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Archives for April 15, 2017

How does your garden grow? Trending for 2017

Welcome back to another gardening year with the DeKalb County Master Gardeners.

As we enter the 2017 gardening season, there will be new ideas and challenges to explore. From year to year, gardening trends and wonderful new landscape plants appear for us to learn about and consider using in our home gardens.

Gardening concepts that are trending for 2017 include sustainability, regionally focused garden design and natural landscapes.

How do we achieve sustainability? Buying locally grown landscape plants, making adjustments for the impact of climate changes and using native, low maintenance plants will all help achieve a long-term, sustainable home landscape.

Let’s take a look at the trending landscape plants for 2017.

The Urban Tree of the Year is the chestnut oak. This large, rapidly growing tree reaches a height of 60 to 70 feet. It prefers full sun and well-drained soil.

The chestnut oak has attractive silvery-white bark and chestnut shaped leaves that change to a combination of yellow, orange and brown for fall color.

The David Austin collection of English roses is offering two new varieties for rose lovers.

“Desdemona” is an attractive, fragrant, repeat blooming white rose with a pink center on a 4-by-4-foot plant. It should stand up to the hot humid weather in Zone 5.

“The Ancient Mariner” is a shrub rose with a repeating bloom cycle and combines attractive shading of pink outer petals with a dark pink center. This rose also has a pleasing scent. It is a larger 5-by-5-foot shrub and shows well at the back of a border or rose bed.

The Perennial Plant Association has selected native butterfly weed as its perennial of the year for 2017. This is not a new plant, but it has been receiving renewed attention with the increased interest in growing plants for our pollinators.

This attractive plant is a magnet for bees and butterflies. When placed in a full sun location, butterfly weed will reward you with a beautiful, orange flower display.

Hybrid forms of this plant are now becoming available in stunning rose and red varieties.

New perennial varieties are being presented for consideration for our 2017 gardens. “Mars Madness” is a show stopping, hardy hibiscus. Its 6- to 8-inch magenta-red blooms on 5-by-5-foot stems are a dramatic addition to any garden.

“Mission Bells” penstemon is unlike most of the penstemon family. Penstemons usually require soil conditions that have excellent drainage. Mission Bells will tolerate denser soils so it should do very well in our heavier, clay soil conditions. It blooms from spring to frost with deep rose clusters of blooms.

Article source: http://www.daily-chronicle.com/2017/04/13/how-does-your-garden-grow-trending-for-2017/au5510t/

GARDEN VIEW: Spring garden festival and tours

The Master Gardeners are sponsoring two annual events in April for gardeners and for those who are looking for inspiration in garden design.

From 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, April 22 the Deep South Texas Master Gardener Association is sponsoring their Spring Garden Festival and Plant Sale at their South Texas Educational Garden. This festival features tours of the themed gardens, educational workshops on “Composting and on How to Make a Rain Barrel”, along with their plant sale and auction.

Participation at the Spring Festival is free. Workshops are also free of charge and rain barrels will be available for purchase at $40.

The plant sale includes butterfly plants, native plants, fruit trees and a selection of xeriscape garden plants, including crown of thorns, red yucca and dragon fruit cactus.

In addition to the plant sale, the Master Gardeners will hold a silent auction with numerous garden themed items. The auction will end at 11 a.m. and bidders must be present to take home their item.

The Master Gardeners are also holding a raffle for a garden cart and a wheelbarrow, both filled with garden tools and books. Raffle tickets may be purchased ahead at the Growing Growers Farmers Market, through the Texas AM AgriLife Extension office at (956) 383-1026, or from a Master Gardener.

On Saturday, April 29, Master Gardeners are offering a rare look at private gardens in the Mission area. Three gardens will be opened for public touring. Two are private homes near Sharyland High School and one is a restored historic home, the Bryan House, located on 2 Mile Line and Bryan Road at 1113 East 2 Mile Line Road.

Master Gardeners will be present at all three garden sites to assist with tours and answer questions about plants.

