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Central west garden guide.

Scaevola now comes

in two sizes

Scaevola is a versatile group of flowering plants from Australia that grow well in mild climates (Sunset zones 8, 9, 14 through 24).

Until recently, 'Mauve Clusters' was the only scaevola commonly available. This bright green, matting ground cover grows 4 to 6 inches tall and eventually 3 to 5 feet across. It stays green all year and is nearly ever-blooming in mild climates, producing 1/2-inc-wide lavender-blue, fan-shaped flowers in clusters.

A recent introduction findings its way into nurseries is S. aemula 'Blue Wonder'. It produces a profusion of 3/4-inch-wide, purplish blue flowers. Plants grow to 1 1/2 feet tall and are good for hanging baskets.

There's confusion about the name, UC Santa Cruz introduced S. aemula 'Diamond Head' several years ago; some botanists think it's the same plant as 'Blue Wonder', while others think the two are different varieties. Though similar in appearance, 'Blue Wonder' blooms more profusely and over a longer period than 'Diamond Head.'

All scaevola grow well in full sun (filtered sun or afternoon shade inland) and are fairly drought tolerant once established. Soak them twice a month in coastal areas, once a week in the hottest inland areas.

If you can't find 'Blue Wonder' at your nursery, have the nursery order it from Weidners' Begonia Gardens in Leucadia, California; (619) 436-5326.

'Diamond Head' can be ordered from Planet Earth Growers, Kerman, California; (201) 846-7881.

Carrots for any soil

Because of their small size, round carrots are usually much easier to grow than longer ones, especially in clay soil. ONly the top 3 to 4 inches of soil must be cultivated before planting, and roots
g o un

 pened newspaper, or a

floating row cover. When seeds germinate (in two to three weeks), remove the burlap or newspaper promptly; the row cover can remain. Thin seedlings to an inch apart when they're several inches tall.

Order seed from W. Altee Burpee & Co., 300 Park Ave., Warminster, Pa. 18974, (215) 674-9633; or Park Seed Co., Cokesbury Rd., Greenwood, S.C. 29647, *900) 845-3369. Catalogs are free.

Garden gloves protect

hands from infection

During the past five years, physicians at Scripps Clinic and REsearch Foundation in San Diego have treated six patients for infection caused by a mycobacterium. One patient became infected after he punctured his finger on a rose bush. The infection spread up his arm, and required three operations and treatment with antibiotics to control.

The organism is present in some compost materials and can enter the body through any break in the skin. Compost with poultry manure may have caused the patient's infection. Physicians say that early diagnosis is critical.

To prevent infection, gardeners should always protect their hands with sturdy, non-penetrable gloves.

Physicians recommend that all cuts and puncture wounds be cleaned with soapy water and peroxide. If you suffer a deep wound or have any inflammation, swelling, or pain during joint movement, contact your doctor as soon as possible.

Make sure trees have

enough moisture

For trees to produce growth in spring, they need to start the seaon with plenty of moisture around their roots. But in recent drought years, many trees haven't received enough water from rains to initiate a good flush; the result is stunted leaves and slowed growth.

Thirstier trees such as alder, birch, and magnolia, and trees growing in turf, are particularly susceptible. Turf uses all the moisture from light rains, leaving little for the tree.

If rains are light this year, deep-water trees at least once every month or two (this is especially important in fall, when root groth is greatest). To apply water slowly and deeply (to 18 to 24 inches), use a soaker hose or a deep-root waterer. Check moisture penetration with a soil probe or by digging with a trowel.

International orchid


In recognition of its 40th birthday, the San Francisco Orchid Society has renamed its aid show the Pacific Orchid Exposition. This year's event will be held February 28 through March 1 at Fort Mason Center's Herbst Pavilion (Pier 2).

Exhibitors from the Americas, Far East, and Pacific Islands will take part in an international competition. Judges will award prizes for single speciments of beautiful and rare orchids as well as for the best exhibits.

Hourly lectures and demonstrations cover subjects such as orchid culture. On Saturday and Sunday, orchid growers lead tours of displays at the exposition.

In the rear half of the pavilion, more than 40 vendors from the West Coast, Hawaii, Australia, New Zealnd, Thailand, Taiwan, and Brazil will sell plants.

Fort Mason is at Marina Boulevard and Buchanan Street. The preview showing is 6 to 9 p.m. Friday; cost is $15. Weekend hours are 10 to 5. Admission is $6; $3 seniors, disabled, and ages under 12. For more informations, call (415) 267-4814.

Scaly bark indicates

disease on sycamore

Sycamore tree are known for their handsome shedding bark, which reveals a smooth, light-colored trunk beneath. In the picture at right, the abnormal-looking, scaly bark is a sign that something is attacking the tree.

Horticultural consultant Barrie Coate of Los Gatos, California, determined that the tree is infected with Phytophthora cinnamomi, a fungus that causes a canker on the trunk. The canker cuts off the tree's nutrient flow. Severely infected trees have fewer and smaller leaves. If the canker expands completely and girdles the trunk, the tree dies.

Phytophthora thrives in wet, poorly drained soils. Spores that are splashed by rain or irrigation water during warm wheather spread the disease.

There's no cure for the disease; prevention is the key. Plant trees in well-drained soil and don't overwater. Avoid wounding the trunk and adjust sprinklers so water doesn't hit the tree (or don't plant trees in lawns).
COPYRIGHT 1992 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Swezey, Lauren Bonar
Date:Feb 1, 1992
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