Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys
Cut Back Annuals
Cut back annuals such as petunias now to produce another set of blooms. If you don't want to cut plants back severely leaving stubs and twigs, simply cut back 1/3rd of each plant every week. That way you will always have some flowers to look at while new growth is coming on.
Provide citrus trees with a mid summer boost to ensure a crop of flowers. Dibble a citrus fertilizer into the soil around the drip line and water it in well. Keep citrus trees watered during hot weather making sure the water soaks down a few feet into the soil.
Tree trimming companies are a great source of inexpensive mulch. Call your local tree service to see if they will deliver a load of chippings to your driveway. Mulching prevents weeds from growing, moisture loss, the spread of fungus disease, and just plain looks nice in your garden.
Prevent Powdery Mildew
To prevent powdery mildew fungus from forming, don't water roses, zucchini, zinnia or other mildew prone plants overhead. Place the hose at the base of the plant and allow the water to soak slowly into the soil, drenching the entire root zone instead of watering the foliage.
Now is a good time to prune rhododendrons and azaleas before they begin to set their buds for next spring. Cut rangy plants back to bare wood if necessary. Rhododendrons can sprout new growth from woody sections of the plant. Fertilize the plants with a high acid fertilizer after pruning to encourage new growth and maximum bloom.