Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

March, 2005
Regional Report

Supply Nesting Material for Birds

Set out yarn scraps, raffia, and pet fur for nesting birds. Wool, dryer lint, and even Easter basket grass will be appreciated by expecting mothers. Use a recycled plastic net bag, fill with nesting material, and hang in a protected location.

Check Irrigation Systems

It\'s about time to get your irrigation system back in order. Remove and flush sprinkler heads, clean nozzles with a toothpick, and make sure automatic clocks are in good working order. Drip systems should be examined and repaired as necessary.

Cultivate Soil

Weeds rob nutrients, light, and water from valuable ornamental plants. Prevent weed seeds from germinating by frequently cultivating the soil. Cultivation allows nutrients and oxygen to reach the root zone and discourages small weeds from becoming established.

Fertilize Roses

Roses are growing like crazy now and need a boost of nutrients. Add chelated iron to a slow-release, balanced fertilizer (18-6-12), and apply at the roots. Dibble into the soil for best results. Then stand back!

Mulch Future Gardens

If you have a large area, such as a side yard, that you won't be planting for a while, cover with thick layers of newspaper and then apply a layer of decorative mulch. When you are ready to plant, simply rototill the whole mess into the soil.

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