Southern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

July, 2011
Regional Report

Harvest Frequently

Harvest beans, cucumbers, squash, and tomatoes at least every other day to encourage further production.

Lift Crops Up Off 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.

Don't Overdo Nitrogen

Keep high-nitrogen fertilizers away from beans, beets, carrots, parsnips, sweet and white potatoes, and tomatoes, or they'll produce more foliage than fruit.

Paint Tree Trunks

A coat of light-colored interior latex paint on tree trunks exposed to direct sun will prevent sunscald, especially on young trees.

Split Bearded Iris Clumps

If iris has become crowded or didn't bloom much last spring, dig and divide the clumps. Break off and discard the older central rhizomes that have no foliage, even though they're firm and healthy. Let the young, healthy rhizomes dry out of the direct sun for several hours so a callus forms over the break or cut before replanting it. On rhizomes with foliage, clip roots to two inches in length, remove outer dry leaves, and clip the rest to about an eight-inch fan. Dig compost and bonemeal into the top six inches of soil. Replant the rhizomes a foot apart but deep enough only to barely cover the rhizome with soil. Position them so the fan points in the direction you want future growth to go. Water them in once to settle the soil, then wait a month or so before watering again.

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