“This gives everyone an opportunity to see how the mature size of plants fits into the landscape and what plants work well together in South Texas gardens,” said Rick Leland, president of the Master Gardener Association.

“Each year we work put together tours within easy reach of one another so that folks can have the maximum amount of time to enjoy each garden, rather than spending a lot of time on the road,” Leland added.

The cost of all three garden tours is just $5. Tickets and maps are available at the Growing Growers Farmers Market located in Firemen’s Park, 1st Street and Business 83 in McAllen from 9:00 until noon today, or by contacting the Texas AM AgriLife Extension office at (956) 383-1026. Tickets are also available on the morning of the tour at the Bryan House on East Mile 2 Line Road in Mission. All three gardens are within a few minutes of each other in Mission.

Master Gardeners will be available this morning at the Growing Growers Farmers Market to answer questions about their programs and events.

Barbara Storz is a local horticulturist. You can listen to her Saturday morning gardening show at 710 KURV radio from 7:00 to 9:00 a.m. or contact her at bstorz@rcommuications.com.

Article source: http://www.themonitor.com/life/vidaoutdoors/article_4f38326e-2128-11e7-a82b-3b4a3f3d6bc6.html

Drought-tolerant garden wins Palm Beach landscape award

Sue Efron made a wry admission Thursday evening at the Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach, where she spoke on behalf of her drought-tolerant garden after it won the sixth annual Lesly S. Smith Landscape Award.

“I was not an easy client,” she acknowledged during her remarks.

She then directly addressed the garden’s designer, Keith Williams of Nievera Williams Landscape Architecture, who moments earlier had accepted the award in the foundation’s meeting room on Peruvian Avenue.

“Keith, I was a difficult client. I hope this award compensates you for everything I put you through,” Efron said, prompting a smile from Williams and laughter from the audience.

Smith, a former mayor, presented engraved crystal bowls from Tiffany to Williams and Efron, who shared it with her husband, Paul, in recognition of the garden at 240 Kawama Lane.

The award recognizes landscapes that “are in keeping with the character and traditions of Palm Beach but also original and forward-thinking,” said foundation Executive Director Amanda Skier.

As part of the award ceremony, held before the foundation’s annual dinner for its Preservationist Club, Williams gave an in-depth presentation about the gardens, which were designed to complement the custom home the Efrons built a few years ago. The house was designed in the British West Indies style by architect Peter Papadopoulos of Smith and Moore Architects and built by contractor Paul Wittmann of Wittmann Building Corp. Cory Meyer of Nievera Williams was the project manager for the gardens.

Williams detailed how Sue Efron, an avid gardener with “a great design sense,” had directed him to create a stylish landscape using mostly drought-tolerant plants.

“Our main focus was sustainability,” Williams said. “We put a lot of thought into that.”

He also discussed his design of the poolside cabana — with its slatted aluminum roof and whimsical supports designed to look like palm trees — and how several pebble and stone areas were installed in lieu of grass.

“I think ultimately Sue would like to not have grass at all, but you need it for function,” said Williams.

Thursday’s honor was the second Smith Award for Williams and the third for the firm he runs with its founder, landscape architect Mario Nievera.

Williams also noted that the gardens had received accolades and extensive media coverage since they were completed a few years ago, which he found surprising and gratifying.

The Smith Award is one of several similar honors bestowed by the foundation. The others recognize historically sensitive renovations and new architecture, including The Elizabeth L. and John H. Schuler
Award.

The latter was presented last week to architect Tom Kirchhoff in recognition of a new Bermudan-style house he designed at 320 Island Road in collaboration with owner James Berwind, who shares the home with Kevin Clark. Williams designed the extensive gardens for that project, as well.


COMING SUNDAY: See more photos and the story behind the garden’s design.

