Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

March, 2008
Regional Report

Supply Nesting Material

Set out a net bag full of yarn scraps, raffia, and pet fur for nesting birds. Wool, dryer lint, and even Easter basket grass will be appreciated by expecting mothers. Fill a recycled plastic net bag (the kind oranges and onions come in) with a variety of nesting material and hang in a protected location.

Check Irrigation Systems

It's almost time to get your irrigation system back in order. Remove and flush sprinkler heads, clean nozzles with a toothpick, and make sure automatic clocks are in good working order. Drip systems should be examined and repaired as necessary.

Cultivate Soggy Soil

Prevent weed seeds from germinating by frequently cultivating the soil. Cultivation allows nutrients and oxygen to reach the root zone and discourages small weeds from becoming established. Pansies especially love cultivation.

Fertilize Roses

Roses are growing like crazy now and need a boost of nutrients. Add a handful of chelated iron to a slow-release balanced fertilizer (18-6-12) and apply at the roots. Dibble into the soil for best results, then stand back!

Hoe or Pull Weeds

Weeds rob nutrients, light, and water from valuable ornamental plants. Pull or hoe them before they become established or begin to set seeds. If you have a large area such as a side yard that you won't be planting for a while, cover with thick pads of newspaper and then apply a layer of decorative mulch. When you are ready to plant, simply rototill the whole mess into the soil.

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