• Early Planting for Hearty Trees and Vegetation in January
    Monday, December 28, 2015 at

  • Weather forecasters are predicting a cooler, wetter January for southern California. This makes for ideal planting conditions for many types of tree, shrub and plant varieties.

    Buy Bare Root Fruit Trees:  January is the month to plant deciduous, bare root fruit trees. Because the trees are dormant, they are sold without soil—making them a low cost bargain this time of year. Available varieties include apple, apricot, cherry, peach and pear. Check with your local nursery for the trees that grow best in your area.

    Plant Berries: Plant bare root berry vines such as raspberries, blackberries and boysenberries. These berries like cold weather. If planted now, they could provide a crop this summer. Plant two to three feet apart. Consider adding a trellis now to support the vines as they grow. Keep the new plantings well watered. Hopefully, an abundance of rain will do the watering for you.

    Prune Roses: Roses should be pruned in January through February. This encourages the trees to go into full dormancy. It also enables gardeners to remove "runners" and to shape the rose tree or bush. Pruning also encourages growth in spring. When pruning, remove all dead and older branches and any stems growing sideways. You will want to prune so the stems do not rub against each other (which can cause stem breakage and even disease). Keep the middle of the bush open, forcing the stems to grow up and out.

    Extend Life of Annuals: Pinch dead blooms on annuals such as pansies and violas so the plants will keep looking fresh longer and encourage new growth. There is still time to plant these winter annuals along with primrose, snapdragon, violas and even ornamental cabbage and kale.

    Recycle Cut Christmas Trees: Agromin will recycle between 50,000 and 60,000 Christmas trees this holiday season. The trees are cleaned of any tinsel and ornaments, chopped and then laid out in giant composting rows, eventually finding their way to farms and into consumer and commercial products in the form of mulch. In as little as 60 days, trees go from being the center of holiday festivities to mulch used on farmland, roadside landscapes and in backyard gardens.

    Plant Quick-Growing Vegetables: Lettuce, asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, spinach, onions, potatoes and beets all grow well in winter

    Start Summer Vegetable Seeds Indoors: For those who can’t wait to start on their spring gardens, cultivate vegetable plants from seeds indoors in January. Tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, basil and other herbs all can begin growing this way. Once established, plant the seedlings outside after the chance of below freezing temperatures has past.

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

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  • SEEAG Adds New "Farm to Table" Education Venue--Petty Ranch in Saticoy
    Wednesday, December 23, 2015 at

  • Students for Eco-Education and Agriculture (SEEAG) is launching a new "Farm Lab" at Petty Ranch in Saticoy. SEEAG, founded in 2008, provides free agricultural education programs including field trip to local farm to elementary schools in southern California. 

    Agromin is a strong supporter of SEEAG and the educational opportunities it gives to school-age children to learn about farming.

    In addition to school field trips, SEEAG hopes to host after-school programs at Petty Ranch. Farm Lab will start scheduling field trips to the ranch in February 2016. SEEAG will continue to offers school field trips to Limoneira Ranch in Santa Paula.

    SEEAG is currently seeking donations to help support Farm Lab. A “Kids to Farms” jazz brunch to benefit Farm Lab is already planned for Sunday, April 17 at Camarillo Ranch.

    To schedule a field trip or learn how to make a donation, contact Maranville at mary@seeag.org, 805-901-0213.

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