In the Garden:
Southern California Coastal & Inland Valleys
June, 2007
Regional Report

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Roses and annuals went wild with last fall's homemade compost.

A Plentiful Garden

We've had such a wonderfully long spring -- mild days in the 70s, nights in the 50s, and moist, foggy mornings -- that I've only had to water the garden every other week for the most part. I finally pulled up the edible and flowering peas, and planted another batch of cucumbers, squash, and beans. These will begin bearing when the ones I planted a month ago start slowing down and succumbing to mildew. I'll sow another batch in a month, and a month after that. These four repeat sowings will provide me with six months of continuous harvests of my summer favorites.

Feeding Tomatoes
The tomatoes I planted way back in March reached the top rung of their 6-foot-tall cages and are almost ready to give us our first fruits, with blossoms still coming aplenty. Because I chose both hybrid and heirloom varieties of determinate and indeterminate plants and a wide range of days-to-maturity, we'll have fresh tomatoes through at least Thanksgiving. I added tomato and vegetable organic fertilizer an inch deep around all plants when they started blooming, since fruit-set time begins their heaviest pull of nutrients from the soil. This will assure continued blooming, and development of full-flavored fruit.

Boysenberries and Peaches, Fresh and Frozen
The boysenberries and our first peaches have almost finished after providing us with several bags of frozen berries and quarts of frozen peaches. Between my Dad's planting of trees for sequential harvests, and my filling in the gaps with new varieties, our taste buds are treated to a succession of fruit from summer into fall.

Wonderful Roses
The roses were really beautiful and plentiful this year. They surprised me with how lush the foliage was and how plentiful and huge the blooms were, especially considering our dearth of rain. But then I remembered that last fall we laid down the year's homemade compost, which every year goes to the place in the garden that's been the longest without it. Definitely proof of the marvel of mulch!


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