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Around the Yard

March 23, 2000|ROBERT SMAUS

* Prune poinsettias. Some people keep their holiday poinsettias, planting them out in the garden in areas that don't get severely cold (they're hardy in most of Southern California, though not the high desert). To keep plants from getting too leggy, prune them back now, taking off 60% to 80% of the growth. Plants in pots--indoors or out--should also be pruned back.

Fertilize poinsettias with an acidic food.

* Ignore green water. After aquatic plants in ponds have been divided or repotted--or have simply gone dormant--the water often turns green for a month or more in the warming spring weather. Sometimes algae covers the surface. It's a natural occurrence--caused by added nutrients and too much sun--and will disappear on its own when aquatic foliage regrows enough to cover, and shade, about 75% of the water surface.

* Plant more vegetables. In March, vegetable gardens are between seasons so you can plant last-minute crops of cool-season, winter vegetables--such as cabbage or peas. It's also a good time to plant some early warm-season vegetables such as summer squash, snap beans, and early varieties of corn and tomatoes. You can also plant beets, carrots, leaf lettuce and Swiss chard, which can be grown in almost any season in the Southland.

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