Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Southern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

April, 2001
Regional Report

Plant Summer Lettuce

Gardeners in coastal and cooler inland valleys can continue seeding flats of heat-tolerant leaf lettuces such as 'Summertime' throughout the summer. Plant their seedlings in vacant spots as earlier crops such as peas are harvested.

Make Manure Tea

Feed vegetables with manure tea when you transplant them and repeat the feeding every six weeks throughout the season. Make manure tea by placing a container in the sun and filling it with one part manure to two parts water. Stir the mixture once a week. Within a month, a rich fertilizer tea will be ready to feed to plants. Replenishing the container with manure and water after each use will maintain a supply throughout the season.

Dig Spring Bulbs

Continue watering and feeding spring-flowering bulbs such as daffodils and tulips until their foliage yellows to strengthen bulbs for next year's bloom. After the foliage yellows, dig and gently clean soil clods from bulbs and store the bulbs. Bulbs can be left in the soil only in areas where the soil will thoroughly dry out over the summer and will be chilled during a cold winter.

Mow the Lawn

Mow lawns up to two times a week to keep the grass height at 2 inches tall. Don't remove more than a third of the green leaf blades at any one time, however, or the grass plants won't have enough left to continue growing. Also, the 2-inch height allows the lawn to retain some surface moisture, so you don't have to water as often.

Make Watering Devices

Punch holes in the lower half and the bottom of gallon containers and sink them into the soil between annual plants to use as a watering tool. Water and fertilizer solutions poured into these containers will gently seep into the soil. Plant roots will grow deeply in search of this nutrition and moisture, and those deep roots will support the plant well during long periods of hot weather.


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