by Cecilia Rice

School is out for the summer and summer is for enjoying your yard and all the effort put into it. The most important thing to be done, of course, is keeping things adequately irrigated during the hot summer months we have. Irrigating is best done early in the day for maximum growth and health of your plants. Drip systems offer the careful use of water by delivering the water just to the targeted plant and not all the surrounding area, and is therefore a system that keeps weeds down as well. The problem we find with them is that they must be carefully monitored to be sure they are working properly and are not clogged. The use of mulch around and between plants help to keep the areas moist between watering. A really efficient system takes a bit of planning and altering as plants grow larger and require more water. Usually that is done by adding emitters when needed. Having it all on a timer makes your irrigating so simple it’s easy to forget about it, but it should be checked, especially if you notice any plants looking stressed. It is necessary to know the flow rate on emitters – how much water per minute - or is it per hour? It makes a world of difference. Knowing how much water the emitters produce will let you accurately decide how long they should run to do a thorough job of watering.

We sometimes have calls about the advisability of planting a tree in the middle of the July heat, and it is obviously not the optimum time, but it can be done if you are going to be there to be sure that the tree will be watered adequately. It would need a deep watering about three times a week through the heat of the summer. Deep watering requires a basin around the base of the tree. It should be just deep enough that a very light stream of water can be left on for several hours without overflowing, insuring that the water is soaking in around and into the tree’s roots. Another easy way is to accomplish this by using a piece of 2” plastic pipe that is long enough to reach the bottom of the planting hole and extend several inches above ground level. About three sets of four or five ½” holes need to be drilled in a vertical line in the lower end of the pipe to allow the water to drain. Put that pipe in vertically to the bottom of the hole as you put the planting mix in around the tree. Hang the hose into the pipe and turn the water on slowly, leaving it for several hours to deep water the tree. One added precaution to insure a good result is to add a capful of ‘Superthrive’ to the irrigation water the first time or two. Put some rocks into the bottom several inches of the pipe to help to keep mud from clogging the pipe.

For those folks in the foothills dealing with the rapid growth of wild blackberries, poison oak, poison ivy, and other bushy and woody unwanted growth, this is good time to spray them with a brush killer. It must be done while they are growing vigorously for the best result. Using a product labeled as “brush killer” will do a better job than a general herbicide like Remuda or Roundup. These pesky plants it might require more than one spraying.

Do you like Monarch butterflies? Most of us seem to, and there is a plant available that will attract them. Asclepias curassavia, a variety of milkweed. It is quite an attractive annual plant with vivid red or bright yellow clusters of small flowers. The Monarchs lay their eggs on the stems which then hatch into caterpillars. They then feed on the foliage of the plant for nourishment. Nature has more interesting, clever and amazing ways of doing things than any of us will ever know, but it is fun to watch when you see it.

Mower blades should be set at 2 “ of height during the hottest months. It may not give as smooth a finish as a lower setting, but it will take less water to maintain a nice green lawn. The higher setting helps the longer grass to shade the ground beneath which helps to retain moisture, thus keeping the grass green with fewer waterings.

Fertilize your summer vegetables and annuals to keep them flowering and/or fruiting. Use B.T. on the big green worms that defoliate tomato plants. Don’t neglect those pretty hanging baskets. They need thorough watering to keep them pretty and that tends to wash nutrient right out of the bottom of that basket. It is probably easiest to use a 3 or 4 month slow release fertilizer on them. Annuals that you may have planted for all the color they provide will bloom longer if you have the time to dead head them frequently, and give them a bit of fertilizer.

Enjoy the pleasures of summer.

Cecilia Rice Rice is a partner with her son Jeff at Bald Mountain Nursery on Bald Mountain Road in Browns Valley. We are the “Unexpected nursery on a little country road”. Tel. (530) 743-4856 baldmountainnursery.com

Meet "Guava" A165810 (spayed female border collie 9 years old) and "Chacho" A165809 (neutered male chihuahua 5 years old)
These 2 are a bonded pair and were surrendered to the shelter due to their owner being deployed in the military. Both have been around children and cats and are house-trained according to previous owner.
Won't you please consider adopting these 2 together? Adoption fee is just $60 per dog and they can go home same day!! To adopt, please visit Yuba County Animal Care Services 5245 Feather River Blvd Olivehurst. 530-741-6478 Open Monday-Friday 8:30am-3:30pm, Saturday 10am-2pm. To view lost and adoptable animals please visit www.petharbor.com. Now on Facebook @YubaCountyACS.

