Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

September, 2012
Regional Report

Harvest Chamomile

Use a large toothed comb to harvest chamomile flowers. Drawing the teeth of the comb through the stems will pull off the flowers much more easily than picking by hand. Once harvested, dry chamomile flowers in a single layer on a screen or cheese cloth to allow for maximum air circulation. Once the flowers are dry, store long term in a paper bag.

Propagate Succulents

Succulent plants such as echeveria, sedum, and aeonium can be propagated easily from cuttings. The secret is to take the cutting, then allow it to dry for several days prior to planting in the soil. Drying allows the cutting to form a callus that will not rot when the new plant is watered. Dry cuttings in a protected location away from direct sun. Plant in fast draining soil or sand.

Cultivate Soil

Open the surface of the soil with a cultivating tool around annual and perennial plants. Cultivation allows moisture and oxygen to penetrate the soil and dislodges weed seeds before they can germinate. Cultivation also drives roots deeper into the soil so that plants are better able to withstand drought.

Renovate Turf Grass

Fall is the ideal time to renovate turf grass lawns. Remove built up layers of thatch by raking or using a dedicated thatching tool. Thatch is the layer of dead grass that falls to the ground during regular mowing. Thatch builds a barrier between the surface of the soil and the growing grass that prevents water and nutrients from reaching the roots. Once the thatch has been removed, top dress with organic compost and, using a metal bow rake, scuffle lightly into the lawn. Reseed any damaged areas.

Care for Citrus

Oranges, lemons, tangerines, and lime trees should be kept continuously moist throughout the late summer and fall while the fruit is setting. Allowing trees to dry between watering will cause immature fruit to drop. Apply a slow release, balanced fertilizer to maximize harvest.

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