Southern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

May, 2007
Regional Report

Plant Summer-Loving Veggies

Sow seeds and plant transplants of lima and snap beans, beets, carrots, celery, chard, chicory, chives, corn, cucumbers, eggplants, leeks, warm-season lettuces, melons, okras, green onions, peanuts, peppers, pumpkins, soybeans, warm-season spinach, squashes, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes.

Plant Posies

Most everything can be sown or transplanted for late spring and summer-into-fall color. Some favorites include alyssum, globe amaranth, asters, baby's breath, bachelor's buttons, begonias, calendula, campanula, candytuft, carnations, celosia, chrysanthemums, cleome, columbines, coralbells, coreopsis, cosmos, gloriosa and marguerite and Shasta daisies, dahlias, dianthus, forget-me-nots, four-o'clocks, gaillardias, gazanias, gerberas, geraniums, impatiens, lantanas, lunaria, marigolds, morning glories, nasturtiums, nicotianas, penstemons, periwinkle, petunias, phlox, California and Oriental and Shirley poppies, portulaca, potentilla, pyrethrum, rosemary, salvias, scabiosa, statice stocks, strawflowers, sunflowers, tithonia, verbena, vinca, and zinnias.

Feed Strawberries

Fertilize strawberries with a balanced fertilizer now and after each heavy fruit-bearing period for continued strong growth and fruit set. A seaweed and fish solution offers many micronutrients. Avoid mulching with manure, however, as strawberries are not tolerant of salt, and manure (especially chicken) has a relatively high level. Even with excellent irrigation and drainage, summer heat will cause this saltiness to burn the berry plants.

Add Mulch

Renew mulch under grapes and berries. Strawberries and blueberries benefit from loose, acid mulch, such as pine needles or rotted sawdust. Raspberries and blackberries prefer a hay or straw mulch.

Don't Recycle Your Weeds!

Continue pulling weeds before they form flower heads or scatter their seeds, and you'll have fewer weed problems later. Watering the day before weeding will ease the chore. If you leave pulled weeds in garden pathways to dry as mulch, be sure to leave them with their roots up so they don't reroot. But don't leave weeds that have already developed their seedheads or some seeds may continue to mature and germinate next year. You don't want your weeds to recycle themselves!

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