Southern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

May, 2009
Regional Report

No Eating From Just-Planted Asparagus, Artichokes, Rhubarb

Take no harvests this year from the asparagus, artichokes, and rhubarb that you planted this spring. Let the plant use all its energy to develop a good root system, instead of expending it sending up more shoots.

Discard -- Don%t Compost -- Diseased Leaves

Carefully collect and destroy all leaves affected by peach-leaf curl or other diseases. Do not compost these leaves or use them as mulch, as this will spread the diseases.

Shade Bloomers

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.

Drought-Tolerant Bloomers

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.

Get Weeds Early

Continue pulling weeds before they form flowerheads or scatter their seeds, and you'll have fewer weed problems later. Watering the day before weeding will ease the chore, and weeds' entire root systems will come out more readily. If you leave pulled weeds in garden pathways for dry mulch, be sure to leave them with their roots up so they don't reroot. But don't leave weeds that have already developed their seedheads -- some seeds may mature and germinate next year. You don't want your weeds to recycle themselves!

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