Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

February, 2011
Regional Report

Citrus to Repel Skunks

Skunks dislike the smell of citrus so to keep them from digging up your garden, place orange, lemon or tangerine peels in the affected areas. Imagine a skunk having a fussy nose?

Top Dress Lawns

Add a 1/2 - 1 inch layer of compost or manure over existing lawns. Use the back side of a metal rake to work the material into the foliage. Top dressing is the preferred organic method of providing nutrients to turf grass.

Groom Hillside Shrubs

Over the years, plants that live on a hillside accumulate debris on the uphill side. Gravity carries leaf litter and soil which covers the base of the trunks. Eventually, the litter will cause fungus disease and the trunk will rot. Clear the debris away from each trunk with a narrow rake or gloved hands.

Water Cyclamen Correctly

Cyclamen grow from a bulb which is susceptible to rot. To water cyclamen correctly, soak the pot in a basin or bucket of water only to the level of the soil. If the plants are in the ground, water around the base of the plant only, never the foliage. Keeping the bulb dry will keep the plants healthy.

Purchase Summer Blooming Bulbs

Summer blooming bulbs should be planted when the soil is warm to the touch. Purchase dahlia, tuberous begonia, tigridia, lilies, gladiolas, colchicum, and allium in preparation for spring planting. Many on-line sources are available for purchasing bulbs or check your local nursery.

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