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The Digging Fork

A Davis Garden Newsletter

July - August 2007

July August
Planting Warm season annuals Warm season annuals
Perennials Perennials
Cool season edibles:
Can still plant, but need strawberries (if you can find
to keep plants well them), potatoes (early Aug.)
watered until established
Can still plant, but need
to keep plants well Voodoo lily’s 2 foot long flower Golden calla blooming
watered until established. that stinks like rotten garbage in early June
Seeding Warm season vegetables: Cool season vegetables:
These crops are best Must shade seedlings!!
direct seeded in garden broccoli, cabbage, leeks,
plant notes
in early July- carrots, cauliflower and
snap beans, cucumbers, romanesco, Florence Planting in the Heat of Summer
summer squash, and corn fennel, kale, lettuce, green
onions, parsnips, turnips It’s Possible!
Warm season annuals:
sunflowers, cosmos, Spring and fall are the best times to plant but
celosia, alyssum, Perennials and cool season summer planting can be done with special care.
marigold, zinnia annuals can be started in
trays. Plants to be set out Temperatures are high and plants are using more water
Cool season vegetables: in the fall. so the key is to have the roots spread out into the
Must shade seedlings!!
Brussels Sprouts, surrounding soil. A smaller root system will establish
rutabaga quicker but also dries out quicker and needs more
Fertilize Citrus.
monitoring. Plants in 4” containers generally establish
Look for nutrient quicker than 1 gallon plants.
deficiencies – especially It’s critical to water well after planting! Use a
iron and nitrogen.
gentle stream from a hose and water around and around
Apply soil sulfur around the plant, encouraging the soil to settle around the
citrus and other acid loving roots. A gallon of water for a 4” plant is not too much-
(Will lower the pH of soil making two gallons would be better. The first watering of new
iron more available to plants. Mix
soil sulfur with top 6” of soil and plants always takes a lot longer than you think it will.
water well)
Tomato hornworms - pick off
After planting make sure a 2-3” layer of mulch is
Pest & Same as for July. placed around the plant. The mulch will keep the roots
Snails, slugs and earwigs
Disease damage –use baits or traps cool and retain moisture in the soil. Do not rely on
Control Aphids -can spray off with your irrigation schedule used for established plants. A
water and watch for
new planting will not have the root system to survive
being watered every 5-7 days or longer. New plants
Tasks Summer pruning will
see reduce vigor for deciduous Summer pruning – see July should be monitored almost everyday for a few weeks
plant notes trees and shrubs and help
Apricot trees should and watered as needed. This ensures they are not being
control size.
only be summer pruned, over-watered or in most cases that the root ball isn’t
Weed control continues in Aug., to help control drying out. Some plants will wilt or look like they are
Eutypa disease.
Stake dahlias and other tall dying, but before reaching for the hose, check the
plants that need support
Divide and replant bearded moisture level in the soil. The plants are stressed
Cut back berries and tie iris.
new canes to supports because they cannot take up water fast enough but
Tall, fall bloomers like Weed control continues usually look fine the next morning. Sometimes plants
mums, asters, perennial are so stressed the foliage will die. Ignore the dead
sunflowers, etc. can be Order cool season bulbs and
perennial plants for fall leaves for now and look for new growth. Some plants
cut to about 12” in early
July to encourage planting (see article) will be happy in about a week but others will take
branching and reduce many weeks to send roots into the surrounding soil.
plant height. This may
delay the bloom time.
To make sure new plants are not being overlooked,
mark them with colorful irrigation flags or just leave
Water Water deeply and Same as July.
infrequently to encourage the empty pot close by. Flags are available at most
deep roots!! hardware stores individually or in bundles (Hibbert
Deep water trees and shrubs Lumber sells them individually for 11 cents each).
Calendar layout thanks to Lyle Wilen
Marlene & Patricia’s Garden Workshops It’s Time to Think About Fall
Workshops are held in Patricia’s one acre country garden in Planted Bulbs
Davis. There is time to explore and ask lots of questions. Gardeners must think ahead! It seems we have just
Cost of workshop $25. If you bring a friend or spouse the
cleaned up all the foliage from the spring blooming
cost is $20 per person. Class size is limited.
bulbs (true bulbs, corms, rhizomes, tubers and tuberous
Vegetables for Cool Season roots) and it is time to start thinking about ordering
Fall -- date TBA more for fall planting. A little thought and planning
Fall Garden Cleanup and Planting now will pay off when fall comes and planting begins.
Fall -- date TBA Yes, it is perfectly acceptable to run down to one of
For more information or to register for workshops: the local nurseries in October and grab some bulbs and
Call Patricia (530) 753-0607 start planting – we all do it. The price will most likely
or email TheDiggingFork@gmail.com
be higher than if ordered by mail and the selection is
never as great. Some mail order companies offer
discounts if your order is placed in summer. Ordering
with a few friends allows ordering in greater quantities
and lowering the price per bulb.
Not all bulbs do well in Davis. Tulips, for instance,
need winter chill which we seldom get. This is why
many people pre-chill their bulbs in the refrigerator 6
weeks before planting. Some companies will also pre-
chill bulbs before shipping. Most tulips will bloom
the first year, but you may not get a repeat bloom the
following year. Darwin hybrids, sometimes called
perennial tulips, are the most successful in Davis and
usually bloom for many years. They seem to need less
chill and don’t rot as easily in the summer.
Amaryllis Giant squill Daffodils and narcissus do really well in Davis
and many varieties multiply and naturalize. By
planting more than one variety, the bloom can be
More local classes and workshops extended from about the first of February to the end of
March. Catalogs usually specify the bloom time as
Master Gardener Workshops:
very early, early, mid season, late and very late. A
Workshops are held at Woodland Community College
Compost and Worm Composting Demonstration couple very late varieties include ‘Camelot’ and
July 14, 8-10 am ‘Geranium’.
The Backyard Orchard – Summer Pruning Anemones are usually one of the first bulbs to
July 14, 10-11 am bloom, often in January. Plant them where you can
Information for fair and workshop (530) 666-8143 see them from the house. Anemones do not reliably
Davis Central Park Gardens return each year but are worth planting.
See the web site for plans, workshops and events. Ranuculus take the most effort of all the bulbs
http://www.centralparkgardens.org because they are dug up and replanted each year.
Ranuculus (and Anemones) should be planted late
September to early October which requires coaxing
mail order companies to send your bulbs as early as
Dutch iris, freesias and hyacinch all do well in
Davis. But try something new this year, planting some
of the lesser known bulbs. The Madonna lily, giant
squill, Spanish bluebells, amaryllis, Peruvian
daffodil, summer snowflake, Allium cowanii and
Anometheca laxa are all easy to grow and will
multiply each year.
Many California native Brodiaea and Allium
require summer dry conditions. However there are
varieties that do well in the garden and tolerate summer
Freesia ‘Opala’ Allium cowanii watering.