Article source: http://www.palmbeachdailynews.com/lifestyles/home--garden/drought-tolerant-garden-wins-palm-beach-landscape-award/x0cnb8B90HVLOvIs5tOUlJ/

Update Given for Nichols Park Project

At its meeting April 3, Spencer Village Board of Trustees heard a report from resident Joan Weston regarding the Nichols Park and Pond Beautification Project.

Weston informed the board of an ambitious list of projects to be tackled in the coming year and laid out some of the committees’ goals for the years to come.

Weston, one of about 15 members of the ad hoc Nichols Park and Pond Beautification Committee, said there are several minor repairs and maintenance projects that need attention, including the repair and installation of a floating dock and the repair of the electric cable that runs to the fountain, which has been damaged by wildlife.

Other projects to focus on in the short term include burying the electric cable from the utility pole to the gazebo to alleviate safety concerns caused by the wires used for holiday decorating and to allow for LED lighting year-round.

In the fall, the committee hopes to purchase fill and topsoil for the area around the backless benches on the Main Street side of the pond and seed the area to provide landscaping.

Longer-term plans include researching ideas for additional memorials that have been requested by community members. The current consensus is that solar lampposts would be a good addition to the site and could serve as memorials in the place of plantings, which have a tendency to die or to be damaged by beavers, Weston said.

The committee will collaborate with the village and the donors prior to a final discussion.

There was discussion of adding more benches to the park, which can also serve as memorials, but Weston said the committee is aware that they shouldn’t overdo it.

“We have at least five families that wanted to have benches, but we feel very strongly that we don’t want to overpopulate,” she said.

Solar lampposts in the same style as the ones in front of the Tioga State Bank are a promising alternative, she said, and Mayor Christine Lester agreed that it would be nice to have some subtle lighting on the path that circles the pond.

The creation of a sundial plaza at the Main Street entrance to the park will continue to be on the “wish list” for the park, Weston said, and can be addressed when substantial funding is available.

Lester said she would like to see standalone exercise stations installed in the park, though she said that as with the benches she would be mindful of avoiding too much clutter. She suggested that they could be installed further away from the pond so that residents would be drawn to utilize the more remote areas of the park.

Weston said that the committee is in need of volunteers to help out with the projects. Those who are interested are asked to contact Weston at joananddale@htva.net.

In other village business:

• Village Trustee Tim Goodrich said that he is looking for volunteers to power wash the scrape the village grandstand on the weekend of April 15 and to paint it on the weekend of April 22. Anyone interested in lending a hand can contact Goodrich at tgoodrich@villageofspencer.com or (607) 589-4310.

• Lester announced that the annual Spencer Picnic Parade will take place Aug. 19 and that it will proceed down the usual Main Street route.

• The total expenditures for the village in March were $25,000 with a total revenue was $55,000. Lester said that the money coming into the village was due to Tioga Conty sales tax revenue and outstanding property tax.

The next meeting of the Spencer Village Board will take place May 1 at 7 p.m. in the Spencer Village Municipal Building, 41 North Main St.

Article source: http://www.ithaca.com/update-given-for-nichols-park-project/article_01cf2a76-1ef0-11e7-ad3b-17c958987049.html

Capital Landscape New Design Showroom in California Backyard in Roseville

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Over the weekend from Friday April 7th to Sunday April 9th, Capital Landscape exhibited a spectacular hot tub landscape design showroom in Gold River, California. The stunning display was held at Capital Backyards’ showroom location and incorporated a Jacuzzi brand hot tub as a centerpiece. Jacuzzi is the leading manufacturer of hot tubs around the world and is the go-to hot tub brand for most homeowners.
 
Capital Landscape is a first-rate landscape design company based in Roseville. It services Sacramento, El Dorado Hills, Folsom, Elk Grove and most parts of Northern California. Made up of experienced landscape designers and architects, Capital Landscape is committed to designing and creating beautiful and functional outdoor spaces that are unique to their clients’ needs.
 
