Finally, why do certain homes end up looking unattractive and massive when completed, despite the best efforts of the Design Review Board?
Let’s move on, as we expect spring to March in soon. Although I enjoy the necessary winter storms, nothing is quite as beautiful as a sunny spring in Laguna.
Catharine, who has dedicated her weekends to our garden between writing her column and novel, has already planted spring bulbs, responsibly controlled the first outbreak of giant whitefly with Ultra Fine oil (without harming our lady bugs and wild birds) and is preparing the vegetable planter for Early Girl tomatoes.
How does your planting bed look? Do your flowers reflect your good taste?
Or has it become the killing fields for helpless flowers? Poor performance by plantings directly under trees can often be attributed to lack of sunlight, poor air circulation, smothering and/or poisoning from leaf drop and berries or competition from tree roots.
Foundation shrubs, flowering plants and vines also need attention during these warming months.
If a plant is doing poorly in a particular location, try moving it. Place it in a spot more favorable to its cultural requirements.
Prune carefully to remove damaged or weak stems and branches, dead flower or seed parts, and branches that have overgrown the original intended space.
Don’t be afraid to prune or pinch, the plant will grow back!
The number of garden pests you’ll discover if you look may surprise you.
Aphids, snails and slugs, and thrips are just a few of the pests that can be identified by either visual sighting or by the damage they cause.
Holes in leaves, deformed flowers, sticky residue on plants, insect waste or slime trails are strong signs that something bad may be breeding.
Many pests and diseases can be managed by sensible and safe alternatives from strong pesticides and are available from your favorite nursery.
Fertilize and mulch everything this weekend, including new planting beds.
March is the most important month to provide nutrition for all plants.
Be sure to check the sprinkler system for leaks and coverage before you need to use it during periods of warm weather or vacation away from home.
Resist the temptation to horticulturally keep up with a garden fanatic, unless you have the time and inclination.
It is OK to cast an envious glance at their perfect irises, freesias and croci this month.
You meant to plant bulbs this past winter, but you were busy skiing up at Mammoth.
Buy a dozen tulips from the Farmer’s Market on Saturday and pretend they are from your garden.
Trust me, you’ll feel better. See you next time.
STEVE KAWARATANI is married to writer, Catharine Cooper, and has one cat and four dogs. He can be reached at (949) 497-8168, or e-mail to email@example.com