UCCE Master Gardeners of Calaveras County
University of California
UCCE Master Gardeners of Calaveras County

UCCE Master Gardeners of Calaveras County

Gardening Tips For July 2017

Because of the heavy rains last winter, there has been abundance of new growth everywhere.  To reduce the risk of a wild fire it is important to eliminate debris around your house such as dry grasses, fallen branches and any limbs that overhang your roof closer than 15 feet.  If possible, maintain a buffer of low growing watered plants around your home.

Water plants and vegetables early in the morning when there is less evaporation