• Plant a Water-Saving Garden in March
    Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at

  • A garden can be a good source of vegetables, fruit and fresh flowers, but it can often be difficult to maintain when water conservation is required. To reap the most from a garden, even with little rain, plan ahead.

    Plant Your Vegetables Early: Plant cool weather, short season vegetables in March. That way, crops will be ready to pick before the summer heat when vegetables require more water. Cool weather vegetables include beets, broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, garlic, leeks, onions, peas and turnips. You can also plant carrots and radishes, which do well year round.

    Plant Vegetables That Need Less Water: If summer vegetables are still desired, plant vegetables that do not require a lot of water. These include corn, mustard greens, spinach, certain types of tomatoes, some zucchini, chard, arugula, jalapenos, pole and snap beans and eggplant.

    Prepare Your Soil: Soil is the key to a garden's success. Mix compost into garden soil so the soil retains moisture better. Make sure the compost is designed for garden planting and for soil type (sandy or clay). Add a layer of mulch to the top of the soil to keep water from evaporating.

    Place Plants Close Together: When possible, place plants close together so you are watering less square footage. The plants can then better "share" water.

    Water Thoroughly, Less Often: Water only as needed in spring. There is still a chance of rain before summer. When rain is no longer in the forecast, however, give plants a good soak early in the morning no more than twice a week. This watering schedule forces plant roots to look for water deeper in the soil, which helps keep plants hydrated longer.

    Replace Hard-to-Water Areas With Ground Cover: Some yards contain areas that are awkward to water, so often, water sprays onto patios, fences and walls. To avoid wasting water, replace these hard to water areas with drought-tolerant plants, rocks or wood mulch.

    Fertilize trees and shrubs: Feed trees and shrubs with nitrogen fertilizer. Plants usually need to be fertilized twice a year--once in March at the beginning of the spring growing period and again in September. Feed avocado, citrus trees, fruit trees and roses with a well-balanced fertilizer. For fruit trees and roses, wait until the first sign of new leaves before fertilizing.

    For more gardening tips, go to www.agromin.com.

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  • Rio Mesa High School Garden Thrives During Mild Winter
    Wednesday, February 12, 2014 at

  • Oxnard's Rio Mesa High School's post-secondary students are seeing their garden grow by leaps and bounds. Due to a relatively mild winter, the garden is already generating flowers. Students are in the process of building additional raised planters in the garden that will contain Agromin soil.

    The school garden (which stretches 200 feet) received a giant boost when Driscoll's donated two large greenhouses to the program. The greenhouses provide opportunities for students to study plant growth in a controlled environment. Irrigation is currently being installed inside the greenhouses. It looks like students are headed for a bumper crop with plenty of fresh flowers, vegetables and fruit!

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