yuba county pet of the week  10 16 17It’s that time of year for Autumn to come into our lives. Would you like to have Autumn year-round? Well, Yuba County Animal Care Services can arrange that for you in the form of a cute female Chihuahua puppy we call Autumn (ID#A167996)! This adorable girl is two months old and is as sweet as they come. So if you would like to enjoy Autumn all year long, come by and get swept away by this adorable pup. Yuba County Animal Care Services is located at– 5245 Feather River Blvd., Oliverhurst, 530-741-6478. Our kennel hours are Monday – Friday 10am – 3:30pm and Saturdays 10am – 2pm. You can also see them online at www.petharbor.com or www.petfinder.com or check out our Facebook page, Yuba County Animal Care Services@yubacountyACS.

pet of the week  10 11  17This week Yuba County Animal Care Services would like you to meet our featured pet “Tiki” (A166116), a two year old Lab mix. This is a beautiful dog with a wonderful personality. Tiki is very quiet, loves to go on walks, and loves children. Tiki was brought to us because her former family wasn’t able to give her the time and attention she needs. Tike is a sweet gentle girl who needs a home to call her own, could that home be yours! This girl is ready to go home today; she is up-to-date on her shots and already spayed. 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 see our adoptable pets online at www.petharbor.com or www.petfinder.com or check out our Facebook page, Yuba County Animal Care Services@yubacountyACS.

 BY CECILIA Rice

Welcome to October. It is usually a nice month bringing cooler weather giving us welcome hints that fall is pushing summer into the background. Changing seasons that are noticeable certainly make the weather more interesting. October is one of the most enjoyable months for me. All of the fall color that begins creeping into the landscape is a pleasure to see. October can be a very busy month for a gardener and is the best time of the year to plant trees. The soil retains the heat from the long hot summer on into the winter months, the air begins to cool, top growth slows, and deciduous plants lose their leaves as they go dormant. The roots, however will continue to expand in the warm soil and slow their growth as the soil cools with the winter temperatures. Not having to support the top growth of leaves, the roots will continue to grow slowly through those winter months making them almost a year ahead of a tree planted in the spring that has to support root growth as well as top growth while becoming established.

Considering that October has warmer soil, but cooling temperature as we go into the cold winter months, it is quite obvious that many things can be planted and thrive, but the planting should be done early enough that they can become established before the very cold weather comes along. Even the cool weather plants that are not fairly well established before encountering very cold temperatures might be stunted by those cold temperatures. They withstand the very cold temperatures but may not develop and flourish until the warmer spring temperatures. All of the color and pretty foliage could have been enjoyed all winter long by earlier planting. This same message applies to other things as well, such as a winter vegetable garden, and ground covers. They do best with this early warm soil to help them become established. Plant root vegetables such as beets, turnips, carrots and radishes from seed now. Edible peas are cool weather plants, as well as sweet peas that bloom with the lovely fragrant flowers in early spring, and they all can be planted now. If you are planning a winter vegetable garden, it is time to get it done. I know some folks were anxious and have their gardens all planted by now.

The best time to plant California native plants is in the fall when they are going dormant. They then become established naturally by Mother Nature during the cooling of the warm soil. They can be more difficult to get started in the spring since most of them are quite drought tolerant and they are easily ruined by over watering them as the weather gets hotter. Let them become established naturally, and then water them being careful not to drown them during the summer months. It’s much easier to let Mother Nature get them started.

This is the time to plant other things. Bulbs are available now, or soon will be. Get them planted for the beautiful variety and color they add to the yard. They are a bit of work to plant, but they may repeat year after year. Gophers can be a problem since they like some of them. Narcissus and daffodils are in the same family and they are safe from the gophers and can naturalize in your yard. Iris are also safe from gophers. Wildflower seeds should be scattered anytime now. Because some of the seeds are very small, it is a good idea to mix them thoroughly with some sand or other medium to add some bulk to make them scatter more evenly, and also to cover a wider area. In September it was suggested that fertilizing should be done, but it was so hot that it was hard to find just the right time. It can still be done if you weren’t able to do it. Realize that trees with fall coloring or falling leaves probably won’t utilize it well, but all the trees with green leaves and green shrubs will be fine.

