Southern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

May, 2011
Regional Report

Sow or Transplant Summer Veggies

Sow seeds of lima and snap beans, beets, carrots, chard, chives, corn, cucumbers, eggplants, leeks, warm-season lettuces, melons, okras, green onions, peanuts, peppers, pumpkins, soybeans, warm-season spinaches, squashes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and winter squashes (which grow in summer and are stored for eating later during the winter).

Snip, Don't Pull Pea Vines

Pea plants are nitrogen-fixers, so you want to let the roots stay in the soil to decompose and release their nitrogen into the soil for later crops. So, cut the vines off at the soil level rather than pulling them out.

Plant and Paint Fruit Trees

Plant citrus and other tender trees. Keep the soil well mulched to hold in moisture with fewer waterings. Paint tree trunks with light-colored indoor water-soluble paint to prevent sunburn damage, using an inexpensive brand, or thin down an expensive one to half paint and half water.

Pinch Back Foliage

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

Care for that Bit of Lawn

Fertilize with a slow-release fertilizer just enough to keep it growing well, but not so much that stimulates lots of lush, water-demanding growth that'll keep you mowing! Mow only once or twice a week, according to the rate of growth -- don't cut off more than 25 percent of new growth at a time, or the lawn won't have enough "green part" left to grow well.. Set mower blade height to between two and three inches for a "high" cut that enables grass blades to shade their roots.

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