In the Garden:
Southern California Coastal & Inland Valleys
My second planting of lima and snap beans, cucumbers, and crookneck squash promises continued harvests of young, succulent veggies through the summer.
Summer Garden Planting
With June's hot air temperatures and warm soil, garden growth shifts into high gear this month in our region. Plants are settled in and well on their way toward strong growth, many blooms, and delicious harvests.
Planting on the Coast
On the coast, and a bit farther inland, where mornings are still foggy and afternoons are not blistering hot, we can still sow and transplant for continuous harvests of vegetables and flowers. Sow or transplant lima and snap beans, Swiss chard, sweet corn, cucumbers, eggplants, oakleaf and other heat-tolerant and bolt-resistant lettuces, melons, okra, peppers, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, New Zealand spinach, summer and winter squash, and tomatoes.
For flowers, sow or transplant alyssum, globe amaranth, celosia, cleome, coreopsis, cosmos, gazania, marigold, nasturtium, nicotiana, portulaca, salvia, sanvitalia, statice, sunflowers, tithonia, and zinnia.
When you transplant vegetables or flowers, choose seedlings that aren't rootbound. Confined roots don't spread out very fast, especially in hot weather, to absorb enough moisture and nutrients to enable them to survive summer heat. Gently loosen the rootballs of transplants so roots can quickly reach out into surrounding soil to establish themselves. Transplant seedlings close enough together so leaves of plants will shade the soil between the plants when mature. This will keep plant roots cooler and wetter, and you'll have to water less.
When planting a succession crop after the early spring vegetables are finished, consider following heavy-feeding leafy vegetables such as spinach and cabbage with nitrogen-replenishing legumes such as peas, beans, and soybeans. Don't fertilize the soil again before succession plantings of beans or carrots, since excess nitrogen results in forked and hairy carrots and lush bean plants with few beans.
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