Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

January, 2008
Regional Report

Water Under Eaves

Believe it or not, you have to drag out your hose if you have plants that are not receiving water from the rain. Once every other week should suffice, depending on the type of soil.

Groom Ferns

My ferns are looking pretty ratty right now. I see new growth starting to appear, so I know it's time to clear away last year's faded fronds. Cut the old fronds close to the base of the plant. Fertilize lightly with liquid fish after the annual cleaning, and your ferns will reward you with elegant new growth!

Prune Deciduous Plants

Fruit trees, roses, and any deciduous plants can be pruned safely now. Remove any dead, diseased, or injured wood, remove any rubbing or crossing branches, and finally prune for shape. Fruit trees should be kept low so you can reach the harvest later in the season. Roses, depending on variety, can be safely reduced in height by two-thirds.

Provide Extra Humidity for Indoor Plants

Many of your indoor houseplants are resting now. Cut back on water and increase humidity by spraying daily with lukewarm tap water. No fertilizer until you begin to see new growth, probably around the end of February. Christmas cactus and succulent plants should go completely dry between waterings this time of year.

Harvest Citrus

Citrus are ready to harvest when they pull easily from the tree. Be careful not to twist or break branches when harvesting. Lemons, grapefruit, oranges, tangerines, and even little kumquats should be ripening now. It's important to remove ripe citrus from the tree, so share the wealth with your friends!

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