Southern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

August, 2005
Regional Report

Fertilize Veggies

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.

Lift Melons and Hold the Water

Lift melons off the soil surface get them away from moist soil and crawling pests. Boards, cans, or plastic baskets from strawberries or cherry tomatoes serve well. Stop watering plants the week before they're ripe to allow the sweetness to concentrate and to minimize fruit-cracking problems.

Be Patient With Poor Fruit Set

If you have kept plants well picked but fruit set has stopped, suspect hot weather. Fruit set will begin again about ten to fourteen days after the temperature stays below 85 to 90 degrees.

Tend Trees

Remove tree suckers and watersprouts -- the long shoots that grow straight up from the trunk base (suckers) or a branch (watersprouts). Keep tree trunks -- especially of young trees -- painted with light-colored, matte-finish, indoor latex paint to protect them from sunscald.

Sow Flowers

Sow or transplant alyssum, amaranthus, balsam, fibrous begonias, calendulas , candytuft (Iberis), celosia, columbines (Aquilegia), coral bells (Heuchera), coreopsis, cosmos, gloriosa daisies (Rudbeckia) marguerite and Shasta daisies, dahlias, delphiniums, dianthus, forget-me-nots (Myosotis), foxgloves, gaillardias, gerberas, geums, baby's breath (Gypsophila), hollyhocks, impatiens, larkspur, linarias, lobelia, marigold, nasturtiums, nemesias, pansies, petunias, phlox, Oriental and Iceland poppies, portulaca, fairy primroses (Primula), scabiosas, schizanthus, snapdragons, statice, stock, sweet peas, vinca, violas, and zinnias. Seedlings sown now will be ready for transplanting by early October and November. Calendulas will provide color all through winter when they have been planted every three weeks from now through mid-December.

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