Summer is upon us! Follow our June Tips of the Month to keep your garden healthy and fruitful in the summer heat.
Fertilize actively growing plants such as roses, lawns, annual flowers, vegetables and container plants. Treat iron deficiencies with chelated iron and/or soil acidifiers (found at most nurseries or home improvement stores). Most soil on the Central Coast tends to be on the alkaline side of the pH scale (over pH 7). With a pH over 7.5, iron and some other minerals become insoluble and plants are unable to absorb them. Application of a soil acidifier will bring these minerals back into a soluble state so they can be utilized by the plant. Lack of iron causes leaves to lose their green color (decreased chlorophyll production) starting at the leaf margin and progressing inwards (a condition called chlorosis). Leaf veins usually remain green and the newest leaves are most affected. Gardenias, citrus and azaleas are examples of plants that commonly exhibit iron deficiency.
Plant Summer Vegetables and Herbs:
Now is the time to sow seeds of beans, corn, cucumber, New Zealand spinach, okra, pumpkins, and summer and winter squash. Set out transplants of cucumbers, eggplant, melons, peppers and tomatoes. Plant herb starts such as lemon balm, mints, dill, cilantro, thyme and many more during this season. It is also a good time to plant subtropicals such as bougainvillea, trumpet vine, banana, philodendron, bird of paradise and hibiscus.