Don’t forget about our Million Cat Challenge! Adult cats over 4 months old, pay just $7 and includes shots and spay or neuter. Kittens under 4 months, pay fully refundable $40 spay/neuter deposit!yuba county Pet of the 6 28 17

SPCA 6 21 17Hello my name is Sunshine. I'm very sweet, very loving, and the puurrfect one eyed companion. I'm declawed so my forever home would have to keep me indoors. Please contact the Yuba Sutter SPCA at (530)673-6390 for more information on how you can adopt me.

yuba county pet of the week 6 14 17Meet “Sheba” A164699. Sheba is a 1 year old FEMALE orange and white tabby. Right now is the time to adopt Sheba and her kitty friends! Yuba County Animal Care Services has joined the Million Cat Challenge, a national initiative to save the lives of 1 million cats over 5 years! For the entire month of June, 2017 cat adoption fees have been waived! You pay only $7 to take any cat home over 4 months of age. (cost of rabies vaccine) Adoption includes: Spay/neuter and current FVRCP vaccine! To adopt Sheba or her friends, please visit Yuba County Animal Care Services 5245 Feather River Blvd Olivehurst. 530-741-6478 Open Monday-Friday 8:30am-3:30pm, Saturday 10am-2pm. To view lost and adoptable animals please visit www.petharbor.com. Now on Facebook @YubaCountyACS.

yuba county pet of the week 6 7 17Meet “Dexter” A163358. Dexter is a 10 month old male Plott Hound mix. This guy was adopted from the shelter as a puppy and returned because he was attacked by another dog. We got Dexter to the vet, all fixed up and now Dexter is searching for a new loving family of his own. To adopt Dexter, please visit Yuba County Animal Care Services 5245 Feather River Blvd Olivehurst. Open Monday-Friday 8:30am-3:30pm, Saturday 10am-2pm. To view lost and adoptable animals please visit www.petharbor.com. Now on Facebook @YubaCountyACS. Remember, June is our Million Cat Challenge month! To adopt cats over 4 months of age, just pay $7 for rabies vaccine. To adopt kittens under 4 months, just pay refundable spay/neuter deposit of $40!!

Hello my name is "Vee" i am up for adoption at the Yuba Sutter SPCA. I get along with other kittys and children. I am about 6 months old and very affectionate. I'm trying to find a loving family to love me forever!SPCA 6 7 17

By Cecilia Rice

June can be a busy month for many people. There can be graduations to celebrate at many levels. When I was young, kindergarten class never had graduations. In fact, many schools didn’t have a kindergarten classes. Now we have kindergarten, grammar school, middle school, high school, Jr. college, college and beyond. After all the celebrations come vacations because school is out. There is time to let go of some of the schedules and have some relaxing time. Even the gardening can be less time consuming. Watering has to be done - that is a fact. Doing more that that is putting the burden on yourself and depends on how much work in the garden you choose to do. If a vacation is in the summer schedule and you are fortunate enough to have an automatic watering system, you have it made. My only suggestion in this case is that you might want to ask someone to check the system occasionally just to be certain it is working properly. If you need to have someone do the watering for you, be sure they know exactly what is to be done. If you put all the directions on paper and laminate them and put them in a spot where they can’t blow away and they can then refer to them if they need to. Then there are few excuses for things not being done the way you want them done. Going through the routine with the care-taker -to -be is safest, especially if they happen to be a youngster. Actually, I think most of those kids are very conscientious or they wouldn’t have sought a summer job. If they know what is expected they will probably do it right. Just use your judgement on how detailed you need to be. I only go into this in a bit of detail because of post vacations stories we sometimes hear.

