Southern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

December, 2008
Regional Report

Plant Asparagus At Different Depths

Planting asparagus at different depths will provide a longer seasonal harvest -- the shallow asparagus will send up its spears early in the season, and the deeper crowns will bear later. Keep both well-mulched with manure throughout the year, adding more as it blends into the soil.

Harvest Outer Leaves of Lettuce

Harvest leaf crops such as lettuce and spinach by removing only the outer leaves. Let the three or four center leaves develop further. Thus, the plant continues growing -- and you continue harvesting -- throughout the season until spring warmth causes the plant to go to seed. By then, you'll soon be harvesting spring-sown or transplanted greens to supply your salads.

More Bulb Planting

Plant more spring-blooming bulbs early this month, and save some to plant from mid-February through mid-March for extended bloom through late spring.

Winter Transplanting Tip

When transplanting, be careful to not compact the soil, now that it's thoroughly cold and moist. After gently gathering the soil back around the transplant's roots, barely water it in -- just enough to settle the plant. Tamping the soil more than lightly will damage the soil tilth by compression.

Cover the Compost Pile

Cover the compost pile loosely with a tarp or black plastic to hold in heat and keep rain from leaching out the valuable nutrients.

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