Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

March, 2001
Regional Report

Plant Perennials

Now is the time to plant perennial flowers such as artemisia, coreopsis, gaillardia, penstemon, salvia, and wallflowers. Choose a well-drained soil location and add compost to the planting hole. If you can\'t get your plants in now, waiting a few weeks won\'t hurt them. Just keep the plants well watered in their containers.

Seed Annuals

Celosia, cosmos, impatiens, marigolds, and petunias will be ready for transplanting into the warm May soil if you start seeds now. Plant them in seed trays, cover the trays with glass or clear plastic to hold in heat and moisture, and set them in a warm, sunny spot. Use a mist bottle to water seedlings and avoid washing seeds around the surface of the potting soil.

Plant Citrus

\'Meyer\' lemons grow exceptionally well in our region and should be planted now. If you have never tasted the sweet, floral flavor of this thin-skinned citrus, you\'re missing one of the pleasures of life! \'Meyer\' lemons often have blossoms and ripe fruit on the tree at the same time. Amend the planting hole so that it\'s well drained and protect young trees from late frosts by covering them with floating row covers.

Fertilize Lawns

Apply a fertilizer that is high in nitrogen to lawns now to promote lush new growth. Mow before applying fertilizer and water immediately after to help the granular fertilizer reach plant roots. Don't forget to sweep walks and driveways after applying fertilizer to prevent stains.

Control Oak Moth Caterpillars

Oak moth caterpillars will be hatching soon. Look for these small green caterpillars hanging on silken webs. If the infestation is severe and natural controls such as birds don\'t help, spray Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) when the caterpillars are active in the morning.


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