Southern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

June, 2010
Regional Report

Still-Coolish? Sow these.

Sow or transplant these veggies— lima and snap beans, beets, carrots, celeriac, celery, chard, corn, cucumbers, eggplants, oakleaf and other heat-tolerant and bolt-resistant lettuces, melons, okra, peppers, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, radishes, New Zealand spinach, summer and winter squash, and tomatoes. Sow or transplant these flowers— alyssum, globe amaranth, celosia (cockscomb), cleome, coreopsis, cosmos, foxglove, gazania, marigold, nasturtium, nicotiana, portulaca (moss and sun rose), salvia, sanvitalia, statice, sunflower, tithonia, and zinnia.

Last Corn Planting

Plant the last batch of corn this month, as later plantings will probably have smut problems (those big, gray and black puffs of fungus in place of kernels) when harvested in September. Or you may choose to inoculate your corn with the fungus— it's considered a delicacy in Southwest and Mexican cuisine!

Blossoms But No Squash? No Problem!

If your first squash blossoms don't set fruit, don't worry. They're probably just male blossoms. Once the female blossoms (the ones with the miniature squash at the base of the flower) start appearing along with the male flowers and bees are present to pollinate them, fruit set should take place.

More Plants From Trimmings

Root woody cuttings of azalea, chrysanthemum, carnation, fuchsia, and hydrangea. Choose growth that is somewhat woody and not still bright green and pliable. Cut a five- or six- inch piece, and strip off all of the leaves but the tiny young top growth and one or two well-developed leaves. Place the cutting in light, sandy soil or planting mix up to the bottom leaf. Sprinkle the foliage and thoroughly wet the soil mixture. Provide filtered light in a sheltered location and keep soil mix moist until the cuttings are well-established, in about a month. Then they can be transplanted.

Cut Roses Later in the Day

Cut roses last longer when cut late in the day, unlike other blooms, which last longer when cut early in the morning. Those cut after 4:30 p.m. will last up to ten hours longer than those cut at approximately 8:00 a.m. The sugar that the leaves manufacture and store during the day remains in the leaves, nourishing the blooms. In flowers cut early in the morning, those sugars have traveled to the stem and roots during the night, so there's little left in the leaves to feed the blooms.

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