Happy Fourth of July! Do you have fireworks in your garden? Or a blooming display of patriotism?
Red, white and blue flowers make a popular summer garden color scheme, especially if they’re all in bloom on July 4. Some possible combinations: Fluffy white Shasta daisies, blue Lilies of the Nile and red geraniums; blue salvia, red bee balm and white sweet alyssum; or red and white petunias or snapdragons with blue lobelia or ageratum.
▪ Keep an eye on soil moisture and your vegetable garden. Even with drought restrictions, don’t let tomatoes dry out completely; that can encourage blossom-end rot. How much water do tomatoes need? Give tomatoes a deep watering two to three times a week. If your tomato plants are on a drip-irrigation system, figure a gallon per mature (and bearing) plant per day. Water before 8 a.m.
▪ Harvest vegetables promptly to encourage plants to produce more. Squash especially tends to grow rapidly in hot weather; keep an eye on the zucchini.
▪ It’s not too late to get a few more veggies in the ground. Plant seeds for corn, lima beans, okra, parsnips, pumpkin, squash and watermelon. In the Sacramento area, the biggest Halloween pumpkins are traditionally planted the week of July Fourth. Remember: Those seedlings will need extra attention and moisture to make it through July’s heat.
▪ Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushy plants and more flowers in September.