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July: what to do in Northern California.

Idea-packed read

With gorgeous photos on nearly every page, Debra Lee Baldwin's Succulent Container Gardens (Timber Press, 2010; $30) celebrates these low-water, easy-care plants and shows endless ways to display them in your yard.


ROSE CARE Deadhead repeat-flowering roses as the blooms fade; and feed bushes regularly until six weeks before the first frost, or until October in mild-winter areas.

GROW SUMMER SCENTS Try ever-blooming gardenia (G. augusta 'Veitchii'), which wafts sweet perfume all summer long in Sunset climate zones 7-9 and 14-16. Elsewhere, plant vanilla-scented heliotrope as an annual.


Sow corn early in the month

Set seed 4 inches apart in 4 or more rows. For excellent taste, try Mirai hybrids or 'Honey Select Triplesweet' from Park Seed ( or 800/213-0076). Where summers are short, select an early-maturing variety.


REDUCE FIRE HAZARD Check local laws, but in general, remove debris from roofs and gutters, prune limbs to at least 15 feet from buildings, and maintain at least a 30-foot-wide greenbelt with well-watered, low-growing plants around your home.

In hot weather, water containers often to keep soil moist.


What zone are you?


Plant olive trees

ZONES 8-9, 14-17: They take heat and drought once established. Choose 'Little Ollie' for a loose or sheared hedge and 'Majestic Beauty' for a tall screen or specimen tree. Both bear almost no fruit, so you can plant them next to paving.


WATCH FOR CODLING MOTH LARVAE Look for red-brown droppings on pears and apples. Remove and destroy affected fruit, and pick up fallen fruit promptly. Visit for information on controlling an infestation.

LOW-WATER LAWN Replace thirsty turf with 'UC Verde' buffalo grass, a new winter-dormant variety that uses as little as one-fourth the water of traditional lawns once it's established. We grew it at Sunset and loved its soft feel and 6-inch height (if left unmowed). For details and to order: or 831/422-3175.


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Title Annotation:Garden checklist
Author:White, Hazel
Geographic Code:1U9CA
Date:Jul 1, 2010
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