Southern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

July, 2010
Regional Report

Lifting Vine Crops From The Soil

Protect vine crop fruits like melons and squash from snails and slugs by lifting the fruits or vegetables onto cans, berry baskets, or boards. Also, spread crushed eggshells under each plant--the snails and slugs will avoid the sharp particles.

Grape Clusters

Enclose whole grape clusters in paper bags for protection from birds and wasps. Excluding light will not affect the ripening or sweetening of the grapes. Or slip eight-inch sections of old pantyhose over grape clusters, tying the top and bottom with twist-ties or string in a bow. They keep out assorted insects and birds, but are easy to remove for harvesting and can be reused each year.

Begin Seeding Winter Veggies!

Start thinking of winter gardens and sow carrots, celery and cole crops- broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage (especially red and savoy types, which resist frost better), cauliflower and kohlrabi. Keep the soil moist and shaded until they're up and then gradually allow them more sun over a week's time.

Rip Those Rose Suckers

Tear- don't just trim- rose suckers off at the base with a harsh downward and outward pull. Don't be gentle- the suckers will not return only if you remove or damage the sucker bud at the base.

Sunflowers for Birds

Encourage birds into your garden to eat the harmful insects by providing whole sunflower seedheads. Hang the entire head in a clothes hanger on a tree limb, fence or post, letting the birds pick their own. Save the sunflower stalks, stripped of their branches and leaves, to use next year as trellis stakes.

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