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Edition 8.27
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July 2008

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July

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Regular consistent care is the key to a strong healthy lawn. Fertilize every 4-6 weeks with Best Turf Supreme 16-6-8. Water immediately after application. Use Bayer Weed Killer to control broadleaf weeds and Bayer Multi-Insect Killer Granules to kill ants and other insects

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Thanks for taking the time to read the Grangetto's Garden Newsletter. If at any time there is a topic that you would like to see in the next newsletter or you have a gardening tip you would like to share, please feel free to email us.


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"How cunningly nature hides every wrinkle of her inconceivable antiquity under roses and violets and morning dew!"
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Manager's Corner

Cool-season grasses:
Just as in June, cool-season lawns such as perennial ryegrass, bluegrass, and fescue are growing slowly now, so do not mow short. Be sure to cut ryegrass and bluegrass to 2 inches. Tall fescues should be left even taller--between 2 and 3 inches after cutting. Mow tall fescues often, but never cut off more than one-third of their total height.

Lawn CareExtend the time between irrigation of all fescue now, and water it deeply to encourage deep roots. Most other cool-season grasses tend to seed shallower than warm-season lawns, and require more frequent watering than warm-season grasses. In hot weather most cool-season grasses need to be watered twice or three times a week in interior zones, and at least once a week in coastal zones. Early in the morning (any time between midnight and dawn) is the best time to irrigate both for water conservation purposes and also for lawn health.

Do not fertilize cool-season grasses now in interior zones. Along the coast fertilize very lightly - one half of the normal amount.

Warm-season grasses:
Warm-season lawns such as Bermuda, zoysia, kikuyu, Adalayd grass, dichondra, and St. Augustine thrive in summer and are growing at their fastest now. As in June, cut common Bermuda even shorter to 1/2 or 3/4 of an inch. Cut zoysia to between 3/4 and 1 inch and kikuyu as short as 1/2 inch, to keep it in bounds. Remember to slice down and through kikuyu and pull out escaped kikuyu stolons often, to stop their tendency to creep into flower beds. Dichondra should look billowy and lush now. Cut it high or not at all. St. Augustine grows fast, so cut it often to 3/4 or 1 inch at least once a week.

article imageAll warm-season grasses should be watered deeply and infrequently, so as to encourage deep rooting, rather than watering shallowly and often. St. Augustine needs the most water; it can die if it is allowed to go dry. Be sure to water it at least once a week, more often in sandy soils. Bermuda, zoysia, and kikuyu can often go as long as two weeks between waterings, depending on the weather and your climate zone. Water deeply, and extend the time between waterings as much as possible while still maintaining good appearance.

Feed most warm-season grasses every four to six weeks during the growing season. Feed Adalayd half-strength, early in the month. (Too much fertilizer can stress it in hot weather.) If kikuyu is growing well don't feed it at all. Too much fertilizer can make kikuyu very difficult to manage. If you want to get rid of kikuyu or Bermuda as weeds, kill them now with glyphosate, and pull them out by the roots, but be aware that they might come back from seeds.

 

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This Month's Specials

July Specials


In the Spotlight

San Diego Horticultural SocietyThe San Diego Horticultural Society is a friendly, happy group that reaches and serves the average gardener as well as the professional, yet still gives correct and dependable information. Since our founding in 1994, the SDHS has grown to over 1200 members, including passionate backyard gardeners, garden designers, nursery owners, garden writers, landscape architects, and other horticultural professionals. Our mission is to promote the enjoyment, art, knowledge and public awareness of horticulture in the San Diego area, while providing the opportunity for education and research. Our motto, Let’s Talk Plants!, perfectly sums up what most members like best about the SDHS--it provides a forum for plant enthusiasts to share their knowledge.

We invite you to attend our friendly monthly meetings which are open to everyone, and include professional speakers, plant sales, plant descriptions by experts and much more. They attract over 350 people, from the beginning gardener to the experienced orchid hybridizer. At each meeting we have a professional speaker, plant vendors, information tables, and much more. Members bring plants from home and one of our experts discusses them during our Plant Forum; some months there are dozens of plants displayed and discussed.

Membership benefits include our monthly 26-page newsletter of locally-relevant gardening information, plus discounts at local nurseries and elsewhere. We have an extensive lending library of books and videos, including videos of our speakers. We organize garden tours (both locally and out of state), have a user-friendly website, and annually host an evening with world-famous horticulturists like Christopher Lloyd, Penelope Hobhouse, Dan Hinkley and Ken Druse (May, 2008).

