One of the biggest challenges
for gardeners in July is to keep plants hydrated and the soil cool during one
of the warmest months of the year in Southern California, say experts at
Agromin, an Oxnard-based
manufacturer of earth-friendly soil products made from organic material
collected from more than 50 Southern California communities.
Add Mulch to Save Water,
Cool Soil: Add a 1" to 3"
layer of mulch around your vegetable and flower gardens to slow water
evaporation--by as much as 70 percent. Less evaporation means less watering.
of mulch as shade for your soil. Because of less exposure to sunlight, the soil
stays cool, holds in moisture and keeps plant roots hydrated longer.
Add Mulch to Reduce Soil
its water-saving advantages, mulch also keeps soil healthy. Walking in your
garden naturally compacts the soil--to the point that the soil no longer
absorbs water well. This can also lead to soil erosion. Mulch protects soil
from our footsteps so it remains loose and water absorbing.
Don't Over Water: Water thoroughly, not
frequently. Watering five minutes a day instead of 10 minutes every other day,
for example, means roots become trained to grow close to the surface. The roots
will go through a constant wet/dry cycle, which is unhealthy for the plant.
Instead, water for longer periods less often. Not only will this reduce water
evaporation, but it will encourage deeper root growth.
Treat Aphids on Citrus
can be a nuisance on citrus and other types of trees. Aphids are small black
insects that when attached to a tree can curl foliage making the leaves unable
to absorb sunlight. They can cause so much stress to the tree, that their
damage can affect fruit production. A natural way to remove aphids is to mix
two cups water, one cup mineral oil and two tablespoons dish soap and spray the
mixture onto the aphids every few days. Planting herbs such as mint, fennel and
dill around the trees is known to keep bad insects away. Ladybugs are natural
aphid predators so consider buying a bagful at a nursery and letting them loose
in your yard.
Pick Vegetables As They
Ripen: Tomatoes, peppers and zucchini
should be ready to harvest in July. To keep vegetable plants producing for the
next month or more, don't let vegetables remain on the plant past picking time.
It's still not too late to plant summer vegetables since growing season remains
strong through October.
Add to Your Flower Garden:
There are a
variety of summer annuals ready for planting. They include marigolds, petunias, zinnias, cosmos and sunflowers. Once
planted, remove dead flowers immediately to ensure constant blooming.
For more gardening tips, go to www.agromin.com.
Labels: July gardening, mulch, summer gardening tips, water conservation, What to plant in July, what to plant in Southern California in July