It is generally recommended that fertilizing should be done 3 times a year, February or March, June and September. March fertilizing helps to get everything off to a good start after the winter dormancy. June is for maintaining growth and energy needed for flowering and/or fruiting. September ‘s feeding is taken up by the plant, some of it used and most of it is stored by the plants through the winter while they are dormant and then used when needed as they awaken for spring. Many people have definite ideas about fertilizing and what should be used. Basically, we have chemical or organic fertilizers to use. You will usually see a faster response by the plants to the chemical fertilizers, but there is much negative criticism in the past few years about the damage it does to the soil. It is quite obvious that in years past people gardened with natural fertilizers since they didn’t have the convenience of all the things we have available to us since the chemical fertilizers have been developed. Organic fertilizer companies are becoming very competitive and many people are turning toward them feeling that they are more in keeping with nature and perhaps safer, as well as making the soil richer. If you have always used the chemical fertilizers and decide to go organic, keep in mind that you will see slower results from the organic fertilizers but they work equally well, and do it without depleting the soil.

Much of our time during the summer months is spent outside. The summertime pastimes seem a bit more carefree than winter activities – not needing coats or jackets each time we go out and that sort of thing, and the summer days are much longer. Along with more time outside, we enjoy seeing all of the color that is available. If you are looking for colorful plants that are great summer bloomers that really seem to enjoy our heat, look for Crape Myrtles or Rose of Sharon. They can both be found as bushes or trained to a single trunk tree. They both are available in several different colors – shades of red, white, pink. Of course there are many beautiful roses to add color to the landscape. They need regular watering and fertilizer every four to six weeks to keep them looking their best. It is also necessary to dead head them regularly. If the spent flowers are left on the plant they will become red seed pods, called rose hips, and the rose will quit blooming because it has done its job for the year. That is true of many plants since they set seed to carry on their species. If the seed pod – or whatever form they are - is removed, they will bloom again to produce more seeds. Annuals are available that will provide all summer color. Most gardeners take advantage of their quick growth and varied colors, shapes, and growth habits to add color and interest to their yards.

More calls come during the summer months about wilting and dead plants than any other time of the year. The best thing you can do, especially for a plant that was planted earlier this season is to mulch around the base, keeping the mulch a few inches away from the trunk or main stem, and deep water it twice a week. Deep watering is achieved by creating a slight basin and laying a hose that is running slowly enough so that there is no run off – all of it is soaking into the soil at the base of the plant. Let the water run slowly for several hours or overnight. Roots are better able to get well into the soil, thus the plant is able to better sustain itself.

Flag day is June 14, Father’s Day is June 18, the first day of Summer is June 20 – enjoy your summer!

Cecilia Rice partner with her son Jeff Rice at Bald Mountain Nursery in Browns Valley – we are the “Unexpected Nursery on a little country road.”

Tel. (530) 743-4856 www.baldmountainnursery.com

sutter co pet of the week  5 31 17Beautiful adult cat available for adoption at the Yuba Sutter SPCA! Please contact the Yuba Sutter SPCA at (530)673-6390 for more information.

yuba county pet of the week 5 31 17Meet Little Miss Roxie! A164832 This 2 month old female black and white Pit mix puppy came to the shelter as a stray. She received veterinary care while at the shelter due to a foxtail in her eye, which is much better now! Poor Roxie was adopted once and promptly returned back to the shelter after not even 24 hours. Please remember that this sweet girl is still a puppy and needs lots of attention and training. Puppy adoption fees are just $50 and include age appropriate vaccines. Once she is old enough to be spayed, return the certificate for $80 rebate! Add on a microchip for $15 more! If you are interested in adopting Roxie or any other pet, please call or come by the shelter. Remember: Right now the shelter is over run with cats and kittens. Save a life, adopt and spay or neuter your pets. If you can’t adopt, donate or volunteer! Yuba County Animal Care Services 5245 Feather River Blvd Olivehurst. 530-741-6478 We are open Monday-Friday 8:30am-3:30pm, Saturday 10am-2pm. For lost and adoptable animals, check out www.petharbor.com. Join us on Facebook @YubaCountyACS.

yuba county pet of the week  5 24 17A164157 "Milo", is an 8 week old male tabby domestic shorthair kitten. Milo is a sweet kitten that loves to purr and play! Kitten adoption fees are just $50 and includes age appropriate vaccines. Once he is old enough to be neutered, return the certificate for $80 rebate! Add on a microchip for $15 more! If you are interested in adopting Milo or any other pet, please call or come by the shelter. 5245 Feather River Blvd Olivehurst. 530-741-6478 We are open Monday-Friday 8:30am-3:30pm, Saturday 10am-2pm. For lost and adoptable animals, check out www.petharbor.com. We are always accepting new volunteers and donations. Join us on Facebook @YubaCountyACS.