A couple of bulb sources: Plant notes!
McClure & Zimmerman 1-800-883-6998 Here is more information about some plants mentioned in this newsletter.
John Scheepers, Inc. 860-567-0838 Cool season bulbs:
www.johnscheepers.com Allium unifolium A true bulb. Pink flowering California native
onion that will tolerate summer water. 1-2’ tall. Sun.
Look online for many more bulb sources. Allium cowanii or A. neapolitanum ‘Cowanii’ True bulb.
White flowers, 18-24” tall, blooms in late winter. The flowers don’t
smell like onions, and cut well. Plant in sun or part shade. Multiplies.
amaryllis Hippeastrum hybrids True bulb. These bulbs are often
sold to force into bloom indoors in Dec. or Jan. After blooming they
can be planted in the garden (in sun to part shade) to bloom over a year
later in about May.
anemone Anemone coronaria Tubers. 10-18” tall, single and
double varieties. Soak bulb overnight before planting. Usually bloom
late January to February are good for cut flowers. These tubers, native
to the Mediterranean, don’t return reliably each year. Sun, part shade.
Anomatheca laxa South African corm. Coral or white flowers,
6-12” tall. Corms multiply and plant reseeds. Sun to part shade.
Brodiaea or Triteleia Corms. California native that doesn’t like
summer water. ‘Queen Fabiola’ has blue-violet flowers that are good
for cutting and will tolerate a garden setting with summer water. Bulbs
multiply and plant reseed. Sun.
daffodils and narcissus Narcissi True bulbs. ‘Camelot’ is
golden yellow and late blooming. N. tazetta ‘Geranium’ also blooms
Daffodil ‘Camelot’ Narcissi tazetta ‘Geranium’ late and has 3-5 white and light orange flowers per stem. Both are
about 18”tall. Sun. Great cut flowers.
Dutch iris Iris True bulb found in many colors, 2’ tall. Will
multiply. Sun, cut flowers.
Plant sales and events freesia Freesia Corms. From South Africa with flowers that are
Yolo County Fair very fragrant, 12-18” tall. Sun to part shade, will multiply.
hyacinths Hyacinthus orientalis Very fragrant flowers in many
August 15-19 Woodland. Many plant related exhibits. colors are 8-12 “ tall. Sun. May not reliably return the following year.
UCD Arboretum Plant Sales Use gloves when handling bulbs as some people have a reaction.
October 6 --the biggest sale of the year giant squill, Caribbean Lily or Cuban Lily Scilla peruviana
For information www.arboretum.ucdavis.edu True bulbs, lavender or white flowers. A Mediterranean native that
blooms for a long time. 12” tall. Plant in sun.
California Native Plant Society Plant Sale golden calla Zantedeschia elliottiana Rhizomes. Leaves spotted,
Sept 22 in Sacramento plant grows 2-3’ tall. Plant in sun to light shade.
For information www.SacValleyCNPS.org Madonna lily Lilium candidum True bulbs. Foliage emerges in
the fall and blooms about May. White flowers, 4-5’ tall.
Davis Library Book Sale Peruvian daffodil Hymenocallis narcissiflora or Ismene
calathina True bulb from Peruvian Andes. Flowers are white or
August 3 to 5 light yellow (‘Sulphur Queen’) blooming in July. Sun to part sun.
For information 757-5593 ranunculus Rananculus asiaticus These tuberous roots are soaked
Build up your garden library with used books for $1-$3 a few hours and planted with prongs down in late Sept.- early Oct.
On Sunday, a large brown shopping bag full of books is $3. After blooming in spring, the tuberous roots are dug and stored -- to be
soaked, divided and replanted each fall. Many colors available. Sun,
18” tall, great cut flowers.
summer snowflake Leucojum aestivum True bulbs. White
flowers tipped in green that blooms early spring, 24” tall. Sun to part
shade, bulbs multiply.
Spanish bluebell Scilla campanulata or Hyacinthoides
hispanica True bulbs. Native to Spain, Portugal and North Africa.
About 12-20” tall with bell shaped flowers in blue-violet, pink or white
are great for cutting. Sun or part shade. Multiplies.
spring starflower Ipheion uniflorum True bulb from Argentina.
Blue or white flowers about 8” tall. Sun to part shade, bulbs multiply.
tulips Tulipa True bulbs. The most successful in Davis are Darwin
Hybrids, often called perennial tulips. 20-24” tall. Sun to part shade.
Great cut flowers but cut stems continue to grow in the vase.
voodoo lily or dragon arum Dracunculus vulgaris Dark
burgundy flower is 18-24” long on a 3’ tall plant. It stinks for a couple
days to attract flies. The stem and foliage are unusual. Sun.

