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California Gardener: Things To Do in July

Things are heating up During Southern California as June Gloom wanes in the coastal areas. Together with the hotter, longer days of summer here, we are entering summit fruit and veggie period. Active increase in the backyard means a lot of deadheading, fertilizing, mulching and watering.

As July stretches into August and outside, you will most likely create one of two attitudes:
You greet the summer months with enthusiasm — getting your hands dirty deadheading, mulching, watering, weeding, staking, suggestion pinching and picking out the bounty. You’re sick and tired of all the energy, water and time it takes to maintain those flower pots appearing amazing, your veggie garden generating along with your decorative plants in bounds. If only those hedges would trim themselves and these veggies and fruits would appear beautifully exhibited in a suitably rustic basket on the kitchen counter tops. . .It is time to specify which type of gardener you are and make a garden that works for you. The aim, particularly in Southern California, is to create your backyard as low upkeep and “unthirsty” as possible — together with plans like installing an efficient watering system, using heavy mulching and using a top dressing of compost which delivers nourishment consistently.

Alternatively, you could skip the standard garden crops completely and have this be the month you tear out high-maintenance, heavy-drinking plants and replace them with succulents, grasses, ornamentals, drought-tolerant natives and food-producing plants.

It doesn’t matter which group you end up in or if you are still on the fence — NOW is the time to rate your relationship with your backyard and produce a landscape which will thrive and look great with the total amount of resources and time you want to dedicate to it.

Margie Grace – Grace Design Associates

Water, water, water. Feed, feed, feed … The mantra for the summer months is “feed and water.” Tomatoes, bell peppers, eggplants, etc. require a great deal of nutrients and water as they pump out bunch after bunch of delectable taste — much more so if you’re growing in containers.

Nutrients often leach out after a few months, which makes it important to feed, feed, feed. We are talking about monthly applications of general purpose organic fertilizers, compost tea or your favourite pick-me-ups, such as bone meal and kelp. Or just top-dress your beds this month with approximately an inch of compost to supply a steady supply of plant nutrients — and support a healthy suite of soil microbes.

Margie Grace – Grace Design Associates

Keep herbs generating by removing blossoms: Pinch off blossoms on herbs to stimulate bushier and more streamlined growth as well as higher foliage return for cooking. The more you prune early, the bigger and bushier your herb crops will end up.

Margie Grace – Grace Design Associates

Jam with buddies: Together with summertime fruits coming on hot and heavy this season, jamming season has officially arrived. It is apricot jam for me. My single backyard apricot tree typically yields 60 to 80 pints of jam each June. Look at rounding up your posse and pressing them into labour. You are going to get through the work more quickly and have more fun in the process. Most folks are happy to pitch in with jamming in market for a couple jars of “product.”

Check out more about maintaining fresh produce

Big Girls Small Kitchen

Share the bounty: I send out apricot jam to buddies early in the season and enjoy abundant produce throughout the summer in return. Canned pears and peaches; plum, tomato and strawberry jams; honey; dried fruit; bouquets; and bushels of fresh fare are only a couple of the backyard treats that come my way out of folks who’ve enjoyed the bounty in my backyard.

Margie Grace – Grace Design Associates

Off with their heads! Following June’s burst of color in the backyard, deadheading will promote continued flowering. Fertilizing goes together with deadheading. Long days and warm soil permit plants to take up nutrients rapidly. They will use those nourishment to add foliage, build a healthy root system and produce blooms throughout the summer if you remove spent flowers regularly.

Tip pinching types that tend to be leggy encourages fuller, bushier growth — easy to achieve precisely the identical time you are cruising the beds deadheading.

Margie Grace – Grace Design Associates

Water and feed a few more: At July’s heat, it’s important to give roses along with other heavy summer bloomers two to three deep soaks each week, depending upon weather.

Mulching these antiques with a layer of well-composted organic substance will keep roots cool as well as maintain moisture. (make sure you keep mulch away in the crown of the plant to prevent conditions that encourage disease.)

Use a strong spray of water in the early mornings to wash leaves and control sucking insects. Feed regularly with compost tea or organic fertilizer.

Rob Kyne

Water: Timing is all about. Cooler temperatures create early mornings and late afternoons that the ideal times to operate in the backyard in July. Water plants early in the day when evaporation rates are reduced nevertheless there is plenty of time for leaves and mulch to dry out, reducing fungal-growth ailments.

Land Design, Inc..

Water: Efficiency equals money in your pocket. Soaker hoses and drip irrigation are ideal. The slow rate and direct-to-soil program translates into decreased evaporation, overspray and runoff, which, in turn, translate into decreased water usage and weed development.

If you’ve already got an irrigation system, now is a fantastic time to give it a tuneup. Station by station, turn on the water and watch what is happening. Fix, repair and replace components as necessary to be sure that you’re getting the most out of your system. Why not switch to a wise irrigation timer now? You are going to receive plenty of savings at this summit water-use period of the year — and perhaps a rebate from the regional water provider.

Nicolock Paving Stones and Retaining Walls

Stake and train: July brings fast increase in the veggie garden. Stake plants regularly to maximize the plant’s vulnerability to sunlight, improve air circulation, keep fruits and vegetables out of the soil (where insects and plagues are lying in wait), also to make harvesting easier.

Jeffrey Gordon Smith Landscape Architecture

Plant colorful, drought-tolerant plants: If you are sick of large summer water bills, making the switch to drought-tolerant plantings is the way to go. Fear not — drought tolerant doesn’t mean you have to lose color in the scene.

Margie Grace – Grace Design Associates

Succulents: attractiveness without anxiety. Succulent containers can be a stunning and water-wise replacement for all those perennial and yearly containers that require a good deal of upkeep.

Read on growing succulents

Sandy Koepke

Want summers off in the backyard? Go xeric. Unlike large maintenance and higher water usage gardens, July at a xeric (low-water) landscape is mellow — with little to no work or water needed. Stone, topography and thoroughly architectural succulents in a assortment of forms, textures and foliage color make for a wealthy, drought-tolerant composition, reducing garden responsibilities this month to finding a shady spot to hang the hammock.

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