been at a premium in southern California and with July traditionally the driest
month of the year, gardeners must take extra care to keep their gardens growing
and landscapes looking their best.
Deep Water Your Lawn: Some cities have lifted or plan to lift
watering restrictions, but many cities still require residents and businesses
to water only once or twice a week. A lawn can still stay green with limited
watering. Water lawns deeply--for the maximum time allowed (usually 15 minutes)
so water penetrates six to eight inches into the soil. Make sure sprinklers
produce limited excess spray to avoid evaporation Aerate you lawn making it
easier for water to soak in.
Rethink Grass: Lawns are a landscape's biggest water
guzzler. Many types of drought tolerant groundcover are available that can
replace all or a portion of your lawn including lavender, ornamental grasses,
sage, succulents, iris, geraniums and California fuchsia. Thoroughly remove the
portion of lawn that will be replaced, till the soil and amend with compost
Add More Mulch: Organic mulch is usually made from
recycled trees and other wood materials and comes in various chip sizes. Mulch
naturally decomposes over time. Add mulch around plants and trees and make sure
the mulch is about three inches deep. If less than that or if bare spots are
showing, add another layer. Mulch is of particular value during summer because
it keeps plant roots cool even during the heat of the day. It also reduces
moisture loss and suppresses weed growth.
Encourage Vegetable Production: By now, the tomatoes, peppers and
squash you planted in spring should be producing vegetables. Pick vegetables
often, even if you don't plan to use them immediately. Vegetables that stay
past its prime on a plant will produce a chemical that inhibits further
blossoming. Check plants daily during the summer. Some vegetables, especially
varieties of squash, seem to grow an inch or two overnight.
Leave Garlic and Onion Bulbs Alone: If you planted garlic and onions in
spring, you may notice their foliage beginning to turn brown. If you see
healthy bulbs just beneath the surface, stop watering and let the plant dry
naturally. To prepare the bulbs for harvest, bend the foliage around the bulbs so
the bulbs develop dry outer layers that will enable them to be stored for long
Plant Vegetables for Fall Harvest: Because planting season is just about
year-round in southern California, you still can grow a variety of vegetables
in July and enjoy vegetables by late summer and early fall. These include
beans, beets, carrots, corn, cantaloupe, okra squash and spinach.
Keep Rose Bushes in Full Bloom: Rose bushes should be awash in color
in July as buds form rapidly during warm weather. To stimulate more buds, remove
dried flowers by cutting back to the first leaf after the flower cluster.
Labels: drought tolerant landscaping, save water, Southern California, summer vegetables, what to plant in summer