• Add To Your Garden and Landscape During November
    Wednesday, October 26, 2016 at

  • November is the ideal time to add to your landscape and garden. The weather is not too hot and not too cold, perfect for outdoor activity. November is also the start of the rainy season in southern California, and with any luck, rainy weather this month will help new plants take root.

    Plant Pansies: Pansies add quick color to any flower garden. If planted in November, flowers can last through the winter and spring.

    Avoid Overwatering:  Plants and trees require less water in fall and winter as many become dormant. If the weather remains warm, however, watering is required. Let the weather be your guide. If your lawn sprinklers are on timers, prevent overwatering by installing a water sensor so sprinklers automatically shut off when it rains.

    Plant Ornamental Cabbage And Kale: These hardy plants can easily tolerate cold temperatures. Leaves come in purple, red, creamy yellow and white. These colors will deepen as the weather cools. Add cabbage and kale as landscape accents or plant in containers. They prefer full or partial sun.

    Divide Perennials:  If your perennials are bearing smaller flowers and have dead spots at their base, it is time to divide them into smaller plants. Perennials that should be divided in fall are those that flower in spring and summer. First, moisten the soil around the perennials. Dig deep and remove the entire root clump. Cut apart the individual root clumps and immediately plant them at the same depth. Each divided clump needs leaves and a root ball. Cover the newly planted perennial with composted soil. Dividing and planting now will enable the roots to grow and establish during cooler months, giving them a good start to grow and flower in spring.

    Plant Strawberries: Strawberries can be planted just about year round. Plant them now for a January harvest. Space plants one foot apart in rich, loose soil in full sun. Water as needed.

    Plant Trees Now: Fall is the ideal time to plant trees. Our fall climate, with cool nights, mild days and moderate rainfall, gives trees a strong start that will serve them well when growing season begins in spring. Cooler weather is also a good time to transplant existing small trees and shrubs.

    Scatter Wildflowers: Purchase packets of wildflowers from your local nursery and scatter them in your flower garden when rain is in the forecast. If the weather cooperates and some rain occurs regularly, you can continue to scatter wildflowers after each rain so their germination and flowering schedule is staggered in spring.    

    Water Seal New Wood Fencing: If you've added new wood fencing during the summer, make sure you have applied a water seal to protect the fence from wood rot after it rains.

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

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  • Mesa Union Sixth Graders Design New Vegetable Garden For Their School
    Friday, October 21, 2016 at

  • Sixth graders at Mesa Union Elementary School in Somis are busy planning and preparing for a fall garden. The students are part of the first agriculture class at the school.

    Preparing a garden takes lots of hard work. The students identified the insects that were living in their future garden location. They then tested the soil for nitrogen, potassium, acidity, and phosphorous. Using a test kit, they found that the soil needed a boost of nitrogen. Agromin donated 40 yards of its vegetable garden mix to increase the soil’s nitrogen content and balance the soil's overall nutrients.

    The students voted on what fall crops to grow. They decided to plant carrots, lettuce, cucumbers, celery, kale and strawberries (although they do not think cucumbers will grow in the fall). The class intends to eat the crops and give away any extra to the cafeteria. They are now in the process of mapping out their irrigation system. Once they install the system, they'll plant their vegetable seeds and the garden will soon be in full swing.

    Planning, planting and managing a student garden has many added benefits than just the resulting fresh vegetables (although just-picked vegetables are certainly a wonderful reward). During their class and while in the garden, the students are learning the value of hard work, teamwork, garden strategies and management, botany, food science and career opportunities in agriculture.

    We can't wait to see how their garden turns out!

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