Home & Garden

Keep eye on water and vegetables

As we enter summer, drought awareness will get ramped up as we try to squeeze the most out of every drop. Keep your vegetable garden consistently watered (twice a week irrigation for most veggies is sufficient), mulched and weeded. Water before 8 a.m. to reduce chances of fungal infection and to conserve moisture. Monitor soil moisture before turning on the hose; you may be able to skip a day here or there. Those water savings all add up. But if your tomatoes are wilting, give them a drink.

•  It’s not too late to get a few more veggies in the ground. Plant seeds for corn, 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 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 well (and deeply) before fertilizing. Otherwise, you may harm instead of help your shrubs.

– Debbie Arrington