“Spring has returned. The Earth is like a child that knows poems.” – Rainer Maria Rilke.
1. Flowering shrubs such as azaleas and rhododendrons can be pruned back now to keep them compact and encourage more flowers for next year. Prune hydrangeas, fuchsias and bougainvillea.
2. When spring-blooming bulbs fade, remove the dead flowers but leave the dying foliage to draw in nutrients to the bulb for next year’s flowers.
3. Set out summer-flowering annuals and perennials. Nurseries should be well stocked with them now. In shady areas you can plant impatiens, lobelia, coleus or begonias. For sunny areas try ageratum, cosmos, marigolds, salvias, sweet alyssum and petunias.
4. Sow vegetable seed in place in the garden. Good choices are arugula, beans, carrots, Swiss chard, corn, cucumbers, radishes and peas. Also parsley, mint and basil.
5. Check your citrus trees for sucker growth. Large, spiky growth coming from below the graft is a problem and should be eliminated. For more information on growing and caring for citrus trees see http://homeorchard.ucanr.edu/Fruits_&amp;_Nuts/Citrus/.
6. Plant summer bulbs, corms, rhizomes and tubers such as agapanthus, tuberous begonias, calla lily, canna lily, dahlias and gladiolus.
7. If your fruit trees have finished blooming, you can thin out the clusters of fruit on apples, plums, apricots and peaches when the fruit are as big as a dime. This should give you larger and healthier fruit and will reduce stress on young branches. For more information on taking care of fruit trees see http://homeorchard.ucdavis.edu/8047.pdf.
8. For more information on growing your own deciduous fruit and nut trees you can read “The Home Orchard” book developed especially for use by University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources. Available for purchase at UC Cooperative Extension Office, 821 E. South St., Orland.
9. Both modern and antique roses should be fed this month. Always follow label instructions when determining how much fertilizer to use.
10. If you did not fertilize your lawn last month, fertilize it this month. For information on lawn care see http://ipm.ucanr.edu/TOOLS/TURF/MAINTAIN/index.html.
11. Take cuttings for new plants from azaleas, carnations, chrysanthemums, geraniums and succulents. Snip off a 4 inch length from the supple growth at the tip of a branch. It helps to dip the cut end into a rooting hormone (available at garden centers). Root the cuttings in damp sand or in vermiculite.
For more information, contact the UC Glenn County Master Gardener’s Plant Clinic on Wednesday afternoon from 2 p.m.-4 p.m. in the UC Cooperative Extension Office. People can also call 865-1107 or email email@example.com or submit a question on our website at http://ucanr.edu/sites/glennmg/.