Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

June, 2012
Regional Report

Protect Young Trees

The delicate layer just under the bark of trees delivers nutrients from the roots to the foliage. If it is damaged the tree may die. To protect young trees from string trimmers and mowers, simply cut the bottom off of a one gallon plastic container, make a slit in the side and slip it around the base of the young trunk to act as a protective collar. The plastic collar can be left in place until the trunk outgrows it.

Water Prior to Weeding

The best way to permanently remove perennial weeds from the soil is to remove the entire root. The best way to get the whole thing is to water the soil before pulling. Roots will slip easily from damp soil if you grasp them firmly near the base and use something to pry and loosen the soil, lifting and pulling at the same time.

Wait To Water

After pulling weeds from a bed wait a few days before applying water. Weeds inadvertently left on the ground will spring back to life if they receive a drink right away. Allow the weed roots to dry and die before you water again.

Sprout a Sweet Potato to Amaze Young Gardeners

Sweet potatoes are related to morning glory (Convolvulus) and are very easy to grow. Young gardeners love to watch the vigorous vines. Select a large sweet potato from the market and place it, pointed end down, in a glass jar. The top half of the potato should be above the water. Set the prepared sweet potato in a sunny window and stand back! In a few days you will see the eyes begin to sprout and grow.

Protect Blueberries

Blueberries are members of the heather family (Ericaceae). They are just beginning to ripen now and need protection from hungry birds. Cover plants with netting or floating row covers and harvest the berries daily as they ripen.

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