The goal of this particular landscape design showcase was to depict an exciting way of landscaping around a hot tub in a backyard. The expert designers at Capital Landscape believe that there are a number of interesting design possibilities when it comes to landscaping a backyard with a hot tub or spa. Backyard spa design does not have to be limited to installing a hot tub or spa on some boring concrete slab.
 

Why should you consider including a hot tub in your backyard?

There are many reasons. Hot tubs or spas are great for relaxation and rejuvenation. If your budget and backyard space permits, a hot tub is a great addition to your outdoor area. Soaking in a hot tub in your backyard is a fantastic way of unwinding with family and friends while taking in beautiful outdoor views and fresh air. It also serves therapeutic purposes as hydrotherapy is known to help ease ailments such as lower back pain, arthritis, insomnia, stress, restless leg syndrome and other health issues. Properly incorporating a hot tub into your landscape design is a sure way of creating a truly beautiful haven you can retreat to whenever you need to relax or recuperate.
 
Capital Landscape’s one-of-a-kind outdoor hot tub design featured a raised wooden deck for the Jacuzzi hot tub with a few steps for easy access. Wood gives a feeling of warmth and looks beautiful in this display. The hot tub in this showcase does not just sit atop the wooden deck but is partially recessed. This way, it does not overwhelm the backyard space and distract from other elements in the outdoor area.
 
The complete landscape design showroom also incorporated a bar area right next to the Jacuzzi hot tub with chairs for dining and an outdoor grill a few steps away for cooking. This allows for a seamless transfer of food from grill to bar where you can enjoy a nice meal with your family and friends before or after soaking in the hot tub. This removes the need to go all the way to the indoor kitchen just to get food.
 
One side of the deck includes a raised garden bed made from stone that adds a natural effect to the space. A lush miniature golf course is also featured in the landscape design to add some lovely greenery. Decorative lanterns are displayed right next to the hot tub, adding a nice touch to the outdoor area. Near the Jacuzzi hot tub, a lounging area with gorgeous outdoor furniture adds both functionality and beauty to the outdoor space.
 
Another cool feature in this showcase is the use of a stand-alone large piece of rock surrounded by smaller stones. Incorporating stones and rocks into the landscape design adds a stylish touch to the space. Throughout the landscape, potted plants with colorful, flagrant flowers are included, enhancing the look and feel of the landscape. 
 
The expert designers at Capital Landscape have many outdoor design ideas for sprucing up the look and vibe of a backyard and beautifully incorporating a hot tub into the landscape design. Depending on your budget and backyard space, you can use some or all of the landscape design ideas showcased in this exhibition. The Capital Landscape design team will work with you in designing and executing the perfect backyard spa area, customized to match your unique needs and preferences. Give them a call today to find out more about hot tub landscape design options for your backyard.

 

Article source: http://www.rocklintoday.com/news/anmviewer.asp?a=16396&z=4

Grow it yourself: Seed sowing tips from our gardening guru

I’VE BEEN ASKED a lot about my approach to sowing seeds and it seems an opportune time to write about that. Though some seeds are best started off in pots (tomatoes, aubergines, celery), the majority of my seed sowing is done in module trays.

A module tray is a tray with individual compartments or modules in it. A decent sized tray will measure 335 x 515mm and have between 80 and 150 modules in them. They are made from tough plastic so they can be used again and again.

The beauty of a module tray is that the roots of seedlings are kept apart which means you don’t upset them when you are transplanting them.

Working the compost

Before you fill the tray with compost, it’s important to work with the compost a little first.

Break up any larger clumps – this is important because smaller seeds might fall down through the cracks and fail to germinate because they’re too deep in the compost. I start by completely overfilling the tray with compost and working it in to the modules with my hands.

Banging the tray against the bench a few times will help the compost to settle down in to the container. Overfill it again.

Then, I use a flat stick or piece of timber to “slice” the excess compost off the top of the tray, leaving a flat, clean surface on the module tray.

Seed sowing

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Source: Shutterstock/jananya sriphairot

Before sowing the seeds I make a “divot” in each module with my fingers. This is the little recess in the compost into which you will drop the seed.

