|This month in your garden...
JANUARY A quiet month in the garden, January's gardening chores in Northern California include pruning deciduous fruit trees, roses and grapes, plus your deciduous flowering vines including Clematis. Be sure to clean up well, removing any debris that might harbor fungal spores or insect eggs. Spray your roses at this time (if you choose to) using environmentally friendly products wherever possible, being sure to follow the label's instructions, and give them their first feeding of the year with a well-balanced fertilizer to get them off to a great start. EB Stones Organic Rose Food is an environmentally friendly, highly effective, time release food for your roses. Epsom salts can be added at this time if your soil has magnesium deficiencies.
If you're growing peaches or nectarines, give them another spray with a copper-based fungicide to help combat Peach Leaf Curl.
Monitor for slug, snail and other garden pest activity and take appropriate action if needed. We LOVE Sluggo and Sluggo Plus!!
Continue to be ready to protect your succulents, Citrus trees or tender perennials from frost damage. Frost cloth is the most effective way to protect your plants and should be draped ABOVE and over your plant (we use an ingenious bamboo stake/tennis ball combo). An anti-transpiration spray such as Wilt Stop can be used on less tender plants.
Plant roses and bare-root fruit trees now while the choices are most plentiful - don't leave it too late to get the best selections possible! We've got all our fruit trees and roses in (January 20th) and they're looking great!
The rainier days are perfect for garden daydreaming, planning ahead, browsing catalogs and shopping for seeds or bulbs for summer blooming beauties. Also ideal for sharpening, oiling and, if needed, replacing your garden tools to be ready for the upcoming gardening year!
FEBRUARY is the month for cutting back your woody shrubs and perennials. Lavenders, woody Salvias, Lavateras, Fuchsias, Buddleias and Abutilons all benefit from hard pruning which will stimulate fresh new growth and guarantee abundant blooms in the months ahead. Follow up with fertilizing with a well-balanced, fertilizer, using organic fertilizers wherever possible to help encourage a healthy garden ecosystem. We love EB Stone's Organics All Purpose fertilizer for this very reason!
Cut back - to 3-4” from ground level - deciduous ornamental grasses and perennials now too. Many perennials - Penstemon, Perovskia, Nepeta and Heucheras for example, do well with hard pruning and would also appreciate feeding at this time.
Feed your citrus trees! A dose of chelated Iron in February benefits most citrus at this time - especially if you observe green veining in yellow leaves - plus be sure to fertilize with a good time release, higher in Nitrogen fertilizer such as EB Stone's 7-3-3 Citrus & Fruit Tree Food.
Continue to keep an eye on the weather and be ready to protect your frost tender plants if needed.
In the edible garden, plant bare-root Asparagus, berries, horseradish and rhubarb out now, and direct seed beets, carrots, peas, chard and spinach. Be sure to amend your garden beds well - both ornamental and edible - every time you plant! We really love Soil Booster from Greenall - a highly nutritious compost blend - for soil enriching every time you plant! The addition of EB Stone's Organic Sure Start is frosting on the cake for your young plants!
MARCH is the perfect time to feed (and prune if needed) all your Camellias, rhododendrons and azaleas once they're finished blooming. We LOVE either the acid formulation of Maxsea or EB Stones Organics granular fertilizer made specially for these acid lovers.
Fertilize your lawn with a high nitrogen fertilizer specifically formulated for turf.
In the edible garden, enrich your soil with a good compost or manure blend (Soil Booster is our go-to, Mango Mulch is extra rich and fantastic, and Double Doody definitely has a place in the veggie garden too!) and plant potatoes, greens of all kinds and your annual herbs including parsley, cilantro, dill, chervil.
Continue direct sowing or transplanting cool season vegetables.
Start summer vegetable seedlings indoors.
APRIL is the month to direct seed or transplant summer annuals such as sunflowers, zinnias, and cosmos in your cutting garden. Just imagine what the blooms will look like in a few short weeks!!
With choices abundant in your local nurseries in April, add to your collection of ornamental perennials, grasses and shrubs.
Turn on irrigation systems, inspect and repair leaks, blocked emitters or broken valves . Monitor the weather and set systems accordingly.
Fertilize your roses again, using a low Nitrogen, higher in Phosphorous and Potassium formulation of fertilizer feed to promote abundant blooms. Maxsea Bloom is wonderful, and if you prefer organic fertilizers use the Rose and Flower formulation from EB Stones Organics.
