Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys
Water Under Eaves
If you have plants that are growing under the eves of buildings, make sure they have enough water. Plants that are growing in protected areas along walls and fences may become stressed due to lack of water, even though there has been ample rain. Check the soil occasionally throughout the winter months and use a hose if necessary to water thirsty plants.
Dormant Season Pruning
Roses, fruit trees, and deciduous shrubs such as hydrangea and fuchsia can be pruned now. Remove any rubbing or crossing branches first, then prune for size and finally for shape. Spray with copper/oil or lime/sulfur mixture when pruning is complete to detour over wintering insect pests. Apply a slow-release fertilizer once pruning is complete.
Protect cymbidium orchids from slug and snail damage by applying organic snail bait or surrounding containers with copper foil tape.
Fertilize with 0-10-10 every other week to produce larger spikes.
Plant Cool-Season Crops
It's not too late to plant broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, peas, cabbage, and cilantro from cell packs or seed. Plant in a sunny location in rich, fast draining soil. Cool season plants require short days and cool temperatures to thrive. While you are at it, it's almost time to start your summer garden from seed indoors.
Plant Garden Color
Plant colorful nemesia, stock, calendula, pansies, Icelandic poppies, schizanthus, and violas to brighten garden beds during the dog days of winter. Replace winter weary annuals with fresh stock from the nursery or garden center. Colorful containers set where you can see them from indoors have been know to chase away the winter blues.