Magazine article Sunset

What to Do in Northern California

Magazine article Sunset

What to Do in Northern California

Article excerpt

March

BEST-EVER PANSY

After years of breeding, 'Mammoth' pansies are finally showing up in nurseries. Their clear or blotched flowers withstand freezing weather, and beefy stems support their extra-large blooms in rain and wind.

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GROW GOURMET GREENS Arugula, chicory, lamb's quarter, mustards, and sorrel grow best in cool weather, so plant seeds soon. Harvest outer leaves as the plants grow, and let some go to flower to attract beneficial insects.

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ALL ABOUT CHILE PEPPERS The Complete Chile Pepper Book (Timber Press, 2009; $30) by Dave DeWitt and Paul W. Bosland will teach you how to choose, grow, harvest, skin, powder, smoke, and dry chiles. It's also packed with recipes for chile-spiced fondue, tiramisu, ice cream, and more.

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CONTROL PESTS

As the weather warms, insect populations can increase rapidly. If you spot even a few aphids or spittlebugs, blast them with a hose or use insecticidal soap before you have an infestation.

WEED Seedlings slip easily out of moist early-spring soil. Pull or hoe them before they flower. Other organic weed-control options include acid-based herbicides and mulch. …

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