There is still time to enjoy
a full Southern California summer garden by planting heat-happy vegetables in
June. The typically mild Southern California temperatures during the month give
these vegetables a good start for the hotter months ahead, 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.
Plant Vegetables That Can
Withstand Heat: A number of
vegetables can be planted in June that can thrive even in the soon-to-be-here
heat of summer. These include summer squash, pumpkins, corn, lima beans, okra, all
types of peppers, zucchini, melons and eggplant.
Trim Herb Plants: Herbs planted in early
spring should have full, healthy leaves by June. Keep an eye out for signs of
blooms and remove them immediately whenever spotted. This will keep herbs
focused on growing bigger leaves. If herbs are allowed to go to seed, their
leaves dry and become bitter tasting.
Prepare Lawn For Summer: Thatch is dead or decaying debris between a lawn's
grass blades and roots. If allowed to become too thick, water will not absorb
into the roots. You may find yourself watering your grass but most of the water
will either run off or evaporate. Aerate and dethatch warm season lawns (such
as Bermuda grass and St. Augustine) now by using a dethatching rake or aerator
(available for rent at large home centers). The aerator punctures holes in the
surface of the lawn enabling water to penetrate and deeper root growth. Apply a light layer
of lawn topping to keep in moisture and reduce water usage. This is also the best time to reseed lawn bare spots.
Harvest Early: homegrown vegetables rarely
grow as large as those found in the store. Harvest them as soon as you see a
slowdown in growth. This will encourage new growth. Vegetables left too long on
the plant are a signal for the plant to stop producing. For some vegetables, it
can be hard to tell when it is time to harvest. Carrots are ripe when their
tops peak out of the ground and their leaves turn a dark green. Garlic bulbs
are ready to harvest when the foliage begins to dry naturally. Once picked, let
the garlic (with stems) dry on a slotted tray in a warm, dry and shaded
Rodents From Decimating Your Garden: Nothing can be more
frustrating to a gardener than to wake up in the morning to find that rabbits have
spent the night feasting on vegetables and flowers. One line of defense is to build a fence
around the perimeter of the garden at least one foot deep and three feet high.
Another natural way of reducing rodent invasions is to plant strong smelling plants
around the garden such as marigolds, garlic, onion, sage and rosemary. Also try
spraying a mixture of 2 tablespoons of cayenne pepper with 1 quart of warm
water on and around plants.
Vegetables: A variety of vining plants will
produce more crops when grown on trellises. Trellis gardening also requires
less space than traditional gardens. Vining vegetables that do especially well
when grown on a trellis include cucumbers, squashes and tomatoes.
Because the vegetables are kept off the ground, mildew and bug damage is
For more gardening tips, go to www.agromin.com.
Labels: Agromin; mulch; Southern California; gardening, herbs, lawn care, summer vegetables, what to plant in June