Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

June, 2001
Regional Report

Remove Ivy from Trees

If you have ivy growing near the base of a tree, do not allow it to climb up the trunk. As the tree grows and expands in girth, the stems of the ivy also get larger, eventually killing the tree by strangulation. Cut or pull any ivy out of trees.

Turn Compost Piles

If you\'ve been weeding regularly, you should have a nice pile of compost by now. Keep the pile damp and turn it at least once a week to create rich, black compost to spread around your garden. If properly made, the pile should be heating up nicely.

Control Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew is a common fungal disease that attacks roses, zinnia, and zucchini. Avoid it by watering only in the early morning hours, letting plants dry during the day, and not getting the leaves wet. At the first sign of mildew, spray a solution of 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon horticultural oil, and 1 quart of warm water directly on foliage every few days.

Water Container Roses

If you grow roses in containers, make sure they have ample water. Container plants dry out quickly in hot weather. Use a saucer under the container to catch run off. Roses may need water as often as two or three times a week. Fill the pot to the brim, allow it to drain and fill again.

Hand-Pollinate Pumpkins

If you see that your pumpkin plants are setting flowers, hand-pollinate them to ensure a good crop. Pick a freshly opened male flower (one with just a straight stem behind the flower) and brush it against the inner parts of the female flowers (those with a small pumpkin behind them).


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