• Gardening Can Take a Back Seat To Holiday Festivities in December
    Wednesday, November 30, 2016 at

  • December is the ideal month to take time off from gardening and enjoy the holidays, but for those who love to garden regardless of the season, there is still plenty to do.

    Turn Off Automatic Sprinklers: Most cities ban watering for 48 hours after a rain but you can usually wait longer to begin watering again. Rain usually saturates the soil much better than sprinklers. Turn off automatic sprinklers and let the weather be your watering guide or install a soil moisture sensor so sprinklers only turn on when needed.

    Fill in Lawn Bare Spots: Add grass seeds to bare spots in your lawn. Place a topper mix over the seeds to protect them from birds and to help germination. Winter rains, if they come, will give the seeds the water they need to grow. Be aware, however, if drought conditions continue, you will need to water the seeds to stimulate growth.

    Prune Weak Tree Limbs: Winter often brings strong winds that can snap tree limbs. Examine trees for weakened limbs or limbs that could cause damage to property if they fall. Remove the limbs now.

    Get To The Bottom of Leaf Curl on Fruit Trees:  Citrus leaf curl could be caused by a number of issues: insects such as aphids, too much watering (or not enough watering) and nutrient deficiencies. Take a sample of the curled leaves to a knowledgeable garden nursery for a diagnosis and suggested remedy so your trees are healthy by spring.

    Plant Dormant Deciduous Fruit Trees: Late December is the time to plant young dormant deciduous fruit trees. They are available at good prices because they often come without soil (bare root). Deciduous fruit trees need cold nights (below 45 degrees) to encourage buds to bloom and bear fruit. Some trees need more chilly nights than others. Fruit trees that do particularly well in southern California's more temperate climate include apple varieties, apricot, blueberry, sweet cherries, figs and varieties of nectarine and peach.

    Add Indoor Color With Plants: December means entertaining during the holidays. Add festive indoor color with seasonal plants such as poinsettias and blooming chrysanthemums, lilies, antherium, begonias, cyclamen and African Violet. These plants don’t mind low light. Keep them away from heaters and fireplaces.

    Start A Compost Pile: Create your own compost pile. Add equal parts carbon and nitrogen: leaves and shrub and tree prunings (carbon) and grass clippings, flowers, coffee grounds and fruit and vegetable scraps (nitrogen). Pick a well-draining, 3' x 3' location. Start with a layer of leaves, followed by green materials and food waste, a layer of soil and then more leaves and wooden materials. Every few weeks, turn over your pile so it is well aerated and doesn't overheat. Consider putting a tarp over the compost pile when it rains. It will keep the pile from getting soggy and will hold in heat--necessary for microbes to decompose the material. You will have fresh compost for your garden by spring.

    Get A Jump On Weeds:  One rainstorm can trigger weed growth. Keep weeds under control by placing a layer of mulch in flower and vegetable beds.

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  • Expanded Garden In The Works at Rio Mesa High School
    Tuesday, November 29, 2016 at

  • One of the most impressive high school gardens in Ventura County is the garden at Rio Mesa High School in Oxnard. The students work in the garden to learn about agriculture and eating healthy. It's all part of the Oxnard Union High School District's "Farm to School" program. The program is designed to provide students with healthy food choices at school and to teach them about how food is grown.

    Agromin recently provided two truckloads of mulch to the school. Students will use the mulch to begin a new garden area on a dirt lot within the faculty parking lot. The mulch will also create a natural barrier between invasive weeds and the school's fruit orchard and herb and vegetables beds that produce food for the school's cafeteria.

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  • Big Wave Dave's Christmas Tree Lots Now Open in Five Locations
    Wednesday, November 23, 2016 at

  • With the holidays comes the age-old question--where to find the perfect Christmas tree? One place to check out is Big Wave Dave's. Big Wave Dave's has five tree lot locations: two in Ventura (including a new location at the Pacific View Mall), Moorpark (Underwood Farms), Santa Barbara and in Camarillo.

    Big Wave Dave's lots are open through December 23 except at Underwood Farms  in Moorpark where trees are available through December 19. Bring your family to Underwood Farms for tractor rides and an animal show. All lot locations have plenty of hot chocolate, coffee and treats.

    The lots offer seven varieties of trees. Most popular are Douglas Fir, Noble Fir, Fraser Fir, Grand Fir and Nordman Fir. They range in size from tabletop to nearly 20' tall. The taller trees are often displayed in businesses and at shopping malls around the area. Flocked trees come in all sorts of colors, and since the flocking material is made of paper, flocked trees can be recycled.

    When trees arrive at Big Wave Dave's, the base of the trunks are immediately cut and the trees are displayed in water to keep them fresh. After they are sold, the trunks are cut again before leaving the lot.

    Don't forget that Christmas trees can be recycled into mulch. To get the process going, simply remove ornaments and lights, cut the limbs and place them in your green recycling container. They'll then be delivered to Agromin where we'll recycle between 50,000 and 60,000 trees after the holidays.

    Go here  for tree care tips.. Sign up at Big Wave Dave's (http://www.bigwavedaveschristmastrees.com/christmas-trees) to receive a $5 off discount coupon.

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