Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Southern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

June, 2001
Regional Report

Getting Squash

If your first squash blossoms don't set fruit, don't worry. Male flowers often open before female flowers in summer squash and zucchini. Once the female blossoms (the ones with the miniature squash at the base of the flower) start appearing along with the male flowers, the bees should take care of any cross-pollination that's needed to produce fruit.

Harvest Garlic and Onions

Stop watering your garlic and bulb onions when the foliage begins to dry and bend naturally. Harvest the bulbs carefully and cure them in single layers on slats or screens in a dry, shady, well-ventilated location. Make sure the necks of the bulbs are completely dry (crisp and papery) before clipping the foliage or bunching and tying the bulbs. Store the thoroughly dried onions in a shaded, cool, dry, well-ventilated area.

Protect Melons

Protect vining vegetables such as melons and pumpkins from snails and slugs by lifting the fruits onto cans, berry baskets, or boards. Spread crushed eggshells around each fruit and check the fruits daily to be sure these slimy creatures haven\'t gotten through your barrier.

Leave Corn Suckers

Leave suckers that form at the base of cornstalks. Although these shoots will not increase yields, the extra leaf surface of the suckers increases photosynthesis, which provides more food for the developing ears. However, remove any ears that form on the suckers, as they will take energy away from the ears on the main stalk.

Prune and Pinch Flowers

Remove spent blooms and cut back shrubs such as azalea, camellia, forsythia, flowering quince, lilac, spiraea, and weigela. Prune wisteria to shape and control its growth. Pinch back tips and faded blooms from alyssum, tuberous begonia, carnation, chrysanthemum, dianthus, delphinium, fuchsia, geranium, hydrangea, lobelia, marguerite, and penstemon to encourage bushier growth and more flowering later.


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