GardenTo provide much-needed information about trees that grow in San Diego, in 2006 we published Ornamental Trees for Mediterranean Climates. This is the first hardbound, full-color book to showcase 260 of the most beautiful trees of the San Diego area with detailed descriptions and cultivation tips. Up to three color photos illustrate each tree, including close-ups of flowers, bark, fruit and leaves. An easy-to-use color chart shows which trees are in bloom each month of the year. All the trees were photographed in garden settings, with over 500 gorgeous color photos by Don Walker, founder of the Society.  The text is by horticulturist Steve Brigham, owner of Buena Creek Gardens.

The SDHS is active in the community, too. We play an important role in the San Diego County Fair by having a large display garden of our own, providing knowledgeable experts to lead tours of the gardens, and having a Horticulturist of the Day on hand each day to answer questions about the Fair gardens and gardening in general. We donate three $1000 college scholarships each year for students majoring in ornamental horticulture at Mira Costa College, Cuyamaca College, and Southwestern College. We hosted a day-long symposium for victims of the 2003 wildfires; offered free garden tours in February, 2008 of eco-friendly gardens in Kearny Mesa; and held free garden workshops on waterwise gardening in 2006 and 2007. In addition, we have provided significant financial support for projects at both Quail Botanical Gardens and The Water Conservation Garden.

For more information on upcoming activities and events please visit http://www.sdhortsoc.org.

 

 

 

Pest of the Month: California Ground Squirrel

The California ground squirrel, Spermophilus beecheyi, is one of the most troublesome pests to homeowners and gardeners. It is found in nearly all regions of California except for the Owens Valley southward into the desert regions.

 

Squirrel Trap

 

 

 

 

July 4th Special

 

 

 

Beautiful Bougainvillea

Beautiful bougainvillea, that evergreen subtropical plant from South America, comes in several different forms. The most common is a vine--a vine that does not twine or cling - but a vine nonetheless. It also comes in a shrub form and a ground cover.

The vibrant colors are not the flower, but are colorful bracts surrounding a small, inconspicuous flower. The color show begins in spring and can continue into the winter. Now, you can't ask much more of any flowering plant!

A mature vine bougainvillea in full bloom is simply a huge "WOW" factor in any garden. The vine bougainvillea is a fast grower and needs regular pruning to keep in good form. Because of this vigorous growth, any structure chosen for support must be very sturdy.

Yes, they do have thorns. Keep that in mind when you are thinking of the best location in your landscape.

Other bougainvilleas have a low-growing form which is perfect for containers. Place containers near the edge of a balcony and the bougainvillea will grow outward and down, spilling color over the outside wall of your home.

Great care must be taken when planting bougainvillea. The roots do not like much handling so do not disturb the root ball. You can cut out the bottom of the pot and plant both bougainvillea and pot. Alternatively, carefully make four vertical cuts down the side of the nursery container and carefully pull all four sides farther apart. Gently remove the plant from the growing container from the base of the root ball (not the trunk of the plant) and carefully place it into the ground or new container, remembering that the roots are very sensitive to handling.

Bougainvilleas like full sun and regular watering. But if you water too much, they won't bloom.

Bougainvilleas come in white, yellow/orange, pink, red, and purple. Plant all one color for a huge color impact, or mix and match colors, to create the look of an impressionist painting. We'll be looking for you in the "Boug" section, and we will help you with your choices!

 

 

Irritrol Special

 

 

 

Sod Special


Summertime Rose Care

Spring has passed and the summer heat is on...Your roses are past their first bloom but that doesn't mean they're done. Summer is a great time of year for roses to be in their prime. The warm dry heat deters the mildew that plagued them all spring and encourages bloom production. Here are a few simple steps to take to be sure your garden is bursting with the sweet scent and color of roses...

1. MOST IMPORTANT!! WATER WATER WATER!! Roses are very thirsty plants. Be sure you adjust your sprinkler systems and increase either the duration or the frequency of your water cycle in the rose garden. If you hand water, soak them well at least three times a week...more if the heat really goes up.

2. Add a nice mulchy soil additive around your roses such as Gardener & Bloome Soil Building Compost.

3. Deadhead and fertilize with Dr. Earth Rose & Flower Fertilizer.

4. Spray with a good organic fungicide and insecticide combination such as Greenlight Rose Defense or Bayer All in One Rose & Flower Care to fight summer rose pests such as rose slug and summer plagues such as rust and black spot.

