Regional Report

Check and Repair Irrigation Systems

All irrigation systems should be up and running now. Turn on and examine automatic systems. Plugged heads should be removed and cleaned or replaced. Make sure that sprinkler heads are pointed in the right direction; no sense in watering the sidewalk. Drip systems should be flushed and adjusted as necessary.

Plant Anything You Please

Plant corn, tomatoes, eggplant, and other warm-season crops now. The soil is warm and the days are long -- perfect for planting those yummy vegetables. Protect new plants from cutworms and earwigs by surrounding them with fireplace ashes or cans with both ends cut off.

Protect Your House From Wildfire

The wet winter has caused grasses to grow high this year. Protect your family and property by mowing down tall, dry grass near buildings. Remove overhanging branches from roofs and don't stack firewood near the house.

Plant Color in Shady Locations

Plant impatiens and coleus in shady locations of your garden. The brilliant foliage on coleus is as colorful as any flower. Plants that live in deep shade require less water than those in the sun. Water according to soil moisture. If it feels dry to the touch, it's time to water.

Plant Tuberous Begonias

Tuberous begonias are available in 4-inch pots now. Plant in oak leaf compost in a shady location. Contrary to popular belief, tuberous begonias don't need much water during the dry summer months. Water plants in the ground once a week, and fertilize every other week with 22-14-14 until buds begin to form. Once buds form, switch to 15-30-15 to maximize flower production. Never water tuberous begonias overhead.

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