Southern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

May, 2012
Regional Report

Plan Your Harvest Times

If you plan to preserve some of your garden's bounty, you may prefer to grow vegetable varieties that will be ready for harvest all at one time. On the other hand, you may prefer processing several small batches rather than making a marathon effort. In this case, reseed or transplant seedlings every two or three weeks for continuous harvests.

Use Corn to Support Pole Beans

To use cornstalks as pole bean supports, wait until the corn plants are 6 inches tall before planting the beans. If you plant the beans earlier, they'll outgrow the corn.

Protect Bare Tree Trunks from Sunburn

Paint tree trunks with light-colored indoor latex paint to prevent sunburn damage. Use an inexpensive brand, or thin down an expensive one to half paint and half water.

Brighten Shade with Blooming Plants

Blooming plants brighten shady garden areas and provide lush foliage during hot summer weather. In dense to medium shade, plant begonias, coleus, and impatiens. In light shade with partial sun, plant ageratum, Canterbury bells, lobelia, nicotiana, and salvia.

Keep Roses Blooming

Every week or so until fall, prune the spent blooms on roses down to the first five-part leaf or a bit further to gently shape the plant; then feed it lightly, and water. Prune out any shoots that grow from the rootstock below the graft and thin twiggy growth, especially in the center of the plant, for better air circulation. Water only in the mornings, so the foliage is dry before sunset, lessening disease problems.

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