Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

April, 2012
Regional Report

Groom Spring Blooming Bulbs

When spring blooming bulbs such as daffodils and tulips have finished blooming, remove the faded flowers and continue watering the foliage until it begins to turn yellow. A small application of a balanced fertilizer will help make next years bulbs strong. Once the foliage is dry, pull it and compost it.

Putter in the Garden

April is the perfect time to putter in your garden. Everything is looking its best, and you should be able to enjoy your time outdoors, gently guiding new growth by pinch pruning, keeping azaleas and rhododendrons looking their best by removing the faded flowers, and of course, pulling the stray weed that may have wandered in.

Plant Lettuce in Containers

Lettuce can be grown in a large container if in-ground planting beds are full. Loose leaf varieties such as romaine will grow faster than heading types, such as iceberg. Combine several varieties in one pot and harvest only the tender young leaves until the container stops producing. Then simply replant again! Be sure to wash home grown lettuce well. Lettuce is a favorite meal of nasty little slugs.

Transplant Seedlings

It's best to transplant seedlings when the are small. Wait until the first set of true of leaves appear, then separate and lift seedlings gently from the soil using a flat stick or small spoon. They should be handled by the root rather than the stem. Replant in a larger container and wait until you begin to see new growth before fertilizing with half-strength liquid fish fertilizer.

Recycle an Old Wooden Ladder

A ladder is an essential piece of gardening equipment. But when it becomes too old and rickety to be trusted for climbing, recycle it into a garden trellis. Runner beans, climbing roses, and many types of flowering annual vines such as morning glory and canary bird vine like to have an upright support to call home. Old ladders fit the bill perfectly, and they can be reused from year to year. The older and more weathered they are, the better!

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