Automatic sprinkler systems should be adjusted upwards to deliver about an inch of water per week. Adjust grass height too, allowing it to reach about 2.5 inches. This shades the soil, reduces evaporation and keeps weed seeds from germinating.
All watering should be done in the morning to maintain soil health and give plants moisture when they need it.
The Siskiyou Field Institute’s naturalists can help you discover the unique geology, flora and fauna of this region with nature writing, bird watching, technical courses and more. Gardeners might like Trees & Shrubs of the Rogue Valley, a kid-friendly class on native plants held June 23 in Ashland. For more info, visit www.thesfi.org or call 541-597-8530.
Most area garden clubs do not meet over the summer.
With the bounty available from gardens and farms, it should be easy to eat the recommended amount of fruit and vegetables: The Food and Drug Administration recommends 3 cups of vegetables for men, 2.5 for women and children 10 years-old and up. To that, add 1.5 cups of fruit. For more information: www.mypyramid.gov
Use row cover to prevent seed beds from drying out. Vegetables you can plant now are beans, corn, scallions, basil and okra.
Put transplants in during cloudy spells or plant late in the day, then protect from the sun for a few days.
Use pot feet to allow free drainage for containers and drain catch basins to prevent mosquito breeding. The type that like stagnant water are the same breed that carry West Nile virus.
Clumping flowers like daisies or phlox usually pass their peak all at once. To deadhead easily, use garden or hedge shears.
When you fill your birdseed feeders, wipe the bases with handy bleach or disinfectant wipes. To prevent disease in wild bird populations, give the feeders a thorough monthly cleaning with a 10 to 1 water to bleach solution. Hummingbird feeders should be changed daily or every other day. Ditto for bird baths. Clean them weekly with the bleach solution.
There are between 1,000 and 3,000 blades of grass in a single square foot of lawn, so your mower blade gets a workout. Check the top of grass blades after you mow your lawn. If they are ragged, your mower blade needs sharpening or replacing.
The average lawn is mowed 30 times per season. That’s about 3 feet of grass you cut off each year. (Bet you are not surprised.)
Avoid fertilizing lawns during hot weather.