It’s officially summer and crunch time for our gardens.
Due to four years of drought, our landscapes are facing extra challenges – especially as temperatures climb.
Keep an eye on soil moisture, particularly in your vegetable garden. Remember: Mulch retains moisture while also fighting weeds.
When irrigating, water in the morning, preferably before 8 a.m. That not only reduces evaporation (and saves water), but cuts down on the chance of fungal infections such as powdery mildew.
▪ It’s not too late to get a few more veggies in the ground. If you have the water and the room, plant seeds for lima beans, green beans, okra, parsnips, pumpkin, summer and winter squash and watermelon.
▪ Harvest vegetables promptly to encourage plants to produce more. Squash especially tends to grow rapidly in hot weather; keep an eye on the zucchini!
▪ In the flower garden, plant seeds for such summer and fall bloomers as alyssum, celosia, marigolds, periwinkles, sunflowers and zinnias.
▪ Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushy plants and more flowers in September.
▪ Cut back Shasta daisies after flowering to promote a second bloom in fall.
▪ Feed camellias, azaleas and other acid-loving plants. Make sure to water deeply before fertilizing.