“A world without tomatoes is like a string quartet without violins.” – Laurie Colwin
1. Deadhead perennials and annuals as needed to keep them blooming. Remove foliage that was damaged by slugs in the spring. Trim back early-blooming perennials to encourage new foliage growth.
2. Autumn-blooming bulbs appear in the nursery this month and in August. Plant them now and they will bloom in the fall. If you wait until September, they probably will not bloom until next year. Spider Lilies (Lycoris) are the most spectacular of the autumn bulbs.
3. Check azaleas to make sure that they are well mulched. If their leaves are turning yellow while the veins are still green, feed them with a chelating product containing iron, manganese, and zinc. For more information on growing healthy azalea plants see http://ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/GARDEN/PLANTS/azalea.html.
4. Fertilize camellias with an acid-type fertilizer if you have not fertilized them within a month. If you did fertilize them recently, wait four to six weeks and then fertilize. For more information on growing healthy camellia plants see http://ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/GARDEN/PLANTS/camellia.html.
5. Prune berry vines when you have finished harvesting the fruit. Old blackberry and boysenberry canes are cut off at the base, and the new canes are then tied down to the trellis. Old raspberry canes are cut off at the base. Everbearing raspberry vines can be trimmed at the top; the bottom of each cane will give more fruit.
6. Ants cause trouble in the garden by farming insects such as aphids to obtain the honeydew these insects create. Washing off dusty leaves discourages both ants and aphids. Trunk barriers on fruit trees prevent ants from accessing aphids and can also help discourage ants from damaging ripening fruit.
7. Pick up and dispose of fallen fruit and vegetables to avoid spreading fungus spores such as brown rot and to thwart the invasion of pests such as slugs and white flies.
8. Prop up the limbs of fruit trees that are carrying a heavy burden of fruit, or the weight may break the limb.
9. Divide bearded iris from mid-July through mid-September. This is their semi-dormant period. It is important to divide iris every four years or they pretty much stop blooming.
10. Keep a close eye on potted plants during this time of year. If you forget to water the soil may shrink away from the side of the pot turning the root ball dry. When you resume watering, the water fails to penetrate and instead cascades over the hard soil surface and down the shrunken edges.
For more information, contact the UC Glenn County Master Gardeners' Plant Clinic on Wednesday afternoon from 2 p.m.-4 p.m. in the UC Cooperative Extension Office. People can also call 865-1107, send an email to email@example.com or submit a question on our website at http://ucanr.edu/sites/glennmg/.