Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

March, 2009
Regional Report

Pull Those Weeds!

They are everywhere this year! Weeds steal water and nutrients from your good garden plants. Please don't spray them, but pull, chop, or mow them down before the go to seed. Pulled weeds can be left on the surface of the soil to add nutrients and texture and act as a mulch, but not if they have already set seed.

Deadhead Bulb Flowers

Spring-blooming bulbs should be deadheaded so that the bulb can focus on gathering nutrients from the existing foliage instead of making seed. The foliage will strengthen the bulb in the soil so that you will have a gorgeous display for next year's spring garden. Once the foliage begins to turn yellow, withhold water. The fading foliage can be bundled with rubber bands for a more tidy look. Remove when the dry foliage pulls easily from the soil.

Wake-Up Time for Indoor Cactus

Your indoor cactus plants should be treated to a good soaking now. Add liquid fish or a cactus specific fertilizer and you will be rewarded with a glorious bloom in a few weeks' time.

Oak Caterpillars

Oak moth caterpillars will be hatching soon. Look for small, green worms hanging on silken webs. If there appears to be an infestation of caterpillars that the birds can't control, apply Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) in spray form when the caterpillars are active in the morning hours.

Fertilize Lawns

Give lawns a wake-up call by applying fertilizer now. Fertilizer high in nitrogen will promote lush new growth, but also may encourage some fungus diseases. Mow prior to applying fertilizer and water immediately after application. Don't forget to sweep walks and driveways after applying fertilizer to prevent stains.

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