Southern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

December, 2010
Regional Report

Sweeter After Frost

Cole crops (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kohlrabi) and Jerusalem artichokes (sunchokes) will taste sweeter when harvested after the first hard frost, when the chill turns some of the vegetable starch into sugar.

Next Dormant Spray

If you missed Thanksgiving's scheduled dormant spray application on your fruit trees, spray as soon as possible now. It's always better to apply it late rather than wait for the next scheduled time, for long-lasting coverage. The second scheduled spray, at the "height" or "depth" of the dormant season, can be made anytime from now through mid-January, whenever you can expect several days of dry weather above 40 degrees in temperature. On apricots, use lime sulfur instead of copper.

Frost and Sunscald Protection for Tree Trunks

Provide protection for deciduous tree trunks, as the trees can be damaged more by first frosts than by later ones. Sunscald is also a problem during the winter, especially on the south- and west-facing surfaces of young trees with thin barks.

Discard (Don't Compost) Fruit "Mummies"

Destroy these shriveled fruits rather than composting them to avoid spreading any diseases they may carry.

Last Year's Gardening Notes

Make notes on last year's garden while your memory is still fresh. Your initial choices, impressions and the results of this year's garden will provide a starting point for next year's choices.

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