Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Southern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

March, 2001
Regional Report

Start Herbs

Herbs to start from seed now include anise, basil, chervil, chives, cilantro (coriander), dill, fennel, lavender, marjoram, oregano, parsley, and savory. Transplant mint, rosemary, sage, tarragon, and thyme, as those herbs don't come "true" from seed.

Inoculate Peas

Peas and other legumes will produce higher yields if you use an inoculant of nitrogen-fixing bacteria before planting. An easy way to coat the seeds is to moisten them before pouring them into the package of inoculant. Mix them around thoroughly to get good coverage, and then sow the seed.

Plant Cucumbers in Baskets

Cucumbers, eggplants, melons, and squash can be started indoors now, but they require special handling. They don\'t transplant well if their root systems are damaged. Sow several seeds in a large container, such as a strawberry basket, lined with a paper towel. Thin seedlings to the single strongest plant when the second set of true leaves has developed.

Hand-Prune Roses

Rub off new, unwanted foliage on rose bushes, especially when the new growth points in toward the center of the bush. It\'s best if new branches grow away from the center. Hand-pruning is easy now because the new growth is young. Just a flick of a fingernail will do the job.

Plant Summer Bulbs

Plant summer-blooming bulbs, corms, and tubers such as acidanthera, agapanthus, tuberous begonias, caladiums, calla lilies, canna lilies, dahlias, gladiolus, hemerocallis, tuberous iris, ixias, tigridias, tuberoses, and watsonias. Repeat these plantings through May for continuous bloom through the summer.


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