Cool season vegetables:

Seeds can be sown directly in the garden in the summer for
a fall crop. Shade seedlings and keep them well watered
until established. Plants can also be started in trays to be
Anemone--De Caen strain Summer snowflake
transplanted in Sept. and Oct.

More gardening tips! How to tell if a plant is over-watered or under-
watered. In both cases the plant may wilt. A plant that
needs water will start to look dull and sometimes bluish-gray
Photos data bases. Sometimes it’s nice to look up photos before wilting. If a plant is over-watered, the roots can’t get
of plants you have heard about or seen in someone’s garden. air because the soil is waterlogged. In this anaerobic state,
Below are a couple sources for photo data bases. the plant cannot perform basic functions. The roots start to
http://plants.usda.gov/gallery.html die, and the foliage yellows and begins to drop.
This data base has about 30,000 + images. Try
looking up Anomatheca laxa.
This data base has many plants native to California
and some that aren’t. Try looking up Allium unifolium.

The Yolo Gardener is a new quarterly publication put out

by the Yolo County Master Gardeners. To view the
summer edition :

Master Gardeners can answer your questions Peruvian daffodils bloom in July Spanish bluebells with Darwin
hybrid tulip ‘Elizabeth Arden’
Hotline 530-666-8737
E-mail mgyolo@ucdavis.edu Summer Pruning To reduce vigor, deciduous trees and
Drop-in Tuesdays and Fridays 9-11 am shrubs can be pruned mid summer after they have produced
70 Cottonwood St. Woodland most of their season’s growth. This will reduce the leaf area
Davis Farmers Market Saturday mornings which will reduce photosynthesis and the amount of food the
plant receives, slowing growth. Suckers and water sprouts
Nitrogen and iron deficiencies. Many plants are can be pruned now, too. Fruit trees are often summer pruned
showing signs of nutrient deficiencies this time of year. If a to keep them smaller in a home garden setting. Care should
plant needs nitrogen, the new leaves are usually green and be taken to avoid exposing the fruit, and limbs to sunburn
the older, lower leaves are yellowing. The plant will move damage. Don’t prune flowering deciduous trees and shrubs
any available nitrogen to the new growth. Lack of iron is that bloom in the spring on last year’s wood because they
shown more in the new leaves with yellowing between the are now setting buds for next spring’s bloom. These were
green veins. This is called iron chlorosis. Our soil has best pruned after the bloom.
plenty of iron but because of the soil pH, it isn’t available to
the plants. To lower the pH of the soil, making the iron
available, soil sulfur can be worked into the top 6” of soil
and watered well. The change in the pH can take many
months depending on the soil’s microorganisms, moisture
and temperature. For acid loving plants susceptible to iron
deficiencies add soil sulfur regularly.

Iron deficiency on strawberry plant Spurge weed Madonna lily in Patricia’s garden getting ready to open.

Mulch. When adding mulch around woody plants it is Newsletter created by:
important to keep the mulch away from the trunk to avoid Marlene Simon -- UCD graduate in Horticulture
crown rot and other problems. Care should also be taken Patricia Carpenter -- Garden Design and Education,
with herbaceous plants that have a crown, as all the new with 30 years of Davis gardening experience.
leaves emerge from this area. Covering the crown with
mulch will probably kill the plant. The ground hugging, The bi-monthly newsletter is free if received by email. If mailed,
the cost is $15 per year. To be added to the subscription list or to
weedy spurge tends to germinate in bare ground without
unsubscribe, contact us at: TheDiggingFork@gmail.com
mulch. Mulching will help control this weed.