Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Southern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

April, 2004
Regional Report

Shows & Events

Green Scene Plant Sale
On April 24 and 25 the arboretum at California State University in Fullerton will hold one of the best plant sales in southern California, especially when it comes to vegetable seedlings and cacti/succulents. More than 100 garden clubs, arboreta, horticulture departments, and individuals sell their plants, pots, and garden ornaments. An added attraction is the treasure trove in the permanent shop, with imports from around the world. Call (714) 278-3579 for more information.

Favorite or New Plant

Food Plants for Beneficial Insects
To encourage beneficial insects to populate your garden, provide them with their chosen foods and habitats. Many weeds -- including lamb's-quarters, nettle, knotweed, pigweed, and cocklebur -- as well as many cultivated annuals, perennials, and herbs, are food sources for two of the most important orders of beneficials -- wasps and flies.

Most of these plants are members of two families, the umbelliferae and the compositae. Umbelliferae -- such as anise, carrots, caraway, coriander, dill, fennel, and parsley -- have many tiny flowers arranged in tight, flat-topped umbels. Compositae -- such as black-eyed Susans, goldenrod, and strawflowers -- have central disc flowers surrounded by many ray petals.

Mustard flowers attract lacewings (which feed on aphids) and parasitic wasps (which feed on cabbage caterpillars and coddling moths and don't bother people or pets). Rows or interplantings of these plants can support a large beneficial insect population.


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