Butte County Spring Overview
Spring is a bridge from the chill of winter to the heat of summer and with it commences the germination of flower and vegetable seeds. Fruit and nut trees bloom and buds emerge on other trees and bushes. In the Butte County foothills, dormant grasses come alive, turning the landscape from brown to green. In spring, hibernating animals re-emerge, and hundreds of bird species come home. Spring is a busy season in the garden. Wait until the soil is no longer wet enough to form a ball in your hand to prevent compacting the soil when you walk into your garden areas.
- Irrigation system: Flush out sediment from filters and check screens for algae. Turn on water and make sure all emitters are dripping. Check for leaks on lines and repair if necessary. Consider adding a timer for greater efficiency.
- Clean up: Remove garden debris to prepare for new planting. Rake up leaves and compost them or chop them for mulch. Continue to pick up fallen camellia blossoms. Since decaying camellia blooms can harbor petal blight fungus, dispose of them in a green-waste container; do not add them to your compost pile.
- Mulch: Work decomposing organic materials into the soil prior to planting the garden or flower beds. Apply fresh mulch wherever needed.
- Control mosquitos by watching for and eliminating standing water anywhere in the garden. Clean bird baths regularly.
- Check regularly for snails. They congregate under- neath rocks and boards, and on leaves and plant stalks in shady areas. Hand pick and dispose of them. If you know someone with turtles, give them the live snails to feed to their turtles.
- Trap gophers whenever they appear.
- Planting: Mornings and evenings are the best times to plant new trees, perennials, vines, and shrubs.
- Start planning your summer vegetable garden. Take stock of last year’s successes and failures. Consider putting in one or more raised beds.
- Prune: Crape myrtles bloom on the current season’s growth so now is a good time to prune them, if you have not already done so.
- Fertilize shrubs and trees once during the spring at the beginning of the major growth flush.
- Weed, weed, weed: Removing weeds is much easier when ground is still damp and pliable. Eliminate them before they bloom and go to seed. A popular saying is “one year’s seeds gives seven years’ weeds.”
- Add aluminum sulfate to alkaline soil to make pink hydrangea flowers turn blue. Add lime or super phosphate in quantity for red or redder blooms (treatment must be started in advance of bloom).
Produce in Season
Mid-March to Mid-June