What a jump in our fresh growing season – with a frightening heat of 115 degrees for this weekend here in Pasadena. It certainly recalls hot memories of the heat at 116 degrees a few years ago that made a lot of my tomato plants fry, even with the deep watering I had reached a few days before the explosion.
So, first, water your garden deeply now so that the moisture can flow to infuse the entire root system of the plants you still produced in the garden before the heat actually hits. For some of you is tomorrow. For me in Pasadena, it’s apparently Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
The second useful measure before the heat is to lightly cover the plants with a stamen or some kind of shade fabric, a spun polyester landscape fabric that lets in a little light, but cuts off the rays of the intensely warm sun.
After the heat, the first thing to do is sprinkle the whole plants to help them rehydrate their leaves by spraying both the top and bottom of the entire foliage. I would leave the fabric coverings on the plants for at least another week so that now that they have been damaged they are not exposed to more intense sun.
In addition, in deep water to ensure that the root areas are fully hydrated.
However, do not prune fallen leaves and other damage that may occur next week. You do not want to strain the plants even more by cutting off each golden foliage. Despite all the need to clean the affected plants, wait until new growth appears – which can take more than a month – to see what actual damage has occurred. You will be surprised how many new leaves will appear in the areas you thought were dead. It’s the time for you to cut off the dead things and even increase any capricious growth.
More after the explosion!
Transition period in the garden
September and March are the transition periods of Southern California in the garden and begin their transition from warm crops to cold crops (September) or from cold crops to warm crops (March). The hanger plants of the past season are still producing, but slowing down. Seedlings for the coming season will just be available in stores, and the seeds will begin to germinate due to changes in air and soil temperature.
But because we do not know what kind of weather the next few months will bring, we can sow and transplant a final batch of warm seasonal plants such as beans and cucumbers, okra, pepper and pumpkin-as long as their ripening dates do not exceed about 70-80 days, at which time certainly (!) will be too cool for them to mature properly. And if the weather gets too cool in front of you, we’ve tried at least some in matter the weather has adjusted.
If you want to focus now on the onset of the cold season, it’s time to clean and modify the soil beds so that they can “heal” for a couple of weeks of activity of microorganisms before sowing and transplanting. The mixture of manure and compost and other additives such as coffee grounds that have been incorporated and well watered will heat up as the microorganisms do their job; when the soil feels comfortable again after a few weeks, you can sow seeds and transplant seedlings without allowing them to overheat.
So now spend time buying seeds from the crops you are going to sow.
Seeds of crops that germinate at an optimal soil temperature of over 85 degrees include asparagus, beetroot, bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, chard, kohlrabi, kale, leek, onion, persil and radish. So sow them as soon as you can.
Crops whose upper range is slightly fresher – 75 to 80 – include amaranth, artichoke, arugula, bean, celery, endive, fennel, lettuce, mash, mustard, parsnips, peas, radicchio, rutabaga and spinach. Then wait another month to sow them.
All of these have minimum temperatures of up to 60 or 70 degrees, so continue sowing in autumn and winter and early spring for continuous harvests.
If you have a few year old seed packets, the seeds may still be viable, but with a lower germination rate, so sow thick enough to see if you have enough to germinate for your family’s use.
Keep the seedling beds moist and shaded from the hot afternoon sun until the seedlings develop two to four true leaves. Mulch the soil slightly to retain moisture for better germination