• Time to Prune & Plant in February in Southern California
    Thursday, January 29, 2015 at

  • With February often the rainiest month of the year in Southern California, gardeners need to plan around rain days to prune and plant in their garden. Doing so, will give gardens a head start on spring.

    Plant Summer Bulbs: Summer bulbs are now ready to plant. Bulbs that don't require a chilling process, such as Dutch iris, lilies, gladiolus and begonia, can be found at your local nursery. If you have been chilling bulbs in your refrigerator, pull them out and plant them. These include tulips, crocus, gladiolus, calla lily, caladium, amaryllis, daffodils and delphiniums. Since gladiolus have such a short flowering cycle, consider planting your bulbs in stages so your summer garden will always have gladiolus in bloom.

    Stop Weeds Before They Take Hold: One good rain is all it takes for weeds to grow. Remove them by hand or with a hoe before they get too big and go to seed. Add a two to three inch layer of mulch over the weeded area to prevent the weeds from returning.

    Add Color: There is no reason why your garden can be just a colorful in winter as it is in summer. Fill in garden bare spots with flowering plants such as pansies, violas, snapdragons, calendulas and primroses. They all provide good winter and spring blooms.

    Keep potted plants well watered: Unless rain is consistent, outdoor potted plants need to be watered even in winter. The winter sun and Santa Ana winds can dry the soil. Keep an eye on indoor plants too. They can quickly dry out, especially when heaters are used or a fireplace is close by.

    Plant An Herb Garden: Spice up meals with freshly grown herbs from the garden. Herbs that can be planted in February include chives, cilantro, dill, fennel, mint and parsley.

    Continue to Harvest Cool-Season Crops: Cool season gardens with peas, onions, beets, asparagus, lettuces, broccoli, tomatoes and spinach should be producing vegetables by now. To encourage more production, pick vegetables daily. You still have time to plant even more of these plants so to enjoy vegetables well into spring.

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

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  • Franklin Elementary School's Science Club Learns About Composting
    Tuesday, January 27, 2015 at

  • Agromin's Dave Green recently made a visit to Franklin Elementary School in Santa Monica to talk to members of its Science Club and their parents about composting. The kids ranged in age from 5 to 11. Dave gave them the rundown on where their home's organic waste goes once placed in recycling bins and the process that turns the waste into natural, nutrient-rich compost.

    The school is stepping up its composting efforts. It has placed a compost bin next to the recycling and trash bins. After eating their lunch, kids place food and other organic waste into the compost bin.  They sometimes need a school monitor to help them figure out where to put the waste--but kids learn fast!  After lunch, the compost goes into composting containers and parent volunteers rotate the material every so often.

    "I am so glad that Agromin offers field trips and presentations to our students," says Patti Senior, a Science Club parent volunteer. "I think educating everyone about composting will encourage more people to do it." We agree!               

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