Southern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

May, 2008
Regional Report

Fertilize Strawberry Plants

Use a balanced fertilizer now and after each heavy fruit-bearing period for continued strong growth and fruit set. A seaweed and fish emulsion solution offers many micronutrients. Avoid mulching with manure, however, as strawberries are not tolerant of salt, and manure (especially chicken) has a relatively high salt level. Even with excellent irrigation and drainage, summer heat will cause this saltiness to burn the berry plants.

Plant Tender Trees

Plant citrus and other tender trees. Keep the soil well mulched to hold in moisture with fewer waterings. Insufficient watering results in stunted growth and reduced fruiting.

Fertilize Fruit Trees

Fertilize fruit trees now that they're actively growing and developing their fruit. They'll need this nutrient boost to continue providing a good leaf canopy while maturing the fruit. Micronutrients are especially important for fully-flavored fruit.

Liven Up Shady Areas With Colorful Plants

Blooming plants can brighten shady garden areas and provide lush foliage during hot summers. In dense to medium shade plant begonias, coleus, and impatiens. In light shade with partial sun plant ageratum, canterbury bells, lobelia, nicotiana, and salvias.

Choose Drought-Tolerant Shrubs

Blooming shrubs that need little water when they're mature include abelia, bottlebrush, broom, ceanothus, cotoneaster, crape myrtle, grevillea, oleander, pittosporum, pyracantha, raphiolepis, rockrose (cistus), and strawberry bush.

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