Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys
Trim Exuberant Shrubs
Keep shrubs under control by trimming new growth as it tries to make an escape along paths and sidewalks. A quick clip now will prevent heavy pruning later in the season. Native species such as Ceanothus are growing full speed now, so feel free to keep them in control with some gentle "guidance."
Keep fuchsias blooming by tip pruning. Fuchsia only blooms on new wood, so by encouraging the plants to create new growth you will increase the bloom. Fuchsias are heavy feeders so pour on the acid fertilizer every two weeks during the growing season.
The soil is finally warm enough to plant warm season crops such as tomatoes. Amend the soil with organic compost, manure and oyster shell lime for calcium to prevent blossom end rot. Tomatoes should be planted deeply and will form roots along the stem. Remove the bottom leaves of the plant and cover with soil. Tomatoes are deep rooted and should be watered infrequently and deeply. Fertilize with 15-30-15 applied at 1/2 strength every two weeks. Then stand back! If your tomatoes did not do well last season, move the plants to a new location in full sun.
Keep roses blooming by removing the spent flowers or, cut rose buds for yourself and to share with neighbors and friends. Once roses begin to go to seed (set hips) they will stop blooming. Prevent hips from forming by removing faded flowers. Some varieties, including heritage roses and some miniatures, will bloom only once during the season so nothing you can do will encourage them to bloom again.
Fertilize New Asparagus Beds
Newly planted asparagus beds should be encouraged to spread roots and grow as much foliage as possible during the first two seasons prior to harvesting. Use a balanced slow release product to provide a continuous source of nutrients during the active growing season.