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Gardening Q&A

January/February 2018 California Bountiful magazine

As a California Bountiful reader, you have the opportunity to get your seasonal gardening questions answered by gardening expert Pat Rubin. Here are a few questions from our readers.

Some of my succulents turned to mush this winter. What happened?

If these are succulents that normally survive your winter climate, then it's the freezing weather combined with too much water. I liken it to the water inside the plant freezing and turning to ice and sort of bursting. The result is a mushy mess. Water your succulents sparingly during the winter, and not at all before frosty weather.

I want to plant grapes along a fence line because I think they will look great. What should I plant?

I agree, that is a wonderful idea. I would lay weed cloth down first, and cover it with mulch. Then you can cut a slit to plant the grapevines. Make sure you provide a strong support system for the vines. End posts should be sunk in concrete so they don't bend or rot. Most people think they will plant winegrapes and make wine, but they rarely follow through. And if you're just planting a few vines, you likely won't have enough for making wine. I'd plant table grapes. It's a crop that you will always be able to share with family and friends. Another plus to planting grapevines is that you can make decorative wreaths in the fall when you prune the vines.

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