Magazine article Sunset

July; What to Do in Southern California

Magazine article Sunset

July; What to Do in Southern California

Article excerpt

Planting

Citrus and other subtropicals Plant kumquat, lemon, lime, orange, and other citrus. If you have room and live in the mildest coastal climates, try avocado, cherimoya, and mango (in Southern California, Sunset climate zones 21-23 are best--mangoes love heat and resent fog).

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Quick summer color Fill empty spots with colorful, heat-loving angelonia and portulaca. For permanence, plant gaura, lantana, or lion's tail (Leonotis leonurus).

Succulent containers To spruce up patio tables, outdoor kitchen counters, and other areas for summer parties, plant shallow containers with a medley of forgiving, low-maintenance succulents, suggests Samantha Owens of Barrels and Branches nursery in Encinitas. Her favorites for tabletops include Aeonium 'Kiwi', jade plant (Crassula argentea 'Crosby's Dwarf), lipstick echeveria (E. agavoides), and Sempervivum arachnoideum.

Vegetables Gardeners on the coast (zones 22-24) and inland (zones 18-21) can still set out cucumber, eggplant, pepper, squash, and tomato plants, and sow seed of beans and corn. In the low desert (zone 13), start pumpkins and winter squash for harvest in early fall.

Maintenance

Bathe roses Wash down your roses with a water wand to clean foliage and keep spider mites at bay, suggests Mission Viejo rosarian Patti Million, who writes a column for Gardening Thymes, the UCCE Master Gardeners of Orange County newsletter. Do it in early morning, so foliage can dry off during the day. You'll find more tips in Million's latest book, A Year of Million Roses: Rose Care in Southern California (MMQC Publishers, 2007; $20), available at gardenresourceguide.com and Orange County nurseries.

Guard against brushfires If you live in a fire-prone area and haven't taken preventive measures this year, do so now. Remove dead limbs and leaves from trees and shrubs, especially ones near your house. …

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