I usually use two fingers from each hand to do four modules at a time to speed things up. How deep you make the divot depends on how deep the seeds need to be.

A good rule of thumb is that you sow the seed roughly twice as deep as the seed’s size. So, a tiny lettuce seed is almost on top of the surface, while a larger seed like a squash or pumpkin would be much deeper.

Depending on the size of the seed, you can either pick one up and drop it into the divot; or use a plant label to move it off the palm of your hand and let it fall into the divot.

With most vegetables, you will be sowing one seed per module but with others (for example oriental greens) you might be sowing 3-4 seeds per module. It’s really important to label the tray. I use white plastic labels and a pencil so they can be washed off and reused.

I always write the name of the veg, the variety and the date it was sown on the label, so for example “Beetroot, Detroit Globe, 17/04/17”). That way if germination is slow you can check how long it was since it was sown.

To cover the seeds, I then overfill the tray with compost again and slice the excess off with my trusty stick to leave a flat surface again. I then bring the trays outside and water them on the ground outside the potting shed. I use a fine mist setting on the hose, but a fine rose on a watering can is just as good.

Check out the videos in the Get Growing section of giy.ie to see the seed sowing in action.

The Basics – Top Tips for Seed Sowing

If you are still not having success with your seed sowing, keep an eye out for the following:

  • Planting Depth – you could have sowed your seeds too deep or too shallow. Check the seed packet and try again.
  • Old seed – seeds that are past their “sow before’ date will often struggle to germinate. It’s a good idea to discard old seed or at least do a germination test before sowing big quantities. Make sure you are buying good quality seed.
  • Temperature and water – different vegetables have different requirements in terms of their preferred temperature and the amount of water they get.
  • Mould – a formation of mould on the surface of the soil is often a problem when the temperature is cold and the trays have been overwatered. Poor ventilation can compound the problem. Placing a fan in the area will keep air circulating.

Recipe of the Week – Spinach Soup with Wild Garlic Toasts

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Source: Shutterstock/Malyugin

A bowl of soup and a crusty bread roll get a glamorous makeover with this vibrant dish from Adam Gray. Wild garlic is easily foraged. It has long green leaves and a distinctive garlicky smell, and as in this recipe, it can be cooked or used raw in salads or as a garnish.

Ingredients

Spinach soup

  • 50g of butter
  • 250g of shallots, finely sliced
  • 200g of potatoes, finely sliced
  • 1.75kg spinach leaves
  • 50g of wild garlic leaves
  • 1.75l vegetable stock
  • salt
  • pepper

Wild garlic cheese toasts

  • 200g of cream cheese
  • 15g of wild garlic leaves, raw and finely chopped
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 8 bread rolls (or blaas)
  • olive oil

Directions

For the spinach soup, melt the butter in a heavy-based pan. Add the shallots and potatoes. Sweat with no colour until the vegetables start to soften.

In another pan, bring the vegetable stock to the boil and remove from the heat. Add the picked, pre-washed spinach and wild garlic leaves. Sweat for a further minute only and remove from the heat.

Add the boiling stock and blend until smooth immediately to retain the fresh, green colour. Pass through a fine sieve into a bowl over ice. This is done to cool the soup quickly to stop browning. Season to taste with salt and pepper

For the wild garlic cheese toasts, divide the egg yolk in half, discarding one half. Mix all the ingredients together except the bread rolls and olive oil, seasoning with the salt and pepper to taste. Slice the top and bottom off the rolls and then cut in half.

Spread 2-3mm of the cheese mixture on one side of one half of the roll. Place the other half on top, making a sandwich. Repeat with the rest of the rolls. Place in the fridge for 10-15 minutes to set.

Heat a generous amount of olive oil in a frying pan and fry the rolls on both sides until golden brown. Serve the spinach soup with the wild garlic cheese toasts on the side.