Last, but not least, enjoy your roses! Cut single stems and place them in bud vases all throughout the house or arrange them in huge Renaissance bouquets for your hall table. Dry the petals and scent with rose oil then place them in baskets and crystal bowls. Decorate summer cakes with a ring of rose buds and ferns. There is no other flower that blooms so profusely and often...and summer is the season to savor them!

Rose Care Products

 

 

Roberts Irrigation Ad

 

 

 

Heat-Loving Annuals

In the summertime, when the weather is hot, heat-loving annuals will dazzle your gardens with vibrant colors. They are the sun-bathing beauties of any garden. With so many different flower forms, colors, sizes and foliage shapes, every gardener will have a dozen or two favorite annuals blooming in the garden to brag about.

Versatility is their name; garden pizzazz is your gain. Annuals make themselves at home in your garden beds, intermingled with your trees and shrubs, patio containers, window boxes and/or hanging baskets. Some annuals are groundcovers, some are perfect for the "middle and marvelous" group, and of course some will stand "tall and sassy" in the rear of the garden bed.

For a huge colorful impact, plant in swaths or waves. For example, many people planted their gardens in red, white and blue for July 4th. Perhaps they used 6 packs of blue lobelia in the front row, zinnias (red of course) in the next row, and in the back, lots and lots of white cosmos. The same concept applies to other color schemes.

Plant your annuals using planting mix. Most of these annuals need regular water. Fertilize to encourage continuous blooms. Also, to keep your annuals blooming all summer long, deadhead (which means pluck off the spent flowers). This will keep the plant from thinking that it is time to spend all of its energy developing seeds for the next season. Remember that annuals are plants that grow and bloom within one season.

Whatever your garden style or colors, we have annuals for you! Hurry in and pick your favorites. Get them in your gardens for a spectacular summer flower color show!

Click here to view sample pictures of annuals.

 

 

 

 

Dura Fittings Special

 

 

 

Things to Do in July

The Fourth of July is around the corner. Create an Independence Day planter in red, white, and blue! For reds: try verbena, petunia, Sweet William, or salvia. For blues: Bachelor's button, salvia, petunia, or lobelia. For whites: alyssum, petunia, candytuft.

Now on to the July tasks in your gardens!

Planting
You can still plant some annuals and perennials in your summer gardens. For annuals, try marigolds, portulaca, and zinnias for that huge splash of color. For perennials, and even more color, plant coreopsis, gaura, rudbeckias ('Irish Eyes', etc), salvias, and many more.

Tropical plants are popular now and can be brought into any garden, whether tropical, cottage, or country themes. Flowering shrubs include hibiscus, brugmansia (Angel's Trumpet), canna, bougainvillea, and vines such as passion flower or Burmese honeysuckle. Large-leaf evergreens include philodendrons, xanadu, tree ferns, and gingers. You can even include abutilon, which comes in several colors including red, yellow, orange, and pink.

Harvesting
You are probably busy harvesting and enjoying your summer vegetables like green beans, tomatoes, eggplant, squashes, and peppers. You can also continue to plant these veggies to extend your crop harvest.

Maintenance
We all have been experiencing a major "pest" time in our gardens. Those holes in your rose leaves are from the rose slug. Aphids love the rose buds, and more. You can wash off these pests with water. Caterpillars are abundant; try a spray containing Bt. And we can't forget snails — they won't let us.

It's feeding time for your flowerbeds, roses, vegetables, citrus and warm-season lawns. Come in and ask one of us which fertilizers will be best for each of your plant needs. We offer a wide selection of fertilizers: multipurpose, organic, and slow release.

You can do some pruning, even though it's summertime. Fuchsia 'Gartenmeister,' gaura, and salvias will look much better if cut back by about 1/3. Oh...and your catmint, too.

If you forgot to increase your watering from the spring months, you must do so now. Trees (non-citrus) and shrubs will need deep soaks once each month in the summer, and regular irrigation in between. Citrus and your flowerbeds need regular weekly watering.

Those of you growing tomatoes and peppers, watch for tomato hornworms. They will need to be hand-picked from your foliage.

As usual, mulch, mulch, mulch! We will always tell you to mulch. This does not mean mound up the mulch to 5 feet. It means continue to replenish the mulch and maintain a 2-4 inch blanket over your soil. So when you hear us singing the MULCH song, you know just what we mean!

And last, but not least, have a very Happy Independence Day!

 

 

 

 

July Echo Trimmer Ad

 

 

 

A Peach of a Problem

Peach Tree Borer PhotoBy Tamara Galbraith

The peach tree borer (Synanthedon exitiosa) can be a major pain for both professional fruit growers or home gardeners. And these pests are not picky or limited in their tastes; peach tree borers will go after any fruit with a stone, namely cherry, plum, prune, nectarine, and apricot.