yuba county pet of the week 5 17 17A164421 "Ally", is a 3 year old German Shephard Malinois mix. Ally would make a great companion, as she is eager to learn and work but needs additional training! Adoption fee is just $60 and includes vaccines and spay. Add on a microchip for $15 more! If you are interested in adopting Ally, please call or come by the shelter. 5245 Feather River Blvd Olivehurst. 530-741-6478 We are open Monday-Friday 8:30am-3:30pm, Saturday 10am-2pm. For lost and adoptable animals, check out www.petharbor.com. We are always accepting new volunteers and donations. Join us on Facebook @YubaCountyACS.

yuba county pet of the week  5 10 17A164482 "Binks", is a 4 month old black and white Australian Kelpie mix. Binks is full of energy and is eager to learn! Adoption fee is just $60 and includes vaccines and neuter. Add on a microchip for $15 more! If you are interested in adopting Binks, please call or come by the shelter. 5245 Feather River Blvd Olivehurst. 530-741-6478 We are open Monday-Friday 8:30am-3:30pm, Saturday 10am-2pm. For lost and adoptable animals, check out www.petharbor.com. We are always accepting new volunteers and donations. Join us on Facebook @YubaCountyACS.

Join us Saturday May 13, 2017 10am-2pm as we celebrate “Be Kind to Animals Week”.

Open house, K-9 Demo @1pm, Face Painting, Visit Adoptable animals, Meet staff and volunteers!

yuba county pet of the week 5 3 17A164251 "Matilda", is a 3 year old female white Chihuahua mix. Matilda is super sweet and responds to some commands and does well on a leash. Adoption fee is just $60 and includes vaccines and spay. Add on a microchip for $15 more! If you are interested in adopting Matilda, please call or come by the shelter. 5245 Feather River Blvd Olivehurst. 530-741-6478 We are open Monday-Friday 8:30am-3:30pm, Saturday 10am-2pm. For lost and adoptable animals, check out www.petharbor.com. We are always accepting new volunteers and donations.

pet 4 26 17Meet Sarah (a164118) our first kitten of the year! She’s 8 weeks old, super sweet, lovable and full of energy. This amazingly adorable kitten is looking for her fur-ever home. Could it be yours? Sarah is available now and plenty more kittens soon to come. For kittens under 4 months of age, the adoption fee is only $50, that includes a $40 spay/neuter deposit that is refundable upon proof of spay/neuter. For cats and dogs over 4 months of age, the adoption fee is $50 and includes spay/neuter and all age appropriate vaccines. If you’re in the market for a new fur-ever friend come visit and meet all the great critters we have. Yuba County Animal Care Services is open Monday – Friday 10am – 3:30pm and Saturday 10am – 2pm. Our shelter is located at 5245 Feather River Blvd. in Olivehurst, 530-741-6478. You can also go to ww.petharbor.com or www.petfinder.com to see all of our adoptable animals and look for your lost family pets.

pet 2 4 24 17Hello my name is Lotus! I'm very sweet and looking for my forever home! Please contact the Yuba Sutter SPCA at (530)673-6390 for more information.

by Cecilia Rice

If “April showers bring May flowers”, as they say, May should be an unusually pretty month that will put many people in the mood for gardening – seasoned and beginning gardeners. The weather is usually beautiful and so many plants have come to life with lovely green foliage and colorful blooming flowers. This year seems to me to be especially beautiful, almost as if the plants are celebrating the end of the drought which brought more rain and snow that we have seen in five years. May is usually not too hot, nor too cold – great gardening weather. Most of the colorful annuals that will give fast color such as marigolds, petunias, alyssum, lobelia, for sunny areas and pansies, begonias, and impatiens for the shady spots are now available and are easily planted from six packs. If you are not one of the impatient people who need instant gratification, they can be planted from seeds.

