Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

December, 2012
Regional Report

Measure Rainfall before Irrigating

There is no need to irrigate if more than one inch rain has fallen. To measure, set out a coffee can sized container before the predicted rain storm. If there is more than one inch of water in the bottom of the container there is no need to apply additional water to your soil.

Store Hoses for Winter

Drain and coil garden hoses into a five gallon plastic bucket to store over the winter months. Hoses left outdoors will be subject to freezing and intrusion by insect pests looking for a winter home. Store coiled hoses in a protected area such as the garage or basement.

Care for Wild Birds

Keep bird feeders full and bird baths clean for migrating avian visitors. Suet feeders and thistle sacs are especially welcome. Clean bath water is necessary so that birds can keep their feathers in prime condition during the harsh winter months. Hummingbirds migrate south, but there may be an occasional late traveler. Make sure sugar feeders are kept clean.

Pick up and Remove All Fallen Fruit

It's time to put fruit trees to bed for the winter. Pick up and remove all fallen fruit and foliage from under fruit trees. Insect pests and diseases may overwinter in the debris otherwise. Rake under trees thoroughly and keep the soil clear all winter to enjoy a better harvest next year.

Plant Winter Color

Plant pansies, calendula, stock, cyclamen, primrose, and viola in areas you can see from inside the house. A splash of bright color makes long winter days seem more cheery. Many cool season annuals are available at local nurseries now for planting in containers and garden beds .

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