5 garden tips this week – Orange County Register

1. As we prepare for the growing season, it is essential to apply a 2-3 inch layer of mulch throughout the garden to minimize the frequency of watering. There are ten locations in the city of Los Angeles where city residents can pick up fully composted mulch for free. Find these locations at lacitysan.org/freemulch. A small van holds 1 to 1.5 cubic yards of mulch and a large van holds 2 to 3 cubic yards. One cubic yard will cover 150 square feet with a 2 inch layer of mulch or 100 square feet with a 3 inch layer. To get free wood chip mulch delivered to your door, visit getchipdrop.com. If you know of another source of free mulch, let me know so I can let the readers of this column know.

2. Plant summer flowering bulbs, bulbs, tubers and rhizomes including dahlia, gladiolus, canna, nerine, stargazer lily, calla lily, daylily, freesia, tuberous begonia , caladium and elephant ears (Calocasia). I have had consistent success with bulbs ordered from tulipworld.com.

3. Plant seeds of spring and summer vegetables: tomatoes, eggplant, peppers and chilies, squash and melons. The easiest way is to germinate these seeds in small containers and then, once well rooted, transplant them into the garden. Use dixie cups, Styrofoam cups or recycled yogurt cups for this purpose, as long as you drill drainage holes in the bottom. Plant two or three seeds per cup and keep the strongest seedling. However, when it comes to root crops, such as radishes, carrots and beets, as well as corn, beans, lettuce and cucumbers, it is best to plant their seeds directly in the garden bed because their seedlings do not transplant well. Still, you can plant seeds of all types in soil blocks made with a device that forms small blocks from your planting mix. These blocks can then be easily transplanted into the garden without disturbing their roots. To learn more about such a device, considered essential by some gardeners, search the Internet for “soil blocker”.

4. “Raised Bed Gardening” (Cool Springs Press, 2022) by Calikim, encourages us to take the easy way out when planting. The raised beds whose construction instructions are detailed here are generally constructed of wood. However, concrete blocks, galvanized metal tanks, rocks and stones, and even some fabrics can all be used to create raised beds. The beauty of raised beds is that you bring in the soil of your choice. Not only do you get a guaranteed fast-draining soil mix, but the labor of digging up your native soil is avoided. You also don’t bend your back as much as when gardening at ground level.

5. If you’re looking for electric spring flowers, consider the purple ice plant (Lampranthus productus). Unlike other ice plants, however, this species blooms intermittently throughout the year, although it blooms most prolifically, and with a brilliance unmatched by any other plant, in the spring. And if you’re looking for cacti or succulents to bring into your garden based on their blooms, most of which are currently on display, head to the Huntington Botanical Gardens in San Marino, of which the Desert Garden is home to the most notable collection. of these plants. plants on this continent. The Palos Verdes South Coast Botanical Garden also has a fine collection of succulents. Another notable succulent site, which I learned about from Donna Lynn Foster, is at Rancho Los Alamitos in Long Beach, where admission is free.

Please send your questions, comments and photos to joshua@perfectplants.com. Access photos of blooming plants on Instagram via thesmartergardener1.

About Charles Holmes

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