Southern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

March, 2012
Regional Report

Start Herb Seeds or Cuttings

Herbs to start from seed include anise, basil, chervil, chives, cilantro (coriander), dill, fennel, lavender, marjoram, oregano, parsley, and savory; transplant mint, rosemary, sage, tarragon, and thyme (these don't come "true" from seed). Herbs make great landscaping plants, as well. Chives add attractive, spear-like foliage among blooming plants. Rosemary and woolly thyme make attractive, drought-tolerant, trouble-free ground covers.

Give Fruiting Veggies Plenty of Sun

An average of six hours of direct sun daily is the minimum amount necessary for leaf and rooting crops like lettuce and carrots. At least eight is necessary for blossoming and fruiting crops like tomatoes and squash.

Carefully Grasp Seedlings

Be gentle with all seedlings. Handle the little plants by their root clumps or leaves rather than stems, and never squeeze them tightly. They will grow new leaves and roots, but can't develop new stems.

Remove Strawberry Blossoms

Pluck off strawberry blossoms through April or whenever the warm weather has settled in for good so the plant's first real burst of fruiting energy can concentrate into large sweet berries rather than small tart ones. Unless, of course, you're desperately waiting for that very first berry, even if it is tart.

Scatter Wildflower Seeds

Wildflowers can still be sown and are suitable in many areas where other plantings don't seem to thrive since they want lean, unamended soil.

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