Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

In the Garden:
Southern California Coastal & Inland Valleys
July, 2010
Regional Report

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Keep bloomed-out roses trimmed to encourage more flushes of flowers.

Summer Feeding, Watering, Mulching

Continue watering and feeding the entire garden with a balanced fertilizer and manure tea or fish emulsion every other week or so for steady growth and food production. Foliar sprays of liquid seaweed help trees, vegetables, fruits, and ornamentals withstand heat stress. Pay special attention to shallow-rooted plants, which wilt and dry out quickly in hot, dry weather. Remember to not overhead water late in the day during warm weather, when leaves can't dry off by sunset, as this encourages diseases.

Keep high-nitrogen fertilizers away from beans, beets, carrots, parsnips, sweet and white potatoes, and tomatoes or there will be more foliage than fruit.

Keep grape root zones evenly moist as the harvest approaches, to assure full filling out and ripening of the grapes. Water grapes and berries deeply once a week until harvest. Then water once a month (twice a month during long periods of hot, dry weather).

Water and fertilize melons deeply once a week for juicy, fleshy fruits. Hold off irrigating melons about a week before they ripen so their sugars will concentrate. Soak strawberry beds and fruit and nut trees every other week this month if the weather's especially hot.

Keep citrus and avocado trees well-watered through the summer. Build a basin to contain water so it can soak in deeply, but start it one foot away from the trunk to prevent crown rot.

Use Manure Only on Certain Crops
Manure can be applied as a mulch directly onto globe artichokes, asparagus, cabbages and other cole crops, cucumbers, melons, sweet corn, and squash. But don't let it touch the stems or foliage, as it will burn them.

Keep the Mulch Coming!
Heavily mulch cultivated areas and pathways with organic matter to cut down on weeds and watering and to help keep plant roots cool. Replenish it as it breaks down into the soil. Keep it from touching stems of plants and trunks of trees to allow good air circulation and avoid possible crown rot.

Keep the compost pile moist and turned. Decomposition happens fast in hot weather. If the pile is in direct sun, keep its moisture from evaporating too quickly by covering the pile lightly with a tarp.

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