Southern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

February, 2007
Regional Report

Give Seedlings Chamomile Tea

Damping off of seedlings can be cured by watering several times with chamomile tea. Steep 1 tablespoon of dried chamomile in 6 cups of boiling water. Cool to lukewarm or cool before using.

Transplanting in Cold Soil

Transplant artichoke and asparagus crowns and rhubarb rhizomes, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, horseradish, kale, leeks, lettuce, onions, peas, and spinach. If the soil is still waterlogged, gently dig the hole, position the plant, and gently gather the soil around the plant's roots. Water just enough to resettle the soil around the roots. This will result in the least compaction of the soil.

Plant Last of the Bare-Root Plants

This is the last month to plant bare-root fruit and nut trees, berries, grapes, and vines. Also plant strawberries (if you didn't last fall) so they can grow well before the weather warms and they put out blossoms. Feed established deciduous fruit trees about three weeks before you expect them to bloom.

Reducing Brown Rot in Peaches

To lessen brown rot in peaches, spray again with dormant spray when three-fourths of the petals have fallen.

Catch Weeds While They're Small

Pull weeds now when they're small and before they form flowers or seeds, and you'll have fewer weed problems later. Watering the area to be weeded the day before the job will soften the soil and ease the removal of the weed's entire root system, preventing resprouting. If you pull out a weed that has already formed its seedhead, don't leave it in a walkway as mulch or compost it, unless you know your compost pile gets hot enough to destroy the seeds. This kind of "recycling" we don't need!

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