Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

June, 2005
Regional Report

Fertilize Annuals

Your plants are growing gangbusters now. Give them what they need and deserve in the form of fertilizer. Fertilize annual flowers and vegetables with 15-30-15 to promote bloom. Use a half-strength solution every two weeks for best results.

Controlling Pests

Those darned aphids are out in force now. Knock them off the leaves with a flick of the finger, or a jet of water, or spray them with insecticidal soap. Caterpillars are hatching too, and hungry! Hand pick or use a Bacillus thuringiensis product for control.

Mulch Everything

Place a thick layer of mulch over anything that isn't green. Mulching will prevent weeds from growing and save you money on your water bill. Mulch also prevents fungus disease by creating a carpet under your plants that prevents water from splashing back on to the foliage. Call your local parks and recreation department to see if they will deliver, for FREE, a truckload of tree chippings to your driveway. Many cities provide this service, and it's an inexpensive way to mulch your garden.

Deterring Moles

Are moles tunneling in your lawn and driving you crazy? They are searching for yummy grubs and earthworms. If you eliminate their source of food, they will go elsewhere to dine. Mix 1 tablespoon of insecticidal soap in a 2-1/2-gallon watering can. Apply directly to the turf at high noon (when the earthworms are deep underground) to kill grubs before they hatch into beetles.

Foliar Feed Indoor Plants

Give your houseplants a treat by foliar feeding. Plants take in nutrients through the leaves as well as through the root systems, and foliar feeding is a good way to get the nutrients where they are needed most. I use a ready-made product from Fish Pharm called Salmon Plant Food. It's a little stinky, but if you open the windows for a while, you won't notice and your indoor plants will thank you!

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