Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

May, 2011
Regional Report

Plant Basil

To ensure a good crop of basil throughout the summer, stagger your plantings to every two weeks. That way you will always have a good crop ready for harvesting. Protect basil from hungry slugs and snails by mulching under the plants with fireplace ashes. Allow older basil plants to go to seed -- bees love basil!

Plant Aromatic Herbs for Pest Control

Plant highly scented herbs such as lavender, rosemary, and sage among potatoes, tomatoes, beans, and lettuce to keep slugs and snails under control. The essential oils in these plants are disagreeable to most mollusk pests.

Protect Citrus From Scale

Petroleum jelly spread around the trunk of citrus trees will prevent ants from taking up residence and farming scale insects. The ants will not cross the petroleum barrier.

Compost Weeds

Weeds that have gone to seed can be composted only if your pile gets hot enough to sterilize and kill the seed; 160 degrees is the ideal. Perennial weeds that grow from the root will also be rendered harmless by high composting temperatures. Compost piles do best in full sun.

Plant Garlic to Protect Roses and Peaches

Folklore says that planting garlic around the drip line of roses and peaches will protect those plants from fungus disease. Break a head of garlic into cloves and place them pointed end up in loose, fast draining soil. Why not try this method? What have you got to lose?

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