As the weather begins to warm in the spring, along come many insects that enjoy it as well. There are many insecticides for sale, some are “specific” and some are “all purpose” and one needs to check the label to be sure your needs are covered. Diatomaceous earth is an effective insect repellant for many crawling insects including, slugs, grasshoppers, fleas, centipedes, ants, cockroaches, earwigs and many others. It is quite inexpensive, easy to use and safe around pets and people. Mealy bugs seem to like citrus trees. If you notice small white dots on the limbs and in the crotches of the limbs, they are probably young mealy bugs. They grow slowly and look like a scale problem. They stay flat and develop a white fuzzy coating that is difficult to penetrate unless a small amount of liquid soap or horticultural oil is added to the spray. When the bugs die spray them off with a strong stream of water.

As we work our way into May we frequently encounter some hot summerlike weather, so be ready. Check your irrigation systems and/or supplies. Drip systems should be turned on so that you can see where repairs are needed. Sprinklers should be checked to be sure they have not become plugged and that they work properly. It will be time to restore basins around any trees or plants that had been cut to allow for drainage during the winter. They will be needed for deep watering again for the summer season.

Roses are setting nice buds and some beginning to bloom as I type this, so they should be in their first beautiful spring show of the season by the time this is being read. Be sure to dead-head them and fertilize them regularly to keep them blooming. Spray them with a fungicide or Neem oil at the first sign of a fungus infection (Black Spot, Powdery Mildew or Rust) because they can spread quickly and be difficult to conquer. Those first flowers are often large and beautiful. As the summer heat comes the size of the flowers usually become somewhat smaller, but still lovely.

Many people have asked if it is too late to plant a vegetable garden. It is not too late. Many people purposely wait - they feel more confident that they will avoid a late season freeze and that being a bit later is no problem since they will quickly catch up to the other gardens planted nearby.

Just a reminder – if you have camellias, keep the fallen flowers raked up. As they decompose they can harbor a fungus that can damage the plants. If you have rhododendrons that have bloomed, the flower truss should be snapped off at its base and discarded. If they are not removed the plant will spend energy making seeds and may not bloom the following year. It would be a shame to miss them.

Cecilia Rice and her son Jeff Rice are co-owners of Bald Mountain Nursery on Bald Mountain Road in Browns Valley.

We are the “Unexpected Nursery on a Little County Road”. Baldmountainnursery.com

Tel. (530) 743-4856

yuba co pet  4 19 17A162710 "Maddie", is a 3 year old female black German Shepherd cross. Maddie had a litter of pups and all of them got adopted. Now she needs to find her own fur-ever home! Won’t you consider adding Maddie to your family? Adoption fee is just $60 and includes vaccines and spay. Add on a microchip for $15 more! If you are interested in adopting Maddie, please call or come by the shelter. 5245 Feather River Blvd Olivehurst. 530-741-6478 We are open Monday-Friday 8:30am-3:30pm, Saturday 10am-2pm. Check out www.petharbor.com or our new facebook group: facebook.com/groups/yubacountyanimals. We are accepting new volunteers and donations.

catvondHello there! My name is Cat Von D, I am up for adoption at the Yuba Sutter SPCA and searching for my forever home! Please give the Yuba Sutter SPCA a call for more information at (530)673-6390

yuba county pet  4 12 17A163863 "Dexter", is a 1 year old male Chiweenie mix. Dexter is housebroken and would make the perfect pet! Won’t you consider adding Dexter to your family? Adoption fee is just $60 and includes vaccines and neuter. Add on a microchip for $15 more! If you are interested in adopting Dexter, please call or come by the shelter. 5245 Feather River Blvd Olivehurst. 530-741-6478 We are open Monday-Friday 8:30am-3:30pm, Saturday 10am-2pm. Check out www.petharbor.com or our new facebook group: facebook.com/groups/yubacountyanimals. We are accepting new volunteers and donations.

yuba county pet of the week 4 5 17A163755 "Tommy", is a 5 year old male German Shepherd mix. Tommy is a friendly, happy older gentleman that needs a new loving home! Won’t you consider adding Tommy to your family? Adoption fee is just $60 and includes vaccines and neuter. Add on a microchip for $15 more! If you are interested in adopting Tommy, please call or come by the shelter. 5245 Feather River Blvd Olivehurst. 530-741-6478 We are open Monday-Friday 8:30am-3:30pm, Saturday 10am-2pm. Check out www.petharbor.com or our new facebook group: facebook.com/groups/yubacountyanimals. We are accepting new volunteers and donations.