Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

July, 2012
Regional Report

Keep Citrus Trees Moist

Check the soil under citrus trees frequently to see that they are getting ample water. Lack of moisture will cause the developing fruit to drop. Lay a soaker hose around the drip line of the tree to deliver water directly where it's needed. Apply a layer of mulch to prevent the soil from drying between watering.

Feed Roses

Apply a slow release, bloom-enhancing fertilizer product to roses now. Look for one with a 15-30-15 analysis. Roses are going into their second or third bloom cycle now and require a little nourishment to keep up a good show. If the leaves are turning yellow, it's time to fertilize. Dibble the fertilizer into the soil around the base of the plants and then water to distribute the nutrients to the roots.

Mosquito Patrol

Check your garden and patio thoroughly for sources of standing water. Mosquitos can breed in as little as a half cup of water, so be diligent in your search. Check unused pots and saucers, turning them upside down so that they can't collect water. Old tires are another place where sneaky mosquitos like to breed. Keep bird baths and water features clean or use Bt-containing mosquito dunks to kill mosquito larvae.

Prevent Foliage Disease in Tomatoes

To help prevent leaf diseases on tomato plants, remove all foliage below the branches where the developing fruit is growing. Cut, do not pull, unwanted leaves so that you do not damage the stems. Most foliar diseases develop from the ground up from spores carried in splashed up soil, so by removing the lower leaves you hamper their development. Yellow or spotted leaves are an indication of foliar disease.

Take Cuttings of Chrysanthemum

Chrysanthemum cuttings root easily. Cut a 4 - 6 inch piece of stem, remove the leaves from the bottom two leaf nodes, and dip the cut end in rooting hormone to encourage root development. Place the prepared cuttings, in rows in a damp rooting medium such as sand, peat moss or seed starting mix, burying at least one leaf node. Keep the rooting medium moist. As soon as you see new growth, it's time to move the young cuttings to individual peat pots, which can then be planted directly into the garden beds or given as gifts. Once planted in the ground, begin fertilizing with 15-30-15 to encourage flowering.

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