Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Southern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

February, 2012
Regional Report

Plant Potatoes

Place potatoes in a four-inch-deep trench dug well with compost, and cover the cut-and-calloused pieces or small whole tubers with more compost to the original soil level. Water lightly, just to settle the soil close to the seed pieces. Too much will rot them.

Choose Carrots to Match Soil

When choosing carrot varieties, consider the heaviness of your soil. Sow short stubby carrots in heavy clay soils and longer tapered ones in looser sandy soil. Tips of the tap roots will grow four to six inches further down than the edible portion.

Plant Tiny Seed Successfully

Distributing small seeds evenly when sowing can be tricky. A lead pencil provides two approaches. For smaller seeds, moisten the lead-end, stick it into the seed packet to pick up one or two individual seeds, then move them to the rooting medium. For slightly larger seeds, use the wet eraser-end. A length of wet string also helps for thick sowing. Dip it into the seeds and place it on the rooting medium, string and all. The seeds will sprout around the seed, and it will rot away.

Plant Bulbs For Early Summer Color

Plant bulbs for spring and early summer blooms, including achimenes, agapanthus, amaryllis, tuberous begonias, caladiums, calla lilies, canna lilies, colchicums, dahlias, daffodils, daylilies, gladiolus, bearded and Dutch iris, sternbergias, tigridias, and tuberoses. For continuous spring bloom later this spring, plant a selection of anemones, gladiolus, ranunculus, and tigridias every two weeks through March.

Make the Last Dormant Pruning

Finish heavy pruning of dormant trees, shrubs that will bloom in summer and fall, roses, grapes, and berries this month. If they've already budded out, it'll be easier to see which branchlets are going in which directions and therefore more obvious which to cut or leave.


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