After so much stormy weather, is your garden a mess? During breaks in the weather, give your garden a little TLC. (Just be careful where you step; try not to compact wet soil.)
Brown needles knocked out of redwoods, cedars and other conifers can be turned into mulch or compost. (Acid-loving plants such as camellias and azaleas will love it.) But dead leaves and debris that’s accumulated around fruit trees and rose bushes should be cleaned up and discarded to prevent the spread of fungal disease.
▪ Apply oil to fruit trees soon after a rain to control scale, mites and aphids. Oils need 24 hours of dry weather after application to be effective. Don’t apply on foggy days or when rain is in the forecast.
▪ Prune hybrid tea, floribunda and grandiflora roses for April bloom. For more flowers this spring, prune less severely for a taller bush. Prune canes to 24 to 30 inches tall instead of 12 to 18 inches.
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▪ Divide daylilies, Shasta daisies and other perennials.
▪ Cut back chrysanthemums to 6 to 8 inches tall; divide if necessary.
▪ In the vegetable garden, plant fava beans, head lettuce, mustard, onion sets, radicchio and radishes.
▪ Plant bare-root asparagus and root divisions of rhubarb.
▪ Plant bare-root roses, shrubs and fruit trees.