Michael Kelly is founder of GIY and GROW HQ. 

Click here for more GIY tips and recipes.

Voices

Article source: http://www.thejournal.ie/readme/grow-it-yourself-seed-sowing-tips-from-our-gardening-guru-3335193-Apr2017/

This week’s gardening tips: remove faded flowers, fertilize perennials and plant basil

Remove faded flowers and developing seed pods from spring-flowering bulbs that are to be kept for bloom next year. Do not remove any of the green foliage. Wait until the foliage turns mostly yellow before you cut it back. Bulbs that reliably rebloom here can be left in the ground. Bulbs that rebloom well in our area include leucojum, many narcissuses and daffodils, Dutch iris, amaryllis, ground orchid (Bletilla), Easter lily, wood hyacinth, freesia, star flower (Ipheion), hyacinths (will rebloom, but the spikes are much smaller), Louisiana irises, spider lilies (Hymenocallis) and calla lily (only Zantedeschia aethiopica). Many other bulbs, such as tulips, crocus, anemones, scilla and muscari, will rarely repeat bloom or will produce inferior flowers next year, and should be discarded when they finish blooming.

Established perennials should be fertilized this month if you have not already done so. Use a granular general purpose fertilizer or organic fertilizer scattered evenly through the bed following package directions. After the fertilizer is applied, water the bed by hand to wash any fertilizer granules off the foliage and down to the soil.

Plant basil plants now and enjoy a wonderful seasoning for summer cooking. Many herbs already in your garden, such as thyme, sage, oregano, mint, dill, cilantro and parsley, are at their most productive over the next two months and will play out as the weather gets hotter. Harvest freely and dry or freeze the extras.

Keep ornamental vines under control with regular pruning and training or they will quickly get out of hand. If a vine is grown for its flowers, heaviest pruning should be done after its main blooming period.

Dan Gill is a horticulturist with the LSU AgCenter.

Article source: http://www.nola.com/homegarden/index.ssf/2017/04/this_weeks_gardening_tips_6.html

Sharum’s Garden Center Tips: Open House Weekend

It’s Open House Weekend at Sharum’s Garden Center and Frank Sharum is inviting everyone out to celebrate by having hotdogs, popcorn, and free sodas.

The nursery just received their first shipment of tropical flowers and they are gorgeous!

“We get our tropicals from Florida where they are grown in the sun, that’s pretty important because the chain stores get them mass produced from a shade house and when you take them home, the leaves burn on them,” said Sharum.

Tropicals take different amounts of sunlight, so feel free to ask a specialist at the garden center about the best care for your plants and flowers.

Frank said the key to keeping the tropical flowers looking healthy is to use miracle grow or a liquid fertilizer so they will grow and bloom like they have been in Florida.

Frank also said they will be having a sale on knock out roses. They are a bright and vibrant red and Frank said they are more colorful than he has ever seen in previous years.

Join Frank Sharum at Sharum’s Garden Center April 15th and 16th for their Open House for excellent sales and food for the family.

Segment Sponsored By: Sharum’s Garden Center

Article source: http://5newsonline.com/2017/04/15/sharums-garden-center-tips-open-house-weekend/

Spring into your garden: Tips for success

Here is some advice to help you get your garden growing:

Prepare your yard:

Clear the yard of any debris, downed limbs, etc. Look for areas that may need to be reseeded. When you mow, don’t cut the grass too short the first few times.

Prune trees and shrubs:

Cut dead or diseased branches from trees and shrubs. Trim summer-blooming shrubs such as butterfly bushes, hydrangea, and roses. Prune early blooming shrubs after they bloom. Deadhead spent flowers from bulbs, but leave the rest of the plant.

Test your soil:

You can find a home soil-test kit at most home improvement stores. Follow recommendations according to your results to prep your soil. Adding organic compost can provide nutrients for plants.