It is hard to know what is ahead with the weather, but don’t stop watering with the first sign of rain. The soil is very dry with such a hot summer and it will take significant rainfall to moisten it down several feet to sustain vegetation without supplemental irrigation.

Looking forward to November, we start getting the bare root edibles such as asparagus, berries, rhubarb,

Artichokes, onions, and garlic. The transition into to fall is a such a pleasant time of the year!

Cecilia rice is a partner with her son, Jeff Rice at Baldl Mountain Nursery on Bald Mountain Road in Browns Valley.

We are “The unexpected nursery on a little country road”. www.baldmountainnursery.com

Tel. (530) 743-4856

Yuba County Pet of the Week Boarder Collie Puppy 10 4 17Check out this little guy, who is a ten week old Border Collie mix. His ID # is A167697. Stop by and visit with us at Petco in Yuba City, this Saturday October 7th from 10-2. Our shelter hours are Monday – Friday 10am – 3:30pm and Saturdays 10am – 2pm, at 5245 Feather River Blvd., Olivehurst, 530-741-6478. You can also see our adoptable pets online at www.petharbor.com or www.petfinder.com or check out our Facebook page, Yuba County Animal Care Services@yubacountyACS.

pet cooper 8 30 17ID#A166879 “Copper” This week we would like you to meet Copper. He is a Neutered male, he is a white and brownish Border Collie. He is about 8 years old but still has tons of life left. He is really playful and great with human interaction. He knows a few commands, and did we mention he is already neutered?! Copper would do best if he was in a cat free home. He has been here with us at YCACS since Aug 14, 2017, please help us find this guy his furever home.

Adoption fee is just $60 and includes vaccines and spay. Add on a microchip for $15 more! If you are interested in adopting Copper, 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.

 by Cecilia Rice

It is already September and that means we are on the path to fall which usually brings with it some cooling temperatures and definitely shorter days. Summer frequently doesn’t give up easily and we usually have some hot days to cope with. There are definitely things to be done in the garden. Watering and keeping weeds at bay seems to be ever present by this time of the year, but will begin to slack off. A winter vegetable garden means it is time to take out the plants that have been producing all summer. I know that is a tough thing to make yourself do since many plants are still producing. Unless there is another garden plot to be used, clearing the present spot is just about the only choice. Start with the plants that are obviously showing signs of slowing production and go from there – tomatoes are usually what we have to give up last. Where ever the new winter garden is to go, the soil needs to be worked up and readied. The winter veggies will begin to be available soon, and are already available in many places. They will do better if they are planted in cooler weather than we have been experiencing this summer. We get requests for winter vegetables in the heat of August, but we usually wait until the second week of September to offer them.

September is an important month for fertilizing trees and shrubs. They store nutrients within the trunks and limbs to carry them through the winter, and help them leaf out, bloom and set fruit in the coming spring season. This has to be done while there are still healthy green and working leaves on them. There is no specific time for the leaves to start showing the fall color change, but we all know it is in fall. Keep an eye on them and don’t miss the opportunity to get the fertilizing done. It will benefit your shrubs and trees. As usual, there are exceptions – any plant that has already set buds for spring bloom, such as rhododendrons and camellias should not be fertilized now, do them soon after they finish their bloom cycle. The reason being that they will likely respond to the fertilizer and start putting on new growth which can push the buds off the plant. Just wait until they have finished their bloom cycle to fertilize them. That is when they normally start putting on new growth and the fertilizer is very beneficial for that process.

