Southern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

May, 2009
Regional Report

Cucumbers + Beans = No Beetles

Interplant cucumbers and beans to repel cucumbers beetles and prevent the wilt diseases they carry. Also plant Cucurbita lagenaria gourds as trap plants for cucumber beetles. Plant potatoes to repel squash bugs.

Don't Fret About Aphids

Don't worry about a few aphids -- they won't harm your plants. Greater numbers can be dislodged by spraying forceful jets of water (place your hand behind the bloom to support it as you spray). For more severe infestations, use insecticidal soaps or stronger sprays -- and bring in the ladybugs!

Bees = Pollination

Encourage bees to visit your garden for better pollination. They'll come more readily if you provide with their favorite plants -- including basil, borage, calendulas, catnip, hyssop, lemon balm, mint, summer savory, thyme, and other plants with blue flowers.

Butterflies = Beauty

To attract butterflies to your garden, plant asters, lantanas, buddleias ("butterfly bush"!), marigolds, sweet Williams, tithonias (Mexican sunflower), zinnias, and other daisy-like flowers.

Root Tip Cuttings

Prune tips of azaleas, carnations, chrysanthemums, fuchsias, geraniums, impatiens, lavender, marguerites, marigolds, petunias, rhododendrons, rosemary, sedums and zinnias to gently shape the plants and encourage them to bush out. Root these cuttings.

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