Magazine article Sunset


Magazine article Sunset


Article excerpt


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.


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.


Sow seeds ot 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.

Grow rhubarb in an area that gets full sun along the coast or part shade inland. When convenient, plant it next to blueberries; both crops thrive in acidic soil rich in organic matter.

Plant seedlings of herbs such as basil, chives, cilantro, parsley, tarragon, and thyme in containers; display them in sunny spots near the back door for easy access when you're cooking.

For dazzling blooms in every color of the rainbow, plant dahlia tubers. Dig holes 4 to 6 inches deep and 18 to 24 inches apart. …

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