Continue planting out cool season vegetables, leaving space for upcoming summer vegetable starts. Soon it's time for tomatoes and squash!!
MAY is the time to really pay attention and monitor your roses for insect pests and fungal problems and take appropriate action. Rose slugs have been an issue this year, and Captain Jack's Dead Bug Brew is the best way to deal with this creature - the larva of a sawfly.
Thin fruit on your fruit trees to prevent branches breaking when the fruit gets bigger, and to ensure bigger fruit.
Keep weeds under control.
Reheck irrigation systems now that the weather is warming up, and begin a deep watering schedule for deep-rooted fruit trees and shrubs.
Plant tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, squash, melons, pumpkins, beans, corn and cucumbers in the edible garden in well-amended, rich soil. We love Soil Booster, Mango Mulch and Double Doody - all wonderful for amending and enriching your soil! Also, don't forget to add some Sure Start from EB Stones Organics every time you plant!
JUNE is usually the time to switch over to planting heat-tolerant lettuce varieties in your vegetable garden, and continue adding to your summer vegetables if space allows.
Be sure to pick your roses often - both for summer bouquets and to ensure continuous bloom production.
Check your strawberry patch frequently for slugs, snails and earwigs. Sluggo and Sluggo Plus are our go-to products when combatting these pests. Fertilize now for healthy plants and continued berry production.
Protect fruit trees, strawberries and cane berries with bird netting.
JULY - the weather is warming up and it's time to start a deep watering schedule for your fruit trees. Also, begin summer pruning on your fruit trees to make harvesting easier.. Dave Wilson Nurseries has some great advice on backyard orchard culture and summer pruning too. Check it out!
Add a layer of mulch to your ornamental and edible garden beds moisture conservation. We recommend Microbark - a fine fir bark which breaks down gradually and beautifully, enriching the soil during the process.
Fertilize cane berries for continued health and bountiful harvests. EB Stones Organics Citrus and Fruit Tree fertilizer is what we recommend. Mulch well too to conserve moisture.
Check your tomato watering schedule. Consistent, regular watering helps prevent Blossom End Rot.
Spray your grapevines to help prevent mildew.
AUGUST Be sure to harvest your summer vegetables often to ensure continued production through the season.
Continue deep watering fruit trees and clean up fallen fruit.
Dead-head your roses, picking often to ensure continuous flowering production.
Begin indoor seeding of your winter vegetables - broccoli, kale, leeks, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, chard, and winter lettuces six weeks before planting out in the garden.
SEPTEMBER Hard to believe, but this is the time to do it! Plant Sweet Pea seeds NOW for abundant, deliciously fragrant bouquets next Spring!
Keep harvesting your summer vegetables, and begin canning.
Check your end-of-summer irrigation needs. Watch the weather. Be prepared for heat-waves and adjust your irrigation accordingly.
Continue deep watering your fruit trees and cleaning up downed fruit.
Begin planting your winter garden, amending the soil well before direct seeding carrots, beets and radishes and transplanting your winter vegetable starts.
OCTOBER Plant new trees, shrubs, vines, spring blooming bulbs and perennials. Northern California fall and winter rains ensure deep-rooted, well-established plants the following year.
Plant garlic for overwintering and harvesting the following summer.
Direct seed carrots, beets, mache, fava beans, greens and radishes in the vegetable garden, and begin removing spent, non-producing summer vegetable plants.
Plant cool season flowering annuals such as violas and pansies to brighten up flower borders or containers.
Add a layer of well-aged compost or manure to all empty garden beds.
NOVEMBER is the time to start tidying up around the garden. Clean up fallen leaves and debris from under fruit trees to prevent carrying over fungal spores to next year. After cleanup, mulch well with a layer of well-composted manure or compost to add nutrients to the soil.
Begin fungicidal spray program for your dormant peaches and nectarines.
Clean up beneath roses. Monitor for disease and pest problems.
Plant a cover crop such as fava beans in any empty vegetable beds.
Scatter seeds for California poppies before the winter rains set in for a spectacular springtime display!
Mulch perennial beds with a 3-4" layer of nutrient rich compost.
DECEMBER Time to rest! But, spray your peaches and nectarines again mid to late December.
Monitor for slug, snail and other garden pests, taking appropriate action where needed.
Daydream, browse garden catalogs and shop for seeds or summer blooming bulbs.
Sharpen, oil, and replace broken or inefficient garden tools.
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