Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

August, 2011
Regional Report

Water Twice

Water potted plants adequately early in the day. Two light applications of water in close succession are preferable to a single heavy watering. The water will penetrate deeper if applied in this method.

Put Plastic Buckets to Use

Five gallon plastic buckets are invaluable in the garden. Use them to carry your tools, soak potted plants, and collect weeds or garden debris. As a bonus, you can flip one over and use it as a seat when working low to the ground. Keep buckets clean by rinsing well with fresh water between uses.

Prevent Damping Off Disease in Seedlings

To prevent 'damping off', a fungal disease common to seedling plants, sprinkle the surface of the soil with cinnamon, a natural fungicide. To further prevent the disease, saturate seedlings thoroughly and then wait until the plants are almost to the wilt stage before watering again.

Hand Pick Bean Beetles

Bean beetles look very similar to ladybugs but are more yellowish in color. Unlike ladybugs that eat other bugs, bean beetles eat your bean crop. Hand pick from bean plants in the early morning or late afternoon when they are most active. Drop the collected insects into a bucket of soapy water. Plant beans near potato plants, with a border of nasturtiums and marigolds, to minimize problems with this pest in the future.

Harvest Onions

When onions are ready to harvest the heavy green tops flop over. Pull the bulbs out of the ground and allow them to lay in the sun for a few days before storing in a cool, dry place. Do not store onions in non-breathable containers.

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