Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

June, 2011
Regional Report

Check Self Watering Pots

Self-watering pots only work if there is water in the reservoir. Check to see if they need filling. You can add 1/4 strength fertilizer solution to the reservoir. Use a funnel for narrow openings to prevent spills.

Pamper Perennials

Many perennial plants are just beginning to emerge. Astilbe, aquilegia and helleborus should have a fresh layer of organic compost applied around the drip line to supply necessary nutrients to support the early spring burst of growth.

Groom Japanese Maples

Japanese maples (Acer japonica) traditionally have a lot of dead twigs among the branches this time of year. Use hand shears to remove any wood that is no longer viable. By removing the dead stuff, you increase air circulation and light to the interior of the tree when new growth begins in the spring.

Plant a Peanut Container

Plant a few shelled, unroasted peanuts in a large container using fresh potting soil. The legumes should be planted 1 - 2 inches below the surface of the soil. Keep the soil damp until foliage emerges, usually in 10 - 14 days. Once the flowers appear, keep the soil moist at all times. Make sure the flowers stay in contact with the soil.
Peanuts can be harvested by turning the pot out 120 days after planting.

Harvest Chamomile for Tea

Chamomile is best when harvested just as the petals of the flowers begin to bend backward. Select blooms that are beginning to turn brown in the center. Pluck gently to not disturb blooms that are not ready for harvest. Store harvested flowers in paper, not plastic, bags. German chamomile (Matricaria recutita) will perform better in clay soil and has a sweeter flavor than the Roman variety.

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