Southern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

December, 2007
Regional Report

Pick Fresh Leafy Greens All Winter Long

Fresh-picked chard, lettuce, spinach, and other greens are delicious, nutritious, and far less expensive that what's available at the supermarket. They're worth starting now for the flavor and texture they add to storebought basics.

More Winter Veggies

Keep sowing every three weeks for continuous eating: chard, kale, leeks, bibb and buttercrunch and romaine lettuces, mustards, green and bulb onions, flat-leaf parsley, peas, radishes, and savoy-leafed spinach. Water well after seeding to provide good contact between seeds and soil.

Sow Winter Posies

In seed flats, nursery beds, or scattered into the garden, sow African daisy (gazania), ageratum, alyssum, baby-blue-eyes, baby's breath (gypsophila), bachelor's buttons (centaurea), calendulas, candytuft, delphiniums, forget-me-nots, hollyhocks, impatiens, larkspur, lobelia, lunaria, lupines, nasturtiums, pansies, sweet peas, California and Iceland and Shirley poppies, verbena, and wildflowers. While seeds may not germinate immediately, they will after a stretch of warm weather, so keep seed flats moist.

Prepare For First Frost

In the greater Los Angeles basin, our first average frost is at the end of November. Protect citrus from cold damage by wrapping the trunks in newspaper and covering the foliage with plastic sheeting. Cold soil and dry winds can cause the rinds of ripening fruit to develop bleached blotches, and leaves to turn yellow where the sun strikes.

Keep Watering

If our drought continues, make sure to deep-water plants and tree roots, which aren't very efficient in absorbing moisture during cold weather. Water just as long as you do during summer, so the water sinks deeply into the soil root zone. But don't water as frequently, since there's not as much evaporation during cold weather as there is during hot weather.

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