It’s Time for Spring Vegetable Planting in Southern California

bumblebee-imageAccording to Orange County columnist and gardening expert Cindy McNatt, March in southern California is the time to plant summer vegetables, citrus, and avocados. McNatt also states that this is the time to mulch.

Wherever there isn’t a plant, a weed will pop up. You can spray, you can hoe, but the easiest way to eliminate weeds is to smoother them with mulch. Plants love mulch - weeds despise them.

McNatt also says now is the time to water “[a]lmost everything, but not without checking the moisture content of your soil.” In addition, fertilize “[a]lmost everything that needs it,” and she addsorganic please.” (Bold is my emphasis.)

Concerning the primary macronutrientsnitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K)that are essential for plant health, McNatt gives the following advice:

Use a fertilizer high in nitrogen for all things green. Use a fertilizer high in phosphorus for all things that fruit or bloom. Use a fertilizer high in potassium when roots are important, such as with potatoes, beets and bulbs.

In addition to the primary macronutrients, secondary macronutrients and micronutrients also play an important role in plant health. Soil that contains numerous beneficial organisms such as fungi, bacteria and earthworms will help to ensure that these vital nutrients are available for the plants to absorb (more on that at another time). Synthetic fertilizers and pesticides can kill these useful organisms. This results in the decreased health and nutritional content of the plants. So as McNatt say “organic please.”

Photo courtesy Planet Natural, a company that provides earth friendly garden products