Plant Depot
August 2017

Plant Depot

Plant Depot


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Plant Depot
1. Fertilize blooming tropicals to maximize flower production. Use water-soluble bloom formula.

2. Control chewing insects organically with Spinosad (Captain Jacks). Remember to shake solution before spraying; spray early evening.

3. If snail production is getting out of control, go on snail ‘hunts’ 3 or 4 consecutive nights or early mornings-put them in a trash bag and throw them away or give them a ‘flying lesson’ and let the birds have at them. Do not skip a night or morning. After third or fourth day you will have reduced the population severly; then put snail bait to control what is now a more manageable population.

4. Provide sufficient support for tomatoes, beans, flowering vines, etc.

5. If you haven’t yet, apply top dressing of Malibu Compost around plants, taking care not to put compost up onto the trunks or stems. You can also treat soil with compost tea. Remember: we do this to promote beneficial microbes.

6. Be prepared to protect new plantings in case of excessive heat. Cool them off with an afternoon spritz-watering; maybe even use that beach umbrella if heat is way up.

7. Assessing the garden quarterly doesn’t mean you have to make major changes. Take notes, photos of the one or two problem area(s) to discuss with our experienced nursery staff.

8. Consider learning a bit about attracting native bird species to your yard by installing a bird house (or two). Native birds eat more insects than seems possible. This will greatly reduce the need to use pesticides.

Plant Depot
Rose slugs, which are the larval stages of a flying insect known as the sawfly, can cause serious damage to rose leaves during the growing season. The rose slug, which isn’t a slug at all, feeds on the surface of the leaf, causing the leaf to look lacey, or skeletonized. If damage is light and sparse, the health of the rose is not in jeopardy. However, if damage gets severe and begins to cover a large portion of the plant, it may be necessary to apply a spray.

Sprays containing horticultural oils, including neem oil, can be effective against the insect. Spinosad (Captain Jack’s Deadbug Brew) is another product that has been used effectively. Just remember to follow label directions accordingly. If damage is light, it is wise to prune off the effective areas. In my own yard, I have pruned my roses back when damage gets severe, just to watch my plants grow back beautifully a few weeks later.

Whichever method you use to control the rose slug, identifying and catching it early in the growing season can limit your need to spray, limiting damage to beneficial insects.

Plant Depot
Dried, brown tips and edges on leaves of avocado trees indicates the buildup of various types of salts (though not usually sodium).

Our ‘hard’ tap water contains a touch of lime (calcium carbonate), synthetic fertilizers contain ammonia and other bases. These various ‘salts’ on plants like avocado that are sensitive, build up in the soil and also in the leaves as brown tips and edges.

Many experts recommend monthly ‘leaching’ every third or fourth watering to get built up salt below or away from root zone. That can work, however where soil is heavy down below, you run the risk of promoting root rot if you’re not careful. Avocados need excellent drainage.

To minimize tip burn we need to minimize salt build up. Here is how with a tree pronged approach:

Allow fallen leaves to build up under avocado tree to be a nice thick mulch layer. A 3” later will reduce evaporation rate and reduce salt buildup.

Soil sulfur, magnesium sulfate, or aluminum sulfate used as per label directions reduce alkalinity caused by salt build up.

Worm castings, rich well aged compost, products rich in humic acids, and a tea made from such products greatly increase beneficial microbial activity in the root zone of Avocado or other plants and probably the most effective of the three pronged approach to minimize salt build up.

Additional note: Excess salts in soil can cause avocado fruit to drop prematurely by causing Calcium to be ‘locked up’. So reducing salt buildup is beneficial in keeping leaves healthy looking and helping your tree keep fruit to ripening.


Plant Depot
Fine Nursery & Gift Boutique

32413 San Juan Creek Road
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675


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Plant Depot
32413 San Juan Creek Rd.
San Juan Capistrano, California 92675

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