Southern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

February, 2013
Regional Report

Plant What You Can Manage

It's very hard to resist planting a lot, especially when the seeds are so small and the tiny plants are so cute. We're eager to overplant, but limit yourself to the amount of space and number of plants you'll be able to take care of well when they're mature. Then you'll be pleased with your successes rather than disappointed with your attempts.

Plant Potatoes

Choose from many colors and shapes at farmers' markets. Then place potatoes in a four-inch-deep trench dug well with compost, and cover the cut-and-calloused pieces or small whole tubers with more compost to the original soil level. Water lightly, just to settle the soil close to the seed pieces. Too much will rot them.

Apply Last Dormant Spray to Fruit Trees

Generally, do this before mid-month. The precise timing of this application is critical -- before the buds swell is too early, and after the blossoms open is too late. The ideal time is when the buds are swollen but don't yet show color. Once the buds open, the damage has already been done.

Plant Bulbs For Spring and Early Summer

Include achimenes, agapanthus, amaryllis, tuberous begonias, caladiums, calla lilies, canna lilies, colchicums, dahlias, daffodils, daylilies, gladiolus, bearded and Dutch iris, sternbergias, tigridias, and tuberoses. For continuous spring bloom later this spring, plant a selection of anemones, gladiolus, ranunculus, and tigridias every two weeks through March.

Feed Plants

Apply compost, bonemeal, cottonseed meal, blood meal, or well-rotted manure to groundcovers, shrubs, roses, perennials, and trees to provide plants with consistent and gradual nutrition throughout the season.

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