Southern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

July, 2012
Regional Report

Water Tomatoes Every Three Days

Tomatoes and other large plants in loamy clay soil use about one inch of water in three days of hot dry weather. Rinse the undersides of leaves with water to discourage spider mites. Tomatoes and eggplants especially like this refreshment.

Lift Fruit Off 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.

Place Melons on Metal Cans

Place ripening melons onto upside down aluminum pie pans or metal cans to keep them off the damp soil. The reflected heat and light will help them ripen evenly and sooner than when they are shaded by foliage. Metal cans speed ripening and sweetening of melons by concentrating the sun's warmth and transferring it to the melons.

Transplant More Summer Color

Fill in garden gaps with summer-into-fall bloomers, especially alyssum, celosia, cosmos, petunia, portulaca, red sage, vinca, and zinnia.

Mulch Gardens and Pathways

Heavily mulch cultivated areas and pathways with organic matter to cut down on weeds and watering and to help keep plant roots cool. Replenish it as it deteriorates into the soil. Keep it from touching stems of plants and trunks of trees to allow good air circulation and avoid possible crown rot.

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