Magazine article Sunset

Your Checklist

Magazine article Sunset

Your Checklist

Article excerpt

PLAN

When plotting your vegetable bed, group plants with similar irrigation needs; you'll save water and keep crops healthy. Basil, cucumbers, and tomatoes all need consistent water. Herbs such as rosemary, sage, and thyme need only occasional water once they're established.

PROTECT

Check citrus trees for signs of Huanglongbing (HLB), a devastating virus borne by the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP), a plant louse that threatens California's most iconic crop. The disease causes yellow splotches on leaves and misshapen, inedible fruit. Left untreated, the virus will kill the tree. If you spot symptoms, call the California Department of Food and Agriculture's Pest Hotline (800/491-1899).

Aphids are particularly drawn to fresh new growth. Blast them off with a jet of water from the hose.

PLANT

Sow seeds of heat-loving crops such as beans, cucumbers, melons, and pumpkins directly into raked, amended soil. It's too late to start seeds of eggplant and tomatoes, so buy seedlings at the nursery. …

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