Make this the year to get more organized in your garden, too.
▪ That starts with record keeping. Get a calendar – or start a garden journal. If you don’t already do it, start keeping track of your garden activity and observations, especially any additions (such as when you planted specific vegetables, bulbs, perennials, etc.) or subtractions (tree removal, dead shrubs, summer annuals, etc.) plus seasonal chores such as pruning and spraying. This will help in future planning and decision making. A journal (which can be digital) allows for photos and more notes.
▪ The squares on a large new 2016 calendar are enough space for many garden notes. Hang the calendar in a handy spot (such as a shed or garage door) where you’re sure to see it often. You also can post reminders (feed the roses, spray the fruit trees, etc.). Need a calendar? Local master gardeners offer great calendars/garden guides with loads of useful tips. Look for them at area nurseries or contact your local UC Cooperative Extension office.
▪ Let yourself dream. Allow time to browse garden catalogs (in print or online) for seeds and supplies. For a Burpee catalog, go to www.burpee.com and follow the “request a catalog” link. Or call 800-888-1447.
▪ Prune, prune, prune! This is rose-pruning season. Trim back bushes by about one-third their total size.
▪ Clean up leaves and debris around fruit trees and rosebushes 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.
▪ Spray a copper-based oil on peach and nectarine trees to fight leaf curl.
▪ In the vegetable garden, plant fava beans, head lettuce, mustard, onion sets, radicchio and radishes.
▪ Plant bare-root asparagus and root divisions of rhubarb.