Borers chew on the inner bark of trees, but overwinter as larvae under the soil at the base of the host tree. The larvae pupate in the trunk of the tree, and usually begin to emerge as adults in June.

Adult emergence and egg-laying takes place from June through September, peaking during August. The adult peach tree borer is a clearwing moth, steel blue with yellow or orange markings. The moths are day fliers and can easily be mistaken for wasps.

While some growers use latex paint on the trunk of the tree, that's not the most environmentally-friendly method. Instead, use the liquid bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) to control the larvae before they have entered the trunk. Spray the trunk and the soil around the tree weekly from late July through August for the most effective treatment.

Spinosad

 

 

 

Start Your Winter Squash

By Tamara Galbraith

Good things come to those who wait, right? Well, winter squash will keep you waiting, but when ready, it is definitely a good thing.

Squash Seeds from Lilly MillerThe time to start seeds of winter squash is now, so that it's ready in the fall. Most types of winter squash take about 85-105 days to mature when grown from seed. As is the case with all members of the cucurbit family, give your squash lots of compost, along with regular waterings, throughout the growing period.

Winter squash differs from summer squash in that it must be harvested and eaten only in the mature fruit stage, when the seeds within have matured fully and the skin has hardened into a tough rind. At this stage, you can even store it up to six months for use throughout the winter.

There are several different varieties to choose from that are either vining, semi-vining or bush types. Choose whichever kind suits your taste buds and is appropriate for your garden size. Acorn, Delicata, Spaghetti and Butternut are just a few examples.

Most winter squashes, when cooked, are a tasty, highly nutritious treat. Cooked squash also freezes well. Hey, you waited a long time for that squash...make it last!

 

 

Notes from Nan

 

RockroseROCKROSE
These aromatic-leaved evergreen shrubs grow in scrubby dry habitats much like California's sage scrub And chaparral. Their spring through early summer flowers look like crepe-papery old-fashioned roses (hence the common name). Each flower has five petals in white, pink, rose, or even dark purple, all with yellow centers. In some varieties, the base of each petal is decorated with a burgundy spot. Rockrose thrives in the toughest conditions--in the heat and intense sun of the desert or the harsh salt spray next to the sea. An impressive display of wild rockrose grows on hillsides overlooking Cinque Terre, the five seaside towns on the coast of the Mediterranean in northern Italy.

This information is from Nan Sterman's book California Gardener's Guide volume II published by Cool Springs Press.

California Gardener's Guide

 

 

 

Water Saving Mulch

By Tamara Galbraith

Mulch. The word doesn't exactly roll off the tongue like a Shakespeare sonnet, does it? But for everything the word lacks, the actual stuff, when placed on your garden beds around flowers, vegetables, trees and shrubs, compensates by helping your plants live longer in summer's heat by keeping roots cool and soil at an even level of moisture.

Wood mulches look better but, in general, provide less nutrition to your plants. We prefer using a nutritious mulch, unless you are mulching a large unplanted area and need the look of a good wood mulch.

So, how much mulch to use? Generally, you should plan to cover all exposed soil areas with 2-3" of mulch. DO NOT place mulch right up against the stems of plants and trunks of trees. Back off about 2" or so, as this allows water and air to reach the base of the plant, and also ensures against rotting from constant contact with the mulch. Also, don't think that more is better in the case of mulch. With trees, especially, think "wider" not "higher." Avoid piling mulch up in a volcano formation around the trunks of trees and thinking it will help--it won't.

There are several online calculators that help you figure out how much mulch you'll need to buy, depending on your garden size. Generally, one cubic yard of mulch covers about 100 square feet at 3" deep.

Be sure to fluff and add to your mulch every once in awhile, as it will compact and break down over time.

 

Deco Bark

 

Blueberry Cream Cheese Tarts

Recipe courtesy of Paula Deen

Blueberry Cream Cheese Tarts PhotoIngredients:

  • (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 12 vanilla wafers
  • 1 (21-ounce) can blueberry filling, or other pie filling

Preparation:

  • Beat cream cheese with a handheld electric mixer until fluffy.
  • Add sugar and vanilla, beating well.
  • Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • Place a vanilla wafer, flat side down, in each muffin cup. Spoon cream cheese mixture over wafers.
  • Bake for 20 minutes.
  • Allow tarts to cool completely. Serve with blueberry filling on top, or pie filling of your choice.

 

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