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GARDEN CHORES FOR CENTRAL VALLEY,
FOOTHILLS & BAY AREA
For your scented garden, add these June bloomers: gardenia, star jasmine and tuberose.
Both warm and cool season lawns should be fertilized now.
Remove any fruit clustered too closely together. There should be six inches of space between apples, pears, peaches and nectarines.
Dead spots on the lawn? Make sure your sprinklers are hitting those areas. Scattering several equal-sized containers throughout the lawn during an irrigation can help you determine who's wet and who isn't.
Most lawns only need to be watered two or three times a week at most; a deep, thorough watering could lower that total to once per week.
During the summer heat, your lawn needs about two inches of water per week. To find out how much water your sprinklers are applying to your lawn, place several flat bottomed containers (such as tuna fish cans) around your lawn, turn on the sprinklers for a half hour, and then measure the water in the containers. Adjust your sprinkler time accordingly.
Successive plantings of vegetables will prolong the harvest. Plant radishes, carrots, snap beans and corn every two weeks through July.
Remove faded flowers from annuals to encourage new blooms.
Mark the raspberry and blackberry vines that are producing fruit now. Those are the vines that should be cut down to the ground at the end of the season.
Check for and discard young tomato hornworms on the underside of tomato leaves.
Cut back Mexican primroses (evening primroses) this month to keep them from getting leggy.
Water plants early in the day to ensure maximum growth and minimum disease problems.
Battling crabgrass? Not all weedkillers can thwart this annual pest. Make sure that the herbicide you are using lists crabgrass control on the label.
Add summer color to your yard now with vincas, marigolds, petunias, bedding dahlias and impatiens. Fertilize on a monthly basis to keep them blooming until the first frost.
Wood chips, used as a mulch around plants, can suppress weeds, conserve soil moisture and enhance the plants' root growth.
Going on vacation? Water all houseplants thoroughly before leaving. Then, place them out of direct sunlight to help them retain moisture.
If you have automatic sprinklers, make sure that the control unit's backup battery is fresh, thus averting a lawn and garden disaster in case of a power outage while you're gone.
Don't fertilize your lawn or plants in the two weeks prior to your vacation. The new growth will require more water while you're away.
Remove fading or dead rose blooms before go on vacation. Nipping these will redirect the plant to produce more rose blossoms instead of energy-sapping rose hips while you're away.