Home & Garden

Give plants a long drink early in the day

Kale can be planted now for fall harvests.
Kale can be planted now for fall harvests. Bigstock

When it’s hot, make sure your garden stays hydrated. Deep water in the early morning or evening. Pay extra attention to plants in containers.

It’s normal for some large-leaf plants to wilt in the afternoon. Check the soil for moisture before watering. A blanket of cooling organic mulch such as shredded bark or leaves will help retain that moisture and keep roots comfortable.

▪ Keep harvesting tomatoes, peppers, squash, melons and eggplant to stretch your harvest a few more weeks.

▪  To prevent spread of fungal disease and insect issues, clean up debris around fruit trees. Don’t leave dropped fruit to rot.

▪ After cleaning up, fertilize fruit trees for better production next year. (That includes citrus.) Use a slow-release fertilizer and irrigate before application.

▪  Stop stalling and start the fall vegetable garden. Plant onions, lettuce, peas, radishes, turnips, beets, carrots and potatoes directly into vegetable beds.

▪  Transplant cabbage, broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower, as well as lettuce seedlings.

▪  For spring flowers, sow seeds of California poppies, clarkia and African daisies.

▪ Don’t forget winter color. Transplant cool-weather annuals such as pansies, violas, fairy primroses, calendulas, stocks and snapdragons. They’ll brighten those gray days in December.