Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

July, 2005
Regional Report

Inspect Drip Systems

Make sure drip irrigation systems are doing their job. Plugged emitters, broken lines, and shrub heads which may have been inadvertently misplaced can cause your plants to die.

Prune Camellias

Now that camellias have stopped blooming, thin plants so that light can reach the center. Tip-prune long stems to force branching, and remove any dead, diseased, or injured wood. A few weeks after pruning, fertilize with 15-30-15 to encourage bloom.

Weed Ground Covers

Make sure that oxalis, common bindweed, and Bermuda grass don't take over your ground covers. Hand-pick weeds or spot-spray with the least toxic herbicide, if you are so inclined.

Groom Flowering Plants

Go through your garden now and remove all faded flowers and foliage. Good grooming habits prevent insect populations from becoming established. There is plenty of time left for plants to recover from a midsummer haircut. Leggy petunias and impatiens especially benefit from a light trim.

Caring for Citrus

Since citrus roots grow near the surface and require constant moisture, use a 2- to 3-inch layer of organic compost as mulch to prevent moisture loss and provide necessary nutrients. A stone or gravel mulch will reflect heat back onto the trees and hasten ripening of the fruit!

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