Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

May, 2013
Regional Report

Plant Warm-Season Crops

Once the soil is warm, it's time to plant warm-season crops such as peppers and cucumbers. By using a black plastic landscape fabric under heat-loving plants, you will provide a few extra degrees of heat and the plants will produce more fruits.

Fertilize Indoor Plants

Longer days have stimulated your indoor plants into active growth. Provide the nutrients they need for rapid growth by giving them a feeding with a slow-release fertilizer. The slow-release granules will deliver nutrients each time you water, ensuring healthy plants without overfeeding.

Plant Giant Pumpkin Seeds

Now is the ideal time to plant prize-winning pumpkins. Look for seeds of the 'Atlantic Giant' pumpkin. It has the genetics of a giant. Select a full-sun location with excellent soil. If soil is less than perfect, add organic compost and incorporate it to a depth of at least 24 inches. Protect young pumpkin plants from slugs and snails and you'll be off to a good start toward producing a prizewinner.

Water Redwoods

Redwood trees (Sequoia sempervirens) suffer from drought, and stressed trees are susceptible to attack from spider mites and other insects. Because redwoods have shallow roots, this large tree depends on summer fog absorbed through their needle-like leaves for water. To prevent water stress, install soaker hoses under the trees now and water for several hours once a week.

Thin Fruit

To ensure a harvest of large fruit, thin apples, pears, peaches, and nectarines to one fruit every 6 inches along a stem. It's time-consuming work but worth the effort. Fruit that is properly thinned will develop full size and flavor, while unthinned fruits will be small and tasteless.

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