Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

April, 2013
Regional Report

Prune Spring Flowering Shrubs

Shrubs that bloom in the spring such as forsythia, camellia, and azalea should be pruned for shape after the bloom has finished for the year. Remove any dead, diseased or injured branches; prune out branches that cross through the center of the plant to maximize air circulation; and finally, prune for shape by removing any branches growing in an undesirable direction. Wait to fertilize until you begin to see new growth.

Put Spring Blooming Bulbs to Bed

After spring blooming bulbs, such as daffodils, hyacinths, and tulips have finished blooming, remove the faded flowers but allow the foliage to remain. Continue watering until the foliage begins to turn yellow. At that point withhold water and allow the foliage to die back naturally. Once the foliage has completely turned brown,pull it away and add it to your compost pile. The stronger the foliage, the stronger the bulb.

Check Irrigation Systems

Turn on all irrigation systems and check for blocked heads and emitters. Remove, clean, or replace as necessary. Set irrigation timers. Set up drip systems for perennial plantings to conserve water.

Harvest Citrus

Harvest citrus fruit as it matures. Fruit left on the tree or allowed to fall to the ground and rot can spread fungus disease. Citrus is ready to harvest when it pulls away easily from the stem. Keep citrus trees watered throughout the dry season and fertilize regularly. If pollinators are scarce use a small paintbrush to distribute pollen between flowers.

Fertilize Cymbidium Orchids

Switch to a high nitrogen fertilizer after cymbidium orchids have finished blooming. 22 - 14 - 14 is an ideal product to use throughout the summer months. Apply half-strength fertilizer every two to three weeks until September. Then switch to a bloom enhancing product such as 15 - 30 - 15 to set buds and maximize bloom.

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