The Plant Man: Plant a variety of flowers and vegetables to ensure your garden is ready for spring

By Steve Kawaratani

“Rainy days were created so gardeners could get housework done.” –Anonymous

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Photos courtesy of Steve Kawaratani

Steve Kawaratani

As mid-February is noted by noticeably longer days, but lingering chilly mornings, myriad gardening imperatives are upon us. Between winter storms, consider planting a variety of flowers and vegetables to ensure your garden is ready for the promise of spring; embrace the beauty of our village and enhance your home with a flourishing garden.

As noted last time, February generally brings rainfall to Laguna, which is the gods’ way of watering your garden. With rain predicted later this weekend, use the gift of free water by capturing rainwater for your plants. Collect rainwater with buckets or barrels, while reducing your dependency on the domestic water supply. Inspect and confirm your gutters and drains are working properly, as hillside properties are failing due to improper, concentrated water flow onto vulnerable slopes in Laguna and adjacent locales.

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Snapdragons and cyclamen are garden stars

Mid-February is a great time to prepare for spring. Prune deciduous, flowering shrubs to encourage healthy growth and improve their overall appearance, and deadhead spent flowers to encourage another round of blossoms. It’s also an excellent time to cut back perennial grasses and clean up flowerbeds to enjoy a neat and tidy garden.

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Snap peas are tasty and easy to grow

Consider planting cool-season flowers like snapdragons, pansies and cyclamen to bring color into your garden. Vegetables such as lettuce, kale and snap peas thrive during the cooler season, providing you with a bountiful and tasty harvest.

While enjoying your garden, it’s important to be mindful of potential pests. This is the perfect time to implement prevention measures by applying safe pest deterrents or setting up natural traps. Inspect your garden regularly for signs of aphids, snails and slugs, and address any observed issues promptly.

Whether gardening is planting, pruning or protecting your plants from the storms, embrace the cool season, and let your inner green thumb bring garden wonder to your own personal Eden. Happy gardening and see you next time.

Steve Kawaratani has been a local guy for seven decades and likes to garden and drive the Baja Peninsula with Catharine and Loki. He can be reached at or 949.494.5141.

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