Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

March, 2011
Regional Report

Complete Dormant Season Pruning

Sap is beginning to flow now that days are getting longer. If you haven't finished your winter pruning chores, get moving! Prune to remove dead, diseased, and broken branches, stimulate flowering and fruiting, or rejuvenate old plants.

Capture Rainwater for Indoor Plants

As the rainy season comes to an end, give your indoor plants a treat by capturing rain water from down spouts. Tropical plants will benefit from a thorough soaking in the mineral-free water. Use buckets or gallon containers to collect and store rain water.

Irrigate Bearded Iris

Water bearded iris growing in fast draining soil weekly during periods of little or no rain; cut back to biweekly watering for those growing in heavy clay soils. Fertilize with a moderate nitrogen fertilizer (15-30-15) as growth continues through the bloom season.

Organize Garden Chemicals

Sort and store fertilizers and garden chemicals including fungicides, oils and baits in a dry, cool area. Discard containers if you can no longer read the label instructions.

Plant Astilbe

If you have a shady area in your garden, you have the ideal spot for astilbe. Astilbe is valued for its light, airy flowers and handsome foliage. Bareroot plants are available now. Dig a shallow hole 24 inches across, mounding the soil slightly in the center. Fan the roots across the mound and cover the roots with fresh potting soil or the original soil amended with organic compost. The growth tip should lie just below the surface. Water well after planting to settle the soil. Plants increase in size as they age.

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Special Report - Garden to Table

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