Monday, June 25 , 2018, 4:10 am | Overcast 64º


Tips to Get Your Garden Ready Now for Springtime

January is a good time to lay the groundwork

With the average January rainfall in Southern California about 3 inches, gardeners have opportunities this month to spend time outdoors preparing their yards for the spring growing season, according to experts at Agromin, an Oxnard-based manufacturer of earth-friendly soil products made from organic material from more than 50 Southern California communities, including many in Santa Barbara County.

» Plant dormant trees: January is the perfect month to plant dormant trees. Plants that go dormant in winter (stop growing and lose leaves) include most deciduous trees such as maples, poplars, ashes, birches and oaks. A local nursery should have a variety of these plus bare root rose, vine and fruit trees, including apricot, plum, apple, pear and peach. Add organic compost planting mix to existing soil when planting so the soil is the right consistency to receive nutrients and water. Stay away from planting citrus and avocado trees if frost is a concern.

» Prune dormant trees: Prune dead, diseased limbs or overgrowth. Doing so strengthens the remaining branches and encourages new, stronger growth in the spring. Remove any new growth at the tree’s base or unwieldy stems from branches. Avoid pruning large, well-established branches. This can cause stress on the tree and stunt growth. Now is your opportunity to shape the tree so it looks its finest in spring. Winter is also a good time to trim evergreens.

» Use mulch as a defense against weeds: Only a small amount of rain can mean an onslaught of new weed growth. Place a 3- to 4-inch layer of mulch in garden beds and other landscaped areas. The mulch will prevent sunlight from penetrating the soil and keep weed seeds from sprouting. By adding mulch now and eliminating new weed growth, you’ll be saved from the hassle of pulling weeds in spring. Mulch also helps to regulate soil temperature so frost damage is less of a worry.

» Add color to your flower garden: There is no reason your garden can’t be in full bloom in winter. Add cool-season annuals, including pansies, snapdragons, linaria and calendulas. These flowers can withstand temperatures in the low to mid-30s.

» Maintain your winter garden: By now, some of your cool-season vegetables, including peas, lettuce and spinach, should be producing their crop. Pick these vegetables continuously to promote more vegetable growth. There is still time to plant artichokes, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, carrots and strawberries for a late spring, early summer harvest.

» Plant your living Christmas tree: Once the holidays are over, move your living Christmas tree outdoors as soon as possible. Keep these trees indoors for only seven to 10 days. Staying inside longer could result in the tree breaking dormancy, preventing it from surviving once moved outside. After Christmas, place the tree outdoors in a shaded area for a few days before finding a sunny, well-draining location for planting.

» Recycle your cut Christmas tree: Many cities offer curbside Christmas tree collection during the two weeks after Christmas. Remove all ornaments, lights and tinsel, saw the tree in half and place the tree in your green materials recycling barrel. If you live in a city without curbside tree recycling, check with your waste collector for a drop-off location. Every year, Christmas trees are recycled into mulch that is then used in agriculture and in home and business landscaping.

Click here for more gardening tips.

Agromin manufactures earth-friendly soil products for farmers, landscapers and gardeners. Agromin is also the organics recycler for more than 50 Southern California communities. Each month, Agromin receives more than 30,000 tons of organic material and then uses a safe, natural and sustainable process to transform the material into premium soil products. The results are more vigorous and healthier plants and gardens, and on the conservation side, the opportunity to close the recycling loop, allow more room in landfills and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

— Diane Rumbaugh is a publicist representing Agromin.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Enter your email
Select your membership level

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >

Meet Your Realtor Sponsored by Village Properties

Photo of Cimme Eordanidis
Cimme Eordanidis
"Since I truly enjoy doing what I do, interacting with people and representing them during one of life's most exciting events is very rewarding."

Full Profile >