Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Southern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

March, 2001
Regional Report

Prune Fuchsia

Fuchsias flower on new wood. If you want compact new growth, prune severely now. If you prefer a more draping appearance, prune lightly now. Continue to pinch, with your fingers, and groom fuchsias regularly throughout the growing season to direct new growth and encourage more blooming.

Start Weeding

Weed now while the soil is thoroughly moist, so whole root systems come out with little effort. This is especially true for big weeds with extensive root systems that are hard to pull out completely. If you pull out a weed that has already formed its seedhead, do not leave it in a walkway as mulch or compost it. The seeds will continue maturing, possibly enough to reseed and germinate.

Control Damping Off

To control damping off fungus that's already appeared, make a strong chamomile tea by steeping 3 teaspoons of tea in 6 cups of boiling water until it cools. Water the seedlings with this tea two or three times a week in place of plain water until all signs of damping off have vanished.

Plant Citrus and Avocado

Citrus and avocado trees grow best when planted as the weather warms from now through May. Choose a southwest exposure that is protected from the wind for the best winter protection. Plant trees on a mound or raised bed so water drains away from the roots. Rub suckers off trunks as they appear. Paint trunks and large limbs with a matte-finish, off-white interior latex paint mixed half and half with water to prevent sunscald.

Reduce Nitrogen Fertilizer

Don\'t apply high-nitrogen fertilizers to nectarines, peaches, or plums. High nitrogen levels contribute to poor fruit quality, poor color development, delayed maturity, fruit softness, and reduced storage life. Too much vegetative growth from excessive nitrogen fertilization can also result in poor fruit set for the following year. If the trees have dark green leaves in the spring, they need no more nitrogen.


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