Southern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

December, 2009
Regional Report

Veggies to Transplant

Transplant globe artichokes, jerusalem artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, cabbages, cauliflower, horseradish, and rhubarb; also cane berries, grapes, and strawberries.

Asparagus Depth

Planting asparagus at different depths will provide a longer harvest -- the shallow asparagus will send up its spears early in the season, and the deeper crowns will bear later.

Prune After Leaves Fall

Prune fruit trees and vines this month and next, but only when all of the leaves have fallen. This indicates that the plants are fully dormant, and pruning will not damage living tissue. Don't clip spring-blooming shrubs, however, or you'll remove this coming year's color -- wait till bloom is over. Also wait to prune outdoor fuchsias till they leaf out and you can see just what frost damage occurred.

Dormant Fruit Tree Spray

Use a dormant fruit tree spray now, at the "height" or "depth" of the dormant season, through January, whenever you can expect several days of dry weather above 40 degrees in temperature. On apricots, use lime sulfur instead of copper. If the weather stays cold, mid-February -- when fruit buds begin to show color -- is the last possibility to benefit the trees. Once the blossoms open, it's too late.

Protect Compost Pile Nutrients

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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