March Garden Tasks

    Warm, mild weather this month prompts rapid growth of plants, as well as insect pests

 

Check aphids on new growth; wash off with strong jet of water -- or bring in ladybugs to help out!

Check aphids on new growth; wash off with a strong jet of water — or bring in ladybugs to help out!

~ Plant perennials as early as possible this month if you missed the fall planting season

~ Plant bare-root trees and shrubs through early March

~ Transplant Joshua trees and yuccas from March to mid-April

~ Reapply any mulch around plants removed by rain or wind

~ Replace batteries in your irrigation clocks when Daylight Savings Time starts

~ Teach your plants to grow deeply for moisture. In spring, for average soils, water deeply only every two to three weeks. By the time summer’s heat arrives, plants’ feeder roots will be growing deeply for moisture, and the plants won’t need watering more than once a week during very hot spells.

~ Check aphids on new growth; wash off with a strong jet of water

~ Get rid of weeds while they are small, especially before they reseed

 

 

 

Check out our featured “Plant of The Month” for March

 

 

 February Garden Tasks

    Good month to control winter weeds before they flower

 

Prune the rest of your summer-blooming deciduous fruit & nut trees, roses, and dormant shrubs

Prune the rest of your summer-blooming deciduous fruit & nut trees, roses, and dormant shrubs

 

~ Plant shallow-rooted ground covers, bulbs, low-water-use plants, & natives if you missed the fall planting season

~ Plant bare-root trees and shrubs through early March

~ Prune the rest of your summer-blooming deciduous fruit & nut trees, roses, & dormant shrubs

~ Prune evergreens now, but not later in spring or summer

~ Fertilize perennials & trees with slow-release food for consistent & gradual nutrition throughout season (most natives and drought-adapted plants do not need fertilizer)

~ Reapply any mulch around plants removed by rain or wind

~ Turn off irrigation timers if it rains

~ Water trees deeply to prepare for their spring growth surge (deep watering encourages deep roots, which protect trees from blowing over in strong winds)

 

 

Check out our featured “Plant of The Month” for February

 

 January Garden Tasks

     Frost is likely on dry, windless, clear nights this month

 

Apply mulch around plants and under drain spouts to retain water, prevent soil erosion, and feed nutrients into soil with each rain.

~ Keep plants watered to prevent frost damage

~ Wrap irrigation valves and pipes to protect from freezing

~ Turn off irrigation timers if it rains

~ Apply mulch around plants to retain water and soil, and to feed nutrients into soil with each rain

~ Prune roses and summer-blooming deciduous fruit trees

~ Don’t prune frost-damaged plants until spring growth

~ Plant bare-root trees and shrubs now through early March

~ Mulch under downspouts with bark, compost, or gravel to help rain soak into soil instead of running off

~ Check tree stakes & ties for support against strong winds

 

 

Check out our featured “Plant of The Month” for January

 

 December Garden Tasks

     Winter begins and plant growth is on hold until February

Prune to shape evergreens, and save some of the trimmings for holiday decorations, such as from this Hollyleaf Cherry.

Prune to shape evergreens, and save some of the trimmings for holiday decorations, such as from this Hollyleaf Cherry (yes, my ocean-bred husband does wear shorts all year, even in winter unless it is literally freezing).

 

~Prune to shape evergreens like arborvitae, juniper, pines, and cypress—and save trimmings for holiday decorations

~Prune dense trees to avoid wind damage; make sure young trees are well-staked

~For overnight protection when frost threatens, cover delicate plants with large cardboard boxes, old sheets or tarps

~Consider setting irrigation timers to “off”, and manually water in response to our irregular winter weather, based on winds, rain, or snow; using the manual mode on your controller in winter can save precious water

 

 

Check out our featured “Plant of The Month” for December

 

 November Garden Tasks

     Last chance for fall planting season while roots are still active

 

This is your last chance for the fall planting season while roots are still active in warm soils

This is your last chance for the fall planting season while roots are still active in warm soils

~You may continue planting this month even with cooler temperatures, but plants will establish roots more slowly than earlier in fall

~Finish planting California natives

~Plant seeds for spring & summer blooms; choose mix of western wild flowers with annuals & perennials for long-lasting color

~Irrigate frequently during Santa Ana winds, which pull moisture from both plants and soil

~Give one last deep watering to deciduous trees and grapevines but discontinue feeding to harden them off for cold weather

~Irrigate fall-planted trees and bushes deeply once or twice this month to ensure good root formation prior to dormancy

 

Check out our featured “Plant of The Month” for November

 

October Garden Tasks

Fall is the perfect time to plant new native and drought-tolerant plants, when soils are still warm but air temperatures have cooled down. Your established plants will need less water as nights get cooler and longer, so remember to adjust your irrigation timers to water less often.

 

     Take advantage of fall planting season to develop strong, summer-ready plants

 

~ Continue to plant native and drought-tolerant perennial plants and trees. Fall plantings develop deep roots while soils are still warm but the air is cool, which stimulates root growth. This early root establishment reduces water needs during your new plant’s two- to three-year establishment.

~ Adjust irrigation timers as nights get longer and cooler. Simply making monthly changes to your irrigation schedule can save more water and money than any other thing you can do

~ Fall opportunity to transplant Joshua trees and yuccas from late September to October.

~ Reduce water to cactus and succulents to prepare them for winter rest and protect against frost damage.

~ Fall annuals abound in nurseries, but are mostly high water-use; consider using them only near entries, on patios, and in containers. Plant perennials and bulbs for less maintenance and lower water use.

 

Check out our featured “Plant of The Month” for October