Southern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

August, 2013
Regional Report

Sow the Last Summer Veggies

Reseed last crops of summer vegetables such as beans, cucumbers, and squash directly in the garden. Amend the soil with compost before planting and keep the seed and young seedling well watered. These crops will mature by early November, giving you fresh produce through Thanksgiving and perhaps beyond.

Care For Young Seedlings

When seeding flowers and vegetables for fall planting, keep seed beds or flats moist and shaded during the hottest portion of the day until the seeds germinate. A light mulch of compost helps keep the soil surface from crusting, especially over tiny seeds that take a while to germinate such as carrots and parsley. Boards laid over the seed bed also help to keep it from drying out. Prop them up or remove them when more than half of the seeds germinate.

Rotate Vegetable Plantings

When you plan the layout of your fall and winter gardens, consider which new crops should follow those just removed. Plant heavy feeders such as beets, broccoli, sweet corn, cucumber, and tomatoes with light feeders, such as Swiss chard, onions, potatoes, and turnips. Amend the soil with compost before planting any of these crops.

Care for Fruit Trees After Harvest

After your finish harvesting your peaches, plums, and other fruit trees, follow these care guidelines. Water all trees deeply. Pick up and destroy fallen fruit. Prune and destroy dead and diseased limbs, but leave major pruning until winter. Rake the area beneath each tree bare, and apply a new mulch. These clean-up efforts will prevent diseases from spreading and harmful insects from hiding for the winter.

Stop Feeding Trees

Stop feeding ornamental and fruit trees later this month to help the plants begin hardening off for winter. If fertilized, the resulting tender new growth will be damaged by winter's cold weather, especially if we get hard frosts (at or below 28 degrees). The gradually cooling weather and lack of additional nitrogen fertilizer during September, October, and early November will help harden exuberant summer growth to withstand winter's cold.

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