Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

May, 2003
Regional Report

Groom rhododendrons

As the flowers fade on rhododendrons and azaleas, pinch off the spent blooms near the base to encourage bushy new growth. If you look closely, you will see a bit of tan colored wood just below the flower. There are darker colored stripes in that tan colored wood that say, ?Cut Here!?. This is a sticky job, wear gloves.

Check Irrigation Systems

Now that the rain has finally stopped, it?s time to get your irrigation system up and running. Turn it on manually to see if all the sprinkelers are pointed in the right direction. No sense in watering the drive way. If any heads are plugged, unscrew them and blow out the line by turning on the water. Check nozzels for insects or debris and remove if nesessary. As a final check, take off the last sprinkeler on the line and turn on the water.

Plant, plant, plant!

It?s time to plant vegetables, annual flowers, seeds and warm season crops. We have been waiting for the soil to warm and now is the time to plant beans, corn and peppers. Zinnea, portulaca, marigolds and salvia splendens all appreciate the warm, long days. Don?t forget to wear your sunscreen!

Repair Lawns

Patch and repair any damaged areas on lawns by roughing up the surface of the damaged area, laying down a fresh layer of soil and seeding with the appropriate type of seed for your lawn. Keep the patch moist while the seeds germinate.

Thin Fruit Trees

To promote larger, healthier fruit, thin the juvenile fruit on the branches to one ever 4 - 6?. Leaving space between maturing apples, pears, apricots and peaches will not only make the fruit larger, but also protect against insect infestation and fungus disease by allowing air and light to reach all sides.
Please, use no pesticides on edible crops.


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