Southern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

August, 2008
Regional Report

Fertilize Veggies

Fertilize tasseling corn and other vegetables that are setting fruit -- beans, cucumbers, eggplants, tomatoes, etc. -- for continuing 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.

Consider Salt Content of Soil Before Planting

Some vegetables are more tolerant of salty areas in the garden. If an area has received repeated applications of manure or other concentrated fertilizers, the salt content may be high. Asparagus, beets, kale, and spinach do well under these conditions, but celery, green beans, radishes, strawberries, and most fruits cannot tolerate it. Other vegetables and cantaloupes, figs, and grapes are generally of medium tolerance.

Don't Expect Fruit Set at High Temperatures

If you have kept plants well picked, but fruit set has stopped, suspect hot weather. Fruit set will begin again about 10 to 14 days after the temperature stays below 85 to 90 degrees.

Fertilize Trees One Last Time

Stop feeding trees later this month, or the resulting tender new growth will be damaged by winter frosts. The gradually cooling weather and lack of additional nitrogen fertilizer during September, October, and early November will help harden exuberant summer growth so it can withstand winter's cold.

Water Lawn in Early Morning

Early watering gives the grass a chance to dry quickly. This reduces development of fungal diseases that thrive in wet, warm conditions, especially overnight. Feed Bermuda, dichondra, St. Augustine, and other subtropical grasses. Wait until the weather cools before feeding cool-season grasses.

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