Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

June, 2009
Regional Report

Mow Wild Grasses

Use a string trimmer to cut down wild grass. If you have an unlandscaped part of your garden, it's important to mow down the wild grass that grew during the winter. Fire safety is the primary reason to mow, but tall grass is also a good cover for snakes and rodents. Leave the mown grass on the ground to act as a mulch.

Plant Tuberous Begonias

Tuberous begonias require warm soil temperatures to set root and bloom. They are native to tropical and subtropical regions of the world. Place a tuber, concave side up, in soil rich in organic compost. Plant the tuber by pushing it gently half way into the soil. Water immediately after planting and fertilize biweekly after new growth appears with 22-14-14 until buds appear. Then switch to 15-30-15.
No water on the foliage please.

Fertilize Shade-Loving Plants

Shade-loving plants don't use water as quickly as plants grown in full sun. They also don't use fertilizer at the same rate. A good way to fertilize plants growing in the shade is to use a slow-release fertilizer, which is usually applied directly into the soil surrounding the plant. These products will release fertilizer at a slow rate for as long as three months each time the plants are watered.

Prune Star Jasmine

After the first bloom, star jasmine (trachelospermum) starts to grow like crazy! Use hedge shears or clippers to cut off the long stringers to keep plants compact and promote another bloom. When I was gardening at Sunset, we cut the runners individually with hand shears. It was backbreaking work, but the plants never looked like they had been touched when we were through.

Harvest Citrus

Don't leave fruit hanging on citrus trees. Harvest any leftover lemons, limes, oranges, and tangerines when the fruit pulls easily away from the stem. Rake up any fallen fruit and dispose of in the compost pile.

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