Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

November, 2007
Regional Report

Eliminate Crabgrass

Dig out crabgrass from existing lawns. Patch the bare area with fresh soil and grass seed. Keep moist until seed germinates. Do not compost crabgrass.

Switch Cymbidium Fertilizer

It's past time to switch your cymbidium orchids to a bloom-enhancing fertilizer. Use 10-10-10 or 15-30-15 to maximize bloom spikes next spring. Fertilize every time you water with a one-half strength solution.

Plant Spring-Blooming Bulbs

Plant pre-chilled daffodils, tulips, hyacinths, and crocuses for spring bloom. Select a site in full sun, amend soil with organic compost, and add a touch of superphosphate to the planting hole. You may plant winter-blooming annuals such as primroses, pansies, or stocks directly over the resting bulbs.

Plant Bulbs in Containers

Fill a large container half full of fast-draining potting soil. Add a handful of superphosphate fertilizer and dibble into the prepared pot. Set pre-chilled daffodils, tulips, or hyacinths into the pot so that they are touching each other. A 16-inch pot may hold as many as 50 bulbs. Do not mix varieties because bloom times may differ.

Cover the bulbs with soil to within 1 inch of the rim of the pot to allow for watering. Place damp sawdust or shredded newspaper over the surface to act as a mulch and keep the bulbs cool.

Set the pots in a protected location until you begin to see growth through the mulch. Remove the mulch layer and set pots out for display.

Keep Bird Baths Clean and Full

Our feathered friends need a reliable source of clean water throughout the winter months. Clean bird baths frequently and keep them full. Set out cracked walnuts, peanuts, almond, or filberts for larger birds such as blue jays and crows.

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