Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

March, 2011
Regional Report

Mulch Blueberries

Blueberries require acid soil so mulching with pine needles makes perfect sense. Apply a 4 inch layer of pine needles around the drip line and at least 2 inches away from the main stem of the plant.

Repot Cactus

Late winter or early spring is the ideal time to transplant potted cactus. Use a dedicated cactus potting mix or other fast draining soil for best results. After transplanting, use a low nitrogen, high phosphorus fertilizer such as tomato food. Allow the soil to dry completely between waterings.

Try Rugosa Roses Along the Coast

If you have tried and failed to grow roses near the sea, try rugosa varieties. Rugosa roses will tolerate salt air and cool temperatures and actually prefer the sandy, loose soil at the seaside. Provide as much sun as possible.

Mulch Perennial Herbs

Perennial and biennial herbs such as parsley, tarragon, and oregano will benefit from four inches of mulch applied around the base of the plants. Lawn clippings make an excellent mulch that releases nitrogen as it breaks down. Just don't place the "green" mulch too near the base of the plant; place it a couple of inches out from the crown of the plant.

Remove Pollen Stains with Tape

Lilies are notorious for staining fabric. These beautiful cut flowers can be enjoyed without fear of damage to clothing and upholstery by removing the anthers once the flowers open. Should you indadvertantly get pollen from a lily bloom on your clothing, remove it with tape wrapped around your fingers, sticky side out. The oil from your hands will set the stain, so try not to touch it other than with the tape.

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