Forget the guilt about what’s going on outside. It’s not your fault that it’s hot!

Tasks: 

   •  Check sprinklers and adjust timers weekly if necessary.

   •   Pre-irrigate to soften the ground for tilling in preparation for fall gardens.

   •  When the lawn needs mowing, mow cool-season grasses, such as tall fescue, to 3 inches and  bermudagrass to 1 inch. Mowing shorter than these levels will encourage weeds and a shallow, less drought tolerant root structure.

Pruning: 

   •  Prune apricot, oleander and olive trees during dry weather to reduce future disease problems.

Fertilizing: 

  •Cut back on fertilizer when water is limited and landscape plants remain in drought survival mode.

Planting: 

   •  Avoid planting annuals and perennials unless it is absolutely necessary.

   •  Bulbs, corms, tubers: autumn crocus.

   •  A few winter vegetables may be planted from seed. Consult the California Garden Web for more information.

Enjoy now:

   •  Annuals and perennials: fibrous begonia (Begonia semperflorens), vinca (Catharanthus), cockscomb (Celosia), morning glory (Convolvulus tricolor).

   •  Bulbs, corms, tubers: dahlia.]

   •  Trees, shrubs, vines: trumpet vine (Campsis), hydrangea, morning glory (Ipomoea).

   •  Fruits and vegetables: eggplant, fig, garlic, grapes, onion.

Things to ponder: 

   •  Keep water away from trunks of trees and crowns of plants.

   •  Drought tip:  Preserve the largest climate appropriate plants in the landscape.

Source: Adapted from “A Gardener’s Companion for the Central San Joaquin Valley,” 3rd edition, currently available from Fresno County Master Gardeners for $30. Gardening Questions answered at mgfresno@ucdavis.edu Prepared by Judy Parker, Master Gardener UCCE Fresno County

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