Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

March, 2010
Regional Report

Protect Cymbidium Orchids

Slugs and snails love to dine on the buds of cymbidium orchids, and their strappy foliage serves as an ideal hiding place between meals. Hand pick existing snails, then surround the container with copper tape to prevent reinfestation. Use an organic slug-o-cide such as Slugg-O.

Fertilize Indoor Plants

Longer days are triggering your indoor plants into action. Apply fertilizer at 1/2 the recommended strength so that they have the nutrients necessary for growth without shocking them. Also, a cleansing shower will remove dust and insect pests that have accumulated over the winter.

Groom Spring Blooming Annuals

Remove faded flowers from spring blooming annuals such as pansies and calendula to prolong the bloom. Cultivate the soil around annuals so that water and fertilizer can reach the roots easily. Cultivating also will dislodge any weeds that might be germinating.

Provide Organic Nutrients

Fertilizer encourages new growth. Instead of encouraging rapid new growth, provide your plants with the nutrients they need by applying organic compost as a mulch to the surface of the soil. Each time you water, nutrients will be delivered to the roots as well as improving the structure of the existing soil.


Prepare your garden for the upcoming growing season by applying a layer of mulch around shrubs, trees and perennials to prevent moisture loss and keep weed seeds from germinating. Mulch can be anything that protects the surface of the soil such as ground or shredded bark, thick pads of newspaper, leaves or shredded garden debris. There are inorganic mulches made of plastic that also protect the surface of the soil, however they will not break down or improve the soil.


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