Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

March, 2007
Regional Report

Pull Weeds

Pull weeds! Make room for vegetables, annuals, and new perennial plantings by removing weeds from flowerbeds before they go to seed. If you catch weeds early enough in their life cycle, they will not become a menace. For best results, pull by hand when the soil is wet. Twist slightly as you lift the weed from the soil, roots and all. Use a weed knife to pry stubborn weeds from the ground.

Fertilize Indoor Plants

It's time to wake up your indoor plants with a half-strength application of your favorite fertilizer. I use a balanced product, or liquid fish if I am going to be out of the office for a few days (it has a pungent odor). Wash the foliage gently to remove the winter's accumulation of dust. Spraying the plants with a mild soap solution before their bath will dislodge any insect pests.

Water Indoor Cacti

Give your indoor cactus plants their first drink of the season. They should reward you with a flush of flowers. Never allow desert cactus to sit in standing water. Soak the pot for 10 minutes in a tub filled with water and a half-strength fertilizer solution. Then allow the pot to drain before replacing it in the saucer.

Check Roses for Aphids

Inspect the new growth on your roses for aphid infestations. Wash the foliage with a strong jet of water to dislodge the insects as your first defense. If that doesn't work, release ladybugs to dine on the pests.

Watch for Oak Moth Caterpillars

Oak moth caterpillars will be hatching soon. Look for small green worms hanging on silken webs. A few caterpillars are not a problem, however if there appears to be an infestation that the birds can't control, apply Bacillus thuringiensis in spray form when the caterpillars are active in the morning hours.


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