• Mild June Weather Makes Gardening Easy in Southern California
    Thursday, May 26, 2016 at

  • While summer heat is not far away, typical gloomy June weather in southern California can make the month ideal for planting a garden and catching up on yard maintenance.

    Revive Established Trees: Planting a new tree requires almost daily initial watering. To keep water bills at a reasonable level, consider revitalizing existing trees by providing nutrients and by trimming and shaping limbs. This easy maintenance encourages new, healthy growth without the expensive startup costs associated with new plantings.

    Remove Weeds Before They Flower: Pulling weeds while they are small is a lot easier than waiting until they flower and their roots are established. Allowing weeds to flower and then go to seed means you'll have many more weeds to pick throughout the growing season. Pull weeds after a particularly overcast morning when the soil is moist so it's easier to remove the entire weed--roots and all.

    Plant Instant Gratification Vegetables: Sometimes it can take months for a vegetable plant to start producing. If that's too long to wait, try planting these fast maturing vegetables: radishes, green onions (stalks, not bulbs), Romaine lettuce, spinach and baby carrots.

    Pinch Back Basil and Cilantro: Basil and cilantro plants are quick growing and love to flower as soon as the weather warms. To keep plants producing tasty and tender leaves, pinch back any signs of flowers. Keep the plants six to eight inches tall so they remain full.

    Plant Herbs That Require Little Watering: Rosemary, English thyme, oregano, lavender and sage are all native to the Mediterranean so do well in southern California. Once their roots are established, they can withstand full sun and minimal watering.

    Plant Avocado Trees: Plant your avocado trees in well-draining, loose soil. If the avocado tree is in a pot, make sure the pot contains plenty of drainage holes. Overwatering can produce root rot--the single most common reason young avocado trees fail. Let the soil around the tree become somewhat dry before watering. Flowers bloom in spring, but most will fall during the first year after planting. This is normal. If all goes right, expect avocados in two or three years.

    Plant Pumpkins Seeds: Pumpkins are slow growing--they need a good four months to mature. Once planted, pumpkin seeds will begin to sprout in seven to 10 days. Leave plenty of room for the plant's vines to spread and develop. The plants need lots of warmth and moisture to thrive. Yellow flowers will start to appear about three weeks after plant growth begins. The flowers will develop into pumpkins after they are pollinated. If planted now, pumpkins will be ready for picking in time for Halloween.

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