Southern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

August, 2003
Regional Report

Feed Your Food

Fertilize tasseling corn and other vegetables that are setting fruit -- beans, cucumbers, eggplants, tomatoes, etc. -- for increased yields. Plants appreciate this extra boost in food to use immediately in maturing their fruits. But during our extra-hot weather, be sure to water the plants well first so the fertilizer won't "burn" the roots.

Tending to Transplants

Transplant seedlings after they've developed their second set of true leaves. Carefully thin seedlings in growing beds. If you transplant these to another area, they'll be harvestable about a week or two later than the plants left in the original bed. Mulch transplants to help the soil retain moisture during the rest of the summer, and add more in October and November for frost protection.

Reduce Transplant Stress

Transplant seedlings late in the day to reduce their stress in the heat. Shade them from intense sun for a week, and sprinkle their foliage each morning. After a week, they should be able to tolerate full sun.

Be Mindful of Salt Content of Soil

Some vegetables are more tolerant of salty areas in the garden. If an area has received repeated applications of manure or other concentrated fertilizers, the salt content may be high. Asparagus, beets, kale, and spinach do well under these conditions, but celery, green beans, radishes, strawberries and most fruits cannot tolerate it. Other vegetables and cantaloupes, figs, and grapes are generally of medium tolerance.

Remove Ragged Leaves

Prune vegetable plants of their leaves that have become ragged from age, disease, or insect attacks. Then water plants well. Healthy new leaves and blossoms will appear, and fruit set will begin again. This is especially effective with beans, cucumbers, and squash.

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