Southern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

January, 2009
Regional Report

No Feeding of Frost Damaged Plants

Plants that have frost damage should not be fertilized till spring growth begins, when more frost is unlikely.

No Pruning of Frost-Damaged Foliage

If plants are damaged by frost, don't remove any of the dead foliage or branches. Plants may look messy, but these damaged portions will protect sensitive growth further inside the plants from later frosts. Wait to start trimming until growth begins in spring -- you may find that branches which appeared dead are alive and well after all.

Enjoying Your Amaryllis Forever

Caring for a gift amaryllis so it'll bloom again is easy. After it's through blooming, cut off the bloom stalk about an inch above where it emerges from the bulb. Place the plant in a warm, sunny place to grow. Water it generously, and fertilize regularly until Labor Day. Watering with a quarter-strength houseplant fertilizer solution each time will provide constant feeding for gradual growth. Don't let the soil get dry at any time, as this will disrupt the cycle. During the summer, a spot in filtered sun outdoors is fine. Flower buds set better in fall when night temperatures are cooler, from 50 to 55 degrees.

Transplanting Without Compacting

When transplanting, be careful to not compact the soil, now that it's thoroughly cold and moist. Dig and replace the soil gently, and barely water in the transplant -- just enough to settle the roots. Do not stomp it with your hand or foot. Tamping the soil more than lightly will damage the soil tilth by compression.

Transplanting Veggies

Transplant artichoke and asparagus crowns and rhubarb rhizomes, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbages, cauliflower, chard, garlic, kale, leeks, lettuce, green and bulb onions, flat-leaf parsley, radishes, and savoy spinach. Plant cole crops up to the first set of leaves to prevent their maturing into weak, leggy, less-productive plants.

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