Southern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

March, 2008
Regional Report

Plant an Array of Lettuces

For a variety of lettuce flavors, textures, and colors, choose different types -- dark green, light green, red, bronze, butterhead, looseleaf, romaine, and crisphead. Replant every three weeks for continuous harvests of young, sweet, succulent leaves and heads. Choose varieties that are heat resistant, bolt resistant, and less likely to turn bitter when they mature during hot weather.

Transplant Cool-Season Veggies and Bare-Root Fruits

This is the last month to transplant artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, and rhubarb. Also finish planting strawberry, blackberry, and raspberry roots so they'll bear a good crop of fruit this year.

Give Veggies Needed Sun

An average of six hours of direct sun daily is the minimum amount necessary for leaf and rooting crops like lettuce and carrots. At least 8 hours are necessary for blossoming and fruiting crops like tomatoes and squash.

Fertilize Lawns

Lawns have begun growing vigorously again so they need their spring feeding and more frequent mowing. Keep the mower engine tuned and the blade sharpened for quick, clean cutting of the grass blades. Ragged edges die back and invite diseases. The less you feed your lawn, the less you'll have to mow it.

Multiplying Perennials

Divide and replant perennials that are crowded or that had sparse blooms last season. These include agapanthus, Japanese anemones, asters, coral bells, Michaelmas and Shasta daisies, daylilies, fountain grass, iceplant, ivy, lantana, phlox, verbena, and yarrow. Water the area the day before to ease digging up the entire root systems. When you separate the clumps, make sure each has a good portion of root system. Add humus to the new planting area, spread out the roots, and water to settle them in.

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