Magazine article Sunset

May: What to Do in Northern California

Magazine article Sunset

May: What to Do in Northern California

Article excerpt

PLANT ALPINE STRAWBERRIES Tiny but tasty, these berries appear all through summer. Grow them in containers or in the ground; they'll reseed, producing new plants for next spring. They are available from Stargazer Perennials (stargazerperennials.com or 541/786-1791).

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NEW ZINNIA Zahara Starlight Rose has showy flowers that thrive in heat. Plants reach 1 to 1 1/2 feet tall and bloom from June to frost. Seeds are available from Park Seed Company (parkseed.com or 800/273-0076).

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WHITE FLOWERING SHRUBS Choose sturdy, old-fashioned bridal wreath spirea (Spiraea) and fragrant mock orange (Philadelphus) for a romantic, blowsy white garden. In the hottest climates, plant mock orange in partial shade; spirea grows well in sun or light shade.

Control weeds Pull them while they're young, before they set seed. Spread a 4-inch layer of mulch on beds to prevent new weeds from sprouting, keeping mulch a few inches away from tree trunks and plant crowns.

SET OUT VEGGIES When soil warms, plant eggplant, peppers, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes. Keep soil moist to encourage new roots. Hard-to-find sweet-potato slips are available from Livingston farmer Jim Alvernaz ($20 for 10 plants; 209/756-6970). …

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