This is a good season to plant California Native Plants as it is the beginning of the growing season. It appears that the “frost” season may be behind us, but we had purposely stalled some of this planting, waiting for the down pour of rain to pass that was expected from El Nino. So, even though meteorologists are still predicting the rain, hoping for another “March Miracle”, we are beginning to plant, with concentration on water-wise, California native, and drought-tolerant plant materials.
We continue to remain diligent and proactive by remaining prepared for these “hopefully” up-coming storms as we continue to keep storm drains clean and clear and keep plant material trimmed as we remove mulch away from catch basins and drain grates to keep drains from clogging with debris. This is our standard, routine maintenance.
Many of the homeowners’ associations we service, already have in places added sandbags and straw wattle and we suggest to leave these in place well into June. It is always so much better to be prepared than to scramble during an emergency situation.
We remain conservative with pruning shrubs and hedges as a specifically hard pruning now can easily leave the plant scarred through spring. Some plants you see within your community may have already suffered some frost damage as we had experienced very low temperatures in January. Although unsightly, the damaged foliage should be left on the plants as this will better protect the plants from future frost.
It is important to continue to weed and keep deadheading (removing dead flowers) from annuals to encourage them to bloom more abundantly. Annuals will need more fertilizer than other plants because of their quick growth and strong flowering potential. This is the season to plant pansy, viola, stock, Iceland poppy, alyssum, primrose, English daisy, calendula, and bedding cyclamen.