Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys
Raise Low-Hanging Limbs
If a tree on your property is growing over a sidewalk or driveway, check to make sure there is ample clearance for pedestrians and autos. Cars can damage branches, which will then be an open invitation to insect pests. Use a pole pruner (Fiskars makes a good one) to keep branches well above the traffic.
Take a Soil Test
If your garden isn't doing as well as you would like, take a soil sample and send it off to a lab for evaluation. Your local County Extension office can recommend a lab, or you can find one online. An evaluation of your particular soil will give you the information necessary to amend your garden with exactly what it requires.
Continue Pinching Fuchsias
Fuchsias are growing like crazy now. Keep the branch tips pinched back to the next set of leaves to promote abundant flowering. Fuchsias are heavy feeders so pour on the fertilizer.
Save Kitchen Scraps for the Garden
Keep a covered bucket under your kitchen sink to catch vegetable waste, and your garden will thank you. End bits of lettuce, carrots, onions, even eggshells can be tossed into the kitchen bucket. When it's full, carry it out to your compost pile, or bury the scraps in the ground to improve soil texture and supply a free source of nitrogen.
Feed the Birds
Keep bird feeders and birdbaths full and clean. Wild birds can be your garden's best friends by consuming a huge amount of insect pests. No caterpillar will dare linger where there are birds on patrol. If possible, leave a small section of your garden wild and overgrown so the birds have a place to roost and hide from predatory cats.