Sunflowers love Sacramento summers. You can see millions of examples in Yolo County right now in the vast sunflower fields north of Interstate 80.
It’s not too late to plant sunflowers from seed in your own garden. They’ll grow fast during August and flower in the fall. (Just remember to keep them watered.) Bees especially appreciate these late-season blooms. With their golden hues, they also make great cut flowers for fall bouquets.
▪ During hot weather in late July and August, water early in the morning – preferably before 8 a.m. That allows the water to soak in instead of evaporate away.
▪ If plants (or their fruit) look sunburned, give them some shade. Bell peppers are especially sensitive. Erect an umbrella or suspend shade cloth over sensitive plants. They still need some sun, just not the hottest rays of the afternoon.
▪ Harvest tomatoes, squash, peppers and eggplant. Prompt picking keeps plants producing.
▪ Pinch off blooms from basil so the plants will grow more leaves.
▪ Cut back lavender after flowering to promote a second bloom.
▪ Get started on the fall vegetable garden. Plant seeds for beets, carrots, Chinese cabbage, head lettuce, mustard, onions, parsley, parsnips, potatoes, rutabagas and turnips.