Spring planting season begins next month. Work on your garden plans and be ready to start next month.

Tasks:

    • Peruse seed catalogs looking for disease resistant strains.

    • Shop now for bare root grape and berry vines.

    • Deeply water trees and native plants if rainfall has been light.

    • Peach leaf curl is best controlled by fixed copper spray at bud swell before bud break.

Pruning:

    • Crepe myrtles and redbuds may be pruned now.

    • Do not apply any treatment to pruning cuts or other wounds because these materials are ineffective and often are detrimental.

    • Wait to prune spring-flowering shrubs until after they bloom.

Planting:

    • Planting annuals and perennials for spring bloom starts next month, look now for new varieties of spring vegetables and summer blooming bulbs.

    • Sow seeds of summer annuals and vegetables in flats in a protected location or indoors.

Enjoy now:

     • Annuals and perennials: Iceland poppy (Papaver nudicaule) camellias, Callistemon ‘Little John.’

     • Bulbs, corms, tubers: freesia, daffodil, crocus.

     • Fruits and vegetables:  lemon, navel orange and spinach.

Things to ponder:

    • Sharp tools make cleaner cuts. Clean and maintain pruning equipment.

    • This is a good time to divide African violets for early spring bloom.

    • When the soil is cold and wet, citrus trees and other plants may not be able to make efficient use of iron,  nitrogen and other nutrients even though there is an adequate supply available in the root zone. This

       problem usually disappears when soil conditions improve, and no further action is required.

    • Automatic sprinklers should be turned completely off during periods of rainfall.

Source: Adapted from “A Gardener’s Companion for the Central San Joaquin Valley,” 3rd edition, currently available from Fresno County Master Gardeners for $30. These can be purchased at our demonstration garden-Garden of the Sun (1750 N. Winery (McKinley/Winery), open Monday, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 9 am to Noon and via email at mgfresno@ucdavis.edu. Gardening questions answered as well at mgfresno@ucdavis.edu. Prepared by Judy Parker, Master Gardener UCCE Fresno County.

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