Southern California Coastal & Inland Valleys
Make Last Corn Planting
Plant the last batch of corn this month, as later plantings will probably have smut problems (those big, gray and black puffs of fungus in place of kernels) when harvested in September. Or you may choose to inoculate your corn with the fungus -- it's a delicacy in Southwestern and Mexican cuisine.
Blossoms But No Squash? Don't Worry!
The first blossoms produced on squash plants are male. After a couple of weeks, the female blossoms (the ones with the miniature squash at the base of the flower) start appearing along with the male flowers. With bees to pollinate them, they will set fruit.
Amazing how those celery plants grow so prolifically in the garden -- nothing like those minimal heads from the market! Pull off individual stalks as you need them, or cut the plant off about three inches above the soil level. This will leave enough of the central growing point to send up more stalks. Once the plant starts to bolt, keep tasting before harvesting, since it'll remain tasty for a long time.
Take Care of Tender Citrus and Avocados
Keep citrus and avocados well-watered -- deeply every two or three weeks -- and add a 3-inch thick layer of mulch to maintain uniformly cool temperatures. These trees cannot withstand the stress of alternate moisture and dryness. Provide a large water basin area beyond the tree's dripline.
Plant Bulbs for Late Summer Color
Plant tuberous begonias, cannas, gladiolus, montbretias, and tigridias. Store spring-flowering bulbs in a cool, dry, dark place. Lift and divide daffodils and bearded irises if they are crowded or didn't bloom well this spring. Replant them in soil enriched with compost and rock phosphate.