Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

July, 2007
Regional Report

Plant a Cutting Garden

If you have a sunny patch in your garden, may I recommend planting some flowers for cutting? African marigolds, sea foam statice, delphiniums, Shasta daisies, carnations, dahlias, and zinnias are all great flowers for creating arrangements. They are easy to grow and grow in similar conditions. Besides, a cutting garden is a brilliant jewel just to look at and enjoy!

Patrol for Budworms

Keep your eyes open for signs of budworms on geraniums and petunias. If you see chewed buds, look closely for the little green caterpillars chomping away on your plants. Treat with Bacillus thuringiensis (sold as Safer Caterpillar Killer, among other brands) in the morning and late afternoon for best results.

Irrigate Young Trees

Trees that have been in the ground less than two years will need summer irrigation. Build a berm to hold water around the drip line of the tree, and fill to the brim with water every two weeks. Or, surround young trees with a soaker hose and allow the water to run for several hours every other week. Training roots to grow deep into the soil will guarantee a healthy tree in future years.

Treat Trees With Oak Moths

Oak moths are especially prolific this year. On a recent visit to Angel Island State Park they were fluttering everywhere. Oak moths will mate soon and lay their eggs, which will hatch next spring and result in an infestation of leaf-eating caterpillars. Forewarned is forearmed. Consult a certified arborist if you suspect an invasion of these harmful insects.

Thin Apple Trees

If you want to harvest large apples from your tree, it's time to thin. The apples should have room to develop and grow. Leave one apple every 6 inches along each branch. Your fist is a good measure of distance between fruit. This task takes time, but you will be amply rewarded for your effort.

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