Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

August, 2001
Regional Report

Mulch Soaker Hoses

Place a thick layer of mulch over soaker hoses. In hot weather, water evaporates quickly, soaker hoses are the perfect way reduce evaporation while watering trees and shrubs. Another reason to cover the hoses is they may deteriorate rapidly in the sun unless protected.

Reduce Water on Tomatoes

Cut back watering tomatoes now to develop the best flavor. Tomatoes have very deep root systems and can thrive on their own for weeks in good soil. The less you water, the more sugars will accumulate in the fruits and the better they'll taste.

Fertilize Tomatoes

Don't over fertilize tomatoes with fertilizer high in nitrogen. The result will be lots of lush green foliage and blossoms that don't set fruit and drop. Use a liquid fish or 1/2 strength chemical fertilizer to keep your tomatoes producing through the end of summer.

Pull Weeds

Weed that have gotten out of control can be huge by now. I've seen some that are so big they need staking! Weeds will rob nutrients and water from nearby ornamental plants. Water before weeding. The damp soil will help those roots to slip easily from the ground.

Water the Birds

Provide a source of water for birds in your garden. You\'ll be amazed at how many insects a hungry sparrow can devour. Keep the bird bath water clean and fresh, and place a rock in the center so that smaller birds can perch and enjoy a bath too.


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