Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

December, 2011
Regional Report

Olive Control

To prevent olives from staining patios, spread tarps under the trees; then use a high pressure nozzle to knock as much fruit from the branches as possible. The olives will drop from the trees onto the tarps. Once you are finished, roll up the tarps and dispose of the fallen fruit. You may have to perform this treatment several times for complete control.

Plant Spring Blooming Bulbs

Plant spring blooming bulbs under deciduous trees, in containers, or in sunny locations throughout your garden. Healthy bulbs of tulips, daffodils, hyacinth, and narcissus can be planted in combination with a bed of colorful annuals such as pansies, stock, or calendula. If you have gophers in your garden, plant bulbs with a handful of crushed granite in the bottom of each planting hole.

String Holiday Lights in Citrus Trees

To protect citrus trees from frost, string non-LED holiday lights throughout the branches. The lights will provide enough heat to protect the trees during nights of moderate frost. If a hard freeze is predicted, cover the lit trees with a blanket or tarp to trap the heat under the cover.

Select Winter Blooming Annuals

Visit the nursery to purchase colorful winter blooming annuals. Stock, pansy, viola, calendula, and ornamental kale are only a few of the many cheerful annual plants available for planting now. Select plants that are not yet in flower or those with tightly closed buds. After planting, wait until you begin to see new growth before fertilizing with 15-30-15 to get the most from your investment.

Weed Patrol

Continue to pull or hoe emerging weeds. The rain we had in November was enough to cause fallen weed seeds to germinate. Stay ahead of them by keeping soil in beds cultivated, and remove weeds growing in open areas and pathways. Boiling water poured over established weeds has been found to be effective. The State of California has used this method to control pampas grass (Cortaderia selloana) growing along freeways.


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