Garden tips: Summer garden chores galore

If you’ve been wishing for summer weather, you’ve got it. As we move into the hottest days of the year, there are plenty of chores in the garden to keep your vegetables producing, your lawn green and your fruit trees fruitful.

Summer is the time to prune fruit-bearing plants including cherries and early plums. If your cane berries – blackberries, raspberries and boysenberries – have finished bearing, remove old growth and stake new canes.
Make it a habit to clean up fallen fruit on a regular basis. This will prevent attracting creatures to your orchards and prevent disease.
Fertilize citrus and use finished compost to top-dress plants.
If you haven’t already, stake your tomatoes and pole beans.
If you haven’t adjusted your irrigation timers since you turned them back on, do it now. The water needs for plants are greater now that the temperatures are hotter. Remember to water early in the morning. Watering later in the day is less effective because a lot of the water will evaporate before it can be taken up by the plants, and watering at night could lead to mold and mildew.
When you’re protecting your plants from the sun, don’t forget to protect yourself. Use sunscreen and wear a sun hat.
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Check your mulch and replace or replenish your beds. Mulch should be three inches deep, but avoid putting mulch too close around the trunks of trees and plants.
Your compost pile also can dry out more quickly these hot days. Water regularly, keeping the pile the consistency of a damp sponge.

— Contra Costa Master Gardeners contributed to this report

Source:: The Mercury News – Lifestyle


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