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Do you live in a high fire area?

  • If you live in a high fire area this is a good time to make sure your landscape provides as much protection against fire as possible. Look for a list of fire resistant plantings on the University of California Garden Web Page to add to your yard in the fall planting season, as well as watching for diseased and dying vegetation that needs to be removed.

    Keep an eye on your sprinkler system to make sure all of the heads are working properly and fix or replace any that may not be functioning. Check to see if any plants have grown and block the sprinkler water from reaching other areas and either cut back the plants or replace the sprinkler with one that goes under or over the obstructing plants. An additional deep soaking may be needed for large established plants to keep them healthy this month.
    Now is a good time to check to see if there is still a thick layer of mulch on the ground to discourage weeds and keep the soil moist and cool. Adding an additional inch or two this time of year may be all that’s needed to keep maintenance chores down throughout the rest of the season.

    If you have any plants that are showing the stress of summer, they may be subject to an insect or disease invasion. Insects can actually sense distressed plants and wisely choose them to attack first since their natural defenses are down. To help any plants that may be suffering as a result of lack of water or even lack of good air circulation, cut the sick parts off and give them a thorough drink of water.

    Keeping most perennials deadheaded will encourage them to bloom throughout the summer. Once they do stop blooming cutting them back by about a third may result in a late summer bloom cycle.

    Since it is better to wait until the weather cools down to do any planting, now is a good time to take note of how the garden looks this time of year and make plans to add more summer interest in the fall.