Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

March, 2012
Regional Report

Preserve Easter Lily Bulbs

Don't toss your faded potted lily plants. If planted in a spot in your garden that gets morning sun and afternoon shade the bulb will produce flowers for many years to come. Plant the bulb about three inches deeper than it was in the pot. It may take as long as a year or two for the bulb to become established in the new location.

Groom Spring Flowering Bulbs

After a bulb plant such as a daffodil or hyacinth has finished blooming remove the faded flower but retain the foliage. The foliage will feed and strengthen the bulb portion of the plant for next years bloom.

Tidy Pruning Tip

To make clean up a snap, spread a tarp under the shrub you are pruning. Simply drop the clippings directly onto the tarp. No raking or bending necessary! When you are finished, drag the tarp over to the chipper for preparation for the compost pile. If you don't have a chipper, cut the trimmings into small pieces before adding to the compost bin for faster composting.

Remove Tree Stakes

According to the arborists at Bartlett Tree Experts young trees should be encouraged to stand on their own roots as soon as possible after planting. Remove stakes as soon as the tree has become rooted in the soil. To check, take hold of the trunk and gently rock the tree back and forth. There should be no movement of the soil around the base and the tree should feel firmly attached to the ground. Trees that are tightly bound to a stake can become girdled, which chokes off the flow of water and nutrients up and down the trunk.

Add Compost to Bearded Iris Beds

To get the most from your bearded iris, apply a 1 - 2 inch layer of organic compost around the bed, leaving the upper portion of the rhizome exposed. As the flowers fade later in the season, cut the stalks back all the way to the ground. Continue watering throughout the spring and summer months.

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