Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

August, 2004
Regional Report

Cover Soaker Hoses

Place a thick layer of mulch over soaker hoses. water evaporates quickly in hot weather, so quickly, in fact, that it may not even reach the ground if you use overhead sprinklers. Soaker hoses are the perfect way to water trees and shrubs. Another reason to cover the hoses is they deteriorate more rapidly if exposed to the sun.

Reduce Tomato Watering

Cut back on water to encourage tomato fruits to develop good flavor. Tomatoes have very deep roots and can thrive on their own for a week or more. The less you water, the better your tomatoes will taste.

Final call for Pruning Rhodies, Azaleas, and Camellias

This is your last chance to prune and shape rhododendrons, camellias, and azaleas before they begin to set their buds for next spring. Fertilize the plants with a high-acid fertilizer after pruning to encourage maximum bloom.

Reduce Tomato Fertilizing

Don't overfertilize tomatoes with fertilizer high in nitrogen. The result will be blossom drop and that means no more tomatoes. Use liquid fish or half strength chemical fertilizer to keep your tomatoes producing through the end of summer.

Pamper Feathered Friends

Provide a source of water for birds in your garden. You will be amazed at how many insects a hungry sparrow can devour. Think of it as your reward for setting out a bird bath. Keep the water clean and fresh, and place a rock in the center so that smaller birds can enjoy a bath too.

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