Southern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

February, 2011
Regional Report

Last Winter Pruning

Finish heavy pruning of dormant trees, shrubs that will bloom in summer and fall, roses, grapes, and berries this month, preferably before they've budded out but as soon as possible in any case!

Paint Deciduous Tree Trunks

To prevent sunburn damage that invites borers and other critters. paint exposed trunks and large limbs with off-white, matte, interior latex paint mixed half and half with water. This will reflect the sun. Repaint every couple of years to renew.

Plant Potatoes in Well-Prepared Soil

Place potatoes in a four-inch-deep trench into the bottom of which you've dug sand or compost, and cover the cut-and-calloused pieces of potatoes or small whole tubers with more compost to the original soil level. Water lightly, just to settle the soil close to the seed pieces.

Choose the Right Carrots for your Soil

When choosing carrot varieties, consider the heaviness of your soil. Sow short, stubby carrots in heavy clay soils and longer, tapered ones in looser sandy soil. Tips of the tap roots will grow four to six inches further down than the edible portion.

Feed Fruit Trees and Bloomers

Feed established deciduous fruit trees, groundcovers, shrubs, roses, perennials, and trees with slow-release food (compost, bone meal, cottonseed meal, blood meal, or well-rotted manure) to provide plants with consistent and gradual nutrition throughout the season.

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