Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Southern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

January, 2010
Regional Report

Shows & Events

Common Landscape Diseases
On Thursday, February 11, 9:30-12, Dr. Jerry Turney will discuss the fundamentals for prevention, diagnosis, and management of various diseases of ornamental and edible plants. He is the plant pathologist for the Department of Agricultural Commissioner/Weights and Measures for the County of Los Angeles, as well as a certified arborist and a licensed agricultural pest control advisor. Arboretum, 301 N. Baldwin Avenue, Arcadia 91007. $20. Make reservations or pay at the door. For more information and to register, call 626-821-4623 or e-mail

Clever Gardening Technique

Using Plastic Sheeting and Jugs to Help Seeds Germinate
You can help seeds germinate -- and early seedlings grow -- outdoors by covering the seed or seedling beds or trays with clear plastic sheeting after watering them in. Although the plastic doesn't alleviate very much of the chill from cold nights, it does help the soil absorb daytime warmth, and it lessens evaporation. This provides the seeds with a more comfortable environment in which to sprout and develop.

When the seedlings are 1 inch tall, remove the plastic during the warmer daylight hours to begin acclimating them to the coolness, but recover them at night. After a week or two, remove it completely.

Provide further protection of the seedlings with mini-greenhouses made from clear plastic milk or water jugs with their caps removed and their bottoms cut off. Place the jugs over the seedlings after the bed or tray has been watered well. Press the jugs about one-half inch deep into the soil to prevent the entry of pests such as cutworms at the soil level and to lessen the chance of the jug being blown away during windy gusts.

Remove the jugs when the foliage begins to crowd the jug, or when night temperatures are above 50 degrees.


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