MONTHLY GARDEN TO DO’S
Watering: Adjust your watering schedule for warmer weather. Add mulch where plants are drying out too quickly. Generally, water established trees and shrubs every 10 to 14 days deeply. Water established beds weekly. This is not adequate for new plantings or in soil that has little organic matter). Floating shade fabric over vegetable rows helps reduce evaporation, reduces insect problems and increases production. If you are thinking about installing rain barrels, now is the time to prepare for the coming monsoon season. They can be used to collect and/or re-direct water from canales to where it’s most needed. Thoughtfully planned water harvesting can reduce overall water usage.
Pruning: Continue pruning shrubs that have finished spring flowering. Remove unwanted growth now so that you won’t remove next spring’s blooms (which form on this year’s new growth). The earlier you prune, the more aggressive you can be. Continue dead-heading as flowers fade. (pinch back mums near the end of the month.) DO NOT cut back bulb foliage after they finish blooming. Bloom stalks and leaves are needed to make food for the bulbs, ensuring next spring’s blooms. You can remove them when both stalk and leaves are brown – they should pull easily. DO NOT braid the leaves, leaves need to soak up all the sunlight possible.
Planting: For a bright and colorful bloom display from August to the first hard frost; plant sunflowers, cosmos, marigolds, salvia, and zinnias. In the vegetable garden: continue seeding and setting out plants that love warm soil such as basil, corn, and beans. Melons, tomatoes, eggplant and peppers should go in by mid-month so there is enough time to make a crop. After June 20th you can plant cauliflower and broccoli seeds for a fall crop.