Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Southern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

July, 2004
Regional Report

Watering and Feeding

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. Avoid wetting the foliage of plants late in the day during warm weather because this encourages diseases. Water and fertilize melons deeply once a week for juicy, fleshy fruits. Hold off irrigating melons about a week before they will ripen so their sugars will concentrate.


Harvest beans, cucumbers, squash, and tomatoes at least every other day to encourage further production.

Use Care When Spreading Manure and Fertilizer

Manure can be applied as a mulch directly onto globe artichokes, asparagus, cabbages and other cole crops, cucumbers, melons, sweet corn, and squash. Don't let it touch the stems or foliage as it will burn them. Keep high-nitrogen fertilizers away from beans, beets, carrots, parsnips, sweet and white potatoes, and tomatoes, or there will be more foliage than fruit.

Dividing Iris

Dig and divide bearded iris clumps if they're crowding each other or didn't bloom well last spring. Break off and discard the older central rhizomes that have no foliage. Let the young, healthy rhizomes dry out of the direct sun for several hours so a callous forms over the break before replanting them. On rhizomes with foliage, clip roots to 2 inches in length, remove individual, dry leaves, and clip the rest to about an 8-inch fan. Dig compost and bonemeal into the top 6 inches of soil. Replant the rhizomes a foot apart but only deep enough to barely cover the rhizome with soil. Water them in.

Pruning Roses

Continue removing spent blooms on roses until fall. Then, feed lightly and water. Maintaining this schedule will encourage continuous bloom throughout the season. Tear -- don't just trim -- rose suckers off at the base with a harsh downward and outward pull. Don't be gentle; you want to remove or damage the sucker bud at the base.


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