Prepare a space:

Clear the area you will be planting of weeds and debris. Cultivate to a depth of 10 to 12 inches. Create a map of your yard and design a layout of flower beds and/or a vegetable garden on paper first. Remember to plan the color combinations and plant heights so they complement each other well.

Start planting:

Plant bare-root trees, shrubs, and perennials by early spring. You can transplant container plants anytime in the season except for the middle of summer. In North Carolina, the last spring frost typically comes in early April, although in higher elevations wait later in the month.

Fertilize:

Apply balanced fertilizer according to your soil test results around shrubs and mulch beds when new growth starts to appear. Soil preparation is the most important thing you can do for your new plants.

Don’t forget the water:

New plants need water. Be sure to check the appropriate amount of watering needed for each type of plant. Over watering is worse than under watering as it can cause roots to rot.

Bring on the sun:

Check the instructions for each of your plants to determine their tolerance to sunlight. The location of your plants can be critical to ensure plants thrive.

Annuals Perennials:

Growing annuals is fairly easy. The time to start seeds generally is about six weeks before the last frost. Seed packages will list the number of weeks needed to germinate when starting indoors. Sow seeds following the directions on the packet. Perennials are a great choice for those who don’t have a lot of time to replant every year. With proper care, they will return to your garden year after year. Allow plenty of growing room between plants. Planting large quantities of a few varieties close together creates a full effect. This will also help to reduce maintenance time. When grouping different varieties of plants together, remember to use plants with similar watering and sunlight needs.

Continue reading this article on www.NewHomesandIdeas.com

Article source: http://www.wral.com/spring-into-your-garden-tips-for-success/16644433/

5 garden tips for the week starting April 15



Elevate your planting game

You may want to seriously consider planting vegetables in containers or raised beds this season, especially if you lack space in your garden or if it’s getting more difficult to dig in there and prepare the soil (not to mention getting down to plant, weed and harvest your crops). Many varieties do well in containers, especially eggplant, herbs, lettuce, onions, peppers, radishes, tomatoes, zucchini and more. But be sure to get them started in the next couple of weeks for the best harvest.

Move ’em around

As you plant your vegetable garden this year, remember to rotate the various crops. Tomatoes, for example, should not be grown in the same soil two years in a row — primarily because of disease organisms remaining in the soil. So plant your new tomato starts where you grew your squashes last year; plant squashes where you grew onions last year; and plant your new onions where the tomatoes were growing last year. Crop rotation helps to keep your garden healthy and productive.

Feeding time

Feed all vegetable plants and continue harvesting winter veggies as they mature. Keep peas picked, and they’ll continue producing until it gets too hot. Watch the lettuce and cabbage crops — warm weather causes them to “bolt,” turning them bitter as they grow taller and go to seed — and harvest them before bolting occurs. Mounding soil around the lengthening stems of potatoes will cause them to form “new potatoes” about the time flowers appear on the stems and a more plentiful crop of bigger spuds for harvesting in midsummer.

Worth considering

Plant summer annuals and groundcovers. If you like shades of blue in your landscape, Serbian bellflower (Campanula poscharskyana) is a low-growing evergreen groundcover that prefers shade or filtered sunlight and blooms in spring with heavy clusters light blue inch-wide stars. Most of the year it is less than 3 inches high but flower clusters may rise to a billowy 8 inches for a short while. Add sea lavender, or perennial statice, Limonium perezii, for another beautiful shade of blue in the garden. It blooms throughout spring, summer and fall, sometimes even through winter as it did this past season. Also consider one of the low-growing California lilac groundcover varieties — Ceanothus — since they are drought-tolerant and evergreen and will last for many years.

Citrus update

Navel oranges and tangerines have pretty well reached the end of their season this year and will be falling off the trees quickly or be eaten by ravenous rodents. So it’s best to go ahead and harvest what’s left and store them in the refrigerator until you are ready to use them — or extract the juice and enjoy them this way.

Article source: http://www.sgvtribune.com/lifestyle/20170414/5-garden-tips-for-the-week-starting-april-15