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

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Bulbine,
Shrubby Bulbine

Bulbine frutescens

Bulbine is becoming more and more popular due to its drought resistance, fast growth, tolerance of poor soils, and repeated blooms of cheerful flowers that are yellow or orange, depending on the variety.

  • Plant Form:Evergreen succulent groundcover
  • Water Use: Low – Moderate
  • Mature Size: 1 ft. tall x 2-3 ft. wide
  • Exposure: Full or part sun
  • Bloom Time: Yellow-flowered plants:
    ~ Fall – Spring (Oct – Feb);
    Orange-flowered cultivars:
    ~ Spring – Summer (Mar- Aug)
  • Native to: S. Africa
  • Hardiness: Cold hardy to 10°F

Bulbine is a clumping, succulent groundcover that spreads by underground stems called rhizomes. Its thick, fleshy leaves equip it to withstand long periods of drought. Yellow or orange flowers on 12 to18-inch stalks hover over the mass of leaves in late fall to spring (in yellow-flowered plants), or spring through summer (in orange-flowered ‘Hallmark’ & ‘Tiny Tangerine’ cultivars). Each star-shaped flower flaunts a ball of fuzzy filaments in its center. Deadhead flowers to encourage continual bloom. This fast-growing perennial fills out quickly, and can be propagated from cuttings to fill in aging portions. After extended frosts, new leaves will quickly replace damaged foliage in spring. Bulbine is best planted in masses and in rock & cactus gardens. It is great in containers that can be moved during hard frosts.

 

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 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

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Copper Canyon Daisy,
Mexican Marigold

Tagetes lemmonii

Copper Canyon Daisy is an aromatic, long-blooming relative of marigolds whose long-lasting flowers shine throughout winter months and attract butterflies.

  • Plant Form: Herbaceous evergreen perennial
  • Water Use: Low
  • Mature Size: 3-5 ft. tall x 4-6 ft. wide
  • Exposure: Full Sun or part shade
  • Bloom Time: Year-round; Heaviest bloom
    Fall – Winter (Sept – Jan)
  • Native to: Southern Arizona, northern Mexico
  • Hardiness: Cold hardy to 5°F (roots); 20°F (foliage)

 

 

Copper Canyon Daisy is highly aromatic, releasing a strong fragrance when its foliage is rubbed or brushed against, which is likely the reason that rabbits and deer leave this plant alone. Yellow-orange, daisy-like flowers develop in fall, and provide intense color through late fall, winter, and into early spring, if not damaged by frost. Lacy, dark green foliage is tipped with fragrant oil glands, which release a scent reminiscent of typical marigolds. Cut plant back hard in late winter or spring after blooming subsides to remove any frost-damaged foliage, to promote dense growth, and to keep it a nice shape. This drought-tolerant plant appreciates a little irrigation, but too much water or too little light can produce leggy plants with sparse flowers. Plant Copper Canyon Daisy back from high traffic areas, due to its brittle stems. While not long-lived, this fast-growing plant works well in the background to set off shorter plants in front.

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 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

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 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

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