Since September ushers in fall, it is a month that allows us to do things that would have been difficult in the heat of the summer. Of course, I am assuming that we will have fairly normal fall weather. Number one, you can plant a lawn. As the temperatures trend down and we no longer have the scorching heat we had earlier, it is much easier to keep the newly emerging grass damp enough so that it doesn’t perish. Speaking of lawns, this is the proper time to apply fertilizer with pre-emergent to kill and prevent crabgrass. Number two, ground covers from flats can also be planted and established since it is so much easier to keep the area damp allowing roots and runners find their way and multiply, Number three, It is a good time to dig up some perennials and divide them to enlarge a bed, create a new bed, or share them with other gardeners. This is routine for many garden clubs at this time of the year. Number four, this is the time to start thinking about any trees or large shrubs that you might want to plant this fall. They will slowly develop roots during the winter giving them an advantage over the same thing planted next spring. I know that choosing a tree going dormant is not as intriguing as picking out a tree leafing out with fresh foliage in the lovely spring weather. But, the fall planted tree will leaf out next spring in your yard. October is the best month for tree planting, so start thinking about the trees you would consider. Pick out your tree or plant, take it home in the container, put it in a place that can’t be missed and water it well daily, and plant it in the cooling weather of October when transplant shock is not as likely.

The soil is still warm in September, so it is an ideal time to plant winter annuals if you are interested in some colorful plants in the yard throughout the winter. Plant them soon into the still warm soil as opposed to the cold soil which can stunt them – they will grow, but probably not flourish until warmer spring weather comes. Enjoy the color all winter by starting them soon. Consider pansies, violas, primroses, snapdragons, calendulas, cyclamen and dianthus. Bulbs will be available in many places soon. Plant now for spring bloom. If you have a gopher problem, choose daffodils and narcissus, they will not bother them except to sometimes move them around a bit. Fall is also the time to plant wildflower seeds. When shopping for them check the container carefully. Pure wildflower seed is a bit expensive and often it looks as if it is a bargain until you check the contents of the package and find a large percentage is grass seed. Because many of the wildflower seeds are very small it is a good idea to mix them with some sand or something else to give them bulk so that they can be spread more evenly over a larger area.

Using pre-emergent now will help to reduce the growth of winter weeds, keeping in mind that it will keep any good seeds you may have planted from sprouting as well, so be careful with it. Remember that all those leaves that will be falling soon make great compost. If you have a compost pile add them. If you don’t, you might want to find space to start one – it is great to have it always available, especially in the summer. Enjoy the coming seasonal changes.

Cecilia 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 www.baldmountainnursery.com

Yuba County Pet of the Weekyuba county pet 8 16 17

ID#A166116 “Tiki” This week we would like you to meet this sweet loving girl, Tiki is a Labrador Retriever mix, she is about 2 years old. She is very well behaved and super mellow, she gets along with other dogs and loves to interact with people. She is just a sweetheart. She is already spayed and is up to date on all of her shots, she is also microchipped . She is ready to go home any day now! She has been with us since the 5th of july and continues to seek out her furever home.

Adoption fee is just $60 and includes vaccines and spay. Add on a microchip for $15 more! If you are interested in adopting Tiki, 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.

The Yuba Sutter SPCA has a wide variety of kittens available for adoption! Please contact the Yuba Sutter SPCA for more information at (530)673-6390.20170808 092232 8 16 1720170808 091832 8 16 1720170808 091648 8 16 1720170808 091633 8 16 17

 by Cecilia Rice

Late June ushered in some exceedingly hot weather and July tempered that a bit with a very pleasant but very temporary bit of relief. One doesn’t have to live in the area for long to know that our summer weather is usually just hot with little pockets of relief. For most people it is a month for upkeep – not lots of gardening. It is a time that gives one some time to plan what they might like to do in the yard as fall approaches. August leads us right into the beginning of the fall season, but don’t let that fool you, August is usually one of our hottest months.

