Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

September, 2012
Regional Report

Disbud Chrysanthemums

To grow prize-winning flowers, remove all but one bud from the stems on chrysanthemums. By removing all the side buds, the growth energy will be directed to the remaining flower. Pinch off any other buds as they develop.

Splint Bent Stems

Did you accidentally bend a stem, or is a flower to heavy for the stem to support it? You can make a splint from a plastic straw that has been sliced lengthwise. Carefully place the straw around the floppy stem to support the flower until it has faded. This is only a temporary solution and the straw should be removed eventually.

Freeze Herb Harvest

If your herb garden is producing more than you can use, freeze the excess. Harvest herbs as usual, clean, then finely chop. Combine several herbs in one bowl. For example, oregano, basil and rosemary make a tasty mix. Cover the prepared herbs with chicken stock and then pour the mixture into ice cube trays and place in the freezer. Once the herbs are frozen, remove the cubes from the trays and store in plastic bags for use in soups, stews, or spaghetti sauce.

Wait to Weed After Watering

Don't water immediately after you had pulled weeds. Any weeds remaining on the surface of the soil will easily revive if watered right away. Allow them to dry in the sun for a few days prior to watering, just to make sure they don't resurrect.

Deadhead Dahlias

Dahlias are famous for bringing color into a summer garden. Extend their bloom by removing the faded flowers and allowing side buds to develop. The largest flower should be removed from the stem when it fades, leaving the vigorous side buds intact. It's tedious work but rewarding. Remove the supporting stem as well as the flower to improve the appearance of the plant.

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