Southern California Coastal & Inland Valleys
Plant your last batch of corn in July. Plantings after this date are more likely to have problems with fungal diseases such as smut. Of course, if you are interested in exotic foods, you may want to plant corn late to encourage smut disease. This fungus is edible and is a delicacy in Mexico and the Southwest where it's called huitlacoche.
Hand Pollinate Tomatoes
Flick tomato flowers mid-day with your hand to ensure pollination. Large plants can be pollinated by gently shaking the branches while holding onto their cages or stakes. Although tomatoes can pollinate themselves, helping by flicking or hand pollinating will ensure a good crop.
Keep Harvesting Veggies
Keep vegetables picked often, even if you don\'t plan to use that day\'s harvest immediately. Vegetables that aren\'t harvested when nearing maturity will produce a chemical that inhibits further blossoming. Check plants at least every other day during the summer for ripening produce.
Pinch Back Herbs
To continue producing lush harvests of herbs, pinch back plants such as basil, sage, and oregano to encourage the plant to send out side shoots. Succulent new leaves are loaded with oils and are more flavorful than leaves grown on woody old growth.
Lightly prune roses on a weekly or bi-weekly basis to encourage them to flower continuously into late fall. Trim faded blooms to the first five-part leaf. This will encourage new buds to form and new blooms will appear in about three weeks. This gentle pruning also strengthens the lower canes and root system.