As we begin to exit the summer heat and look ahead to coming fall months, there are lots of things that can be done in the yard. Perennials can be planted now to become well established before going dormant. They will then be stronger plants as they emerge next spring. Think about Coreopsis, Gaillardia, Shasta Daisy, Rudbeckia, Penstemon, and many others that could add beauty and interest to your yard next spring. Keep dead heading the annuals that were planted earlier to keep them blooming longer. If you have a vegetable garden, harvest the vegetables frequently to extend their production. Pumpkins and melons in the garden should be kept up out of the wet soil to prevent developing a rotted spot in the rind. Perhaps you are planning to plant a winter garden this fall. If you happen to have some younger kids that live or perhaps are frequent visitors in your house with the frequent lament “I’m bored”, or “I don’t have anything to do”, you might create some interest and help by engaging them in planting seeds for winter veggies. They can be planted in small peat pots and when they are ready to be planted plant pot and all. Some people plant them in old egg cartons which should work pretty well. It is less expensive than buying vegetable starts for a large garden. Root vegetables such as carrots and beets can be planted now and be ready for harvest next spring.

While It is still very hot, continue to deep water younger trees in the yard one or two times a week to maintain a healthy root system. This should be done until a tree is about three years old, tapering off the frequency gradually. A reminder that citrus trees should be fed monthly with citrus food except for the coldest winter months. Don’t promote growth during those months because any new tender growth will be damaged. If the leaves are looking yellow, give them chelated iron, not fertilizer. Iron will green them up without encouraging new growth. It doesn’t take much, and it will gradually green up the foliage. Follow the directions on the iron product you purchase and be patient. Remember to always water a plant well before fertilizing and water the fertilizer in well following its application. This is particularly important when the weather is hot since they will take the water up quickly if they are thirsty and the fertilizer can cause leaf burn if they were not adequately watered when it was applied.

We have had a lot of hot weather this summer and I will bet most of us are looking forward to fall – I know I am!

Cecilia 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”. www.baldmountainnursery.com

Tel. (530) 743-4856

Save “Ferris”Yuba co pet 7 26 17

Ferris (A166192) is a 6 month old bulldog/boxer mix. This guy just wants to be the center of attention and has a really silly personality. He loves playing with toys and being the life of the party! Won’t you consider adopting Ferris?

Visit us at Yuba County Animal Care Services 5245 Feather River Blvd Olivehurst 530-741-6478. Open Monday-Friday 8:30am-3:30pm, Saturday 10am-2pm. View all of our lost and adoptable animals at www.petharbor.com and like us on Facebook @YubaCountyACS.

Meet Wishbone ( A166078) a female 1 year old Jack Russell Terrier mix. Wishbone was found as a stray and stayed with the Yuba county Pet 6 19 17good folks at Country Corners Vet, looking for her owner. This little girl is now available for adoption and searching for her new fur-ever home! Come check out Wishbone and all of her friends available for adoption at Yuba County Animal Care Services 5245 Feather River Blvd Olivehurst. Open Monday-Friday 8:30am-3:30pm, Saturday 10am-2pm. For lost/adoptable animals visit www.petharbor.com and like us on Facebook @YubaCountyACS

Meet Carlie, A165932. Carlie is an Italian Greyhound mix pup who is about 1.5 years old and already spayed. Carlie is great yuba county pet of the 7 12 17with adults and kids and just loves being a sweet cuddlebug! Come check out Carlie and all of her friends available for adoption at Yuba County Animal Care Services 5245 Feather River Blvd Olivehurst. Open Monday-Friday 8:30am-3:30pm, Saturday 10am-2pm. For lost/adoptable animals visit www.petharbor.com and like us on Facebook @YubaCountyACS

Come down and adopt your new best friend and save a life!
Adult dogs are just $60 and INCLUDE spay or neuter and vaccines, Puppies under 4 months: pay $40 fully refundable spay/neuter deposit (includes age appropriate vaccines)
Adult cats over 4 months old: $50 includes spay/neuter and vaccines, Kittens under 4 months pay $40 FULLY refundable spay/neuter deposit!!!
Visit us ASAP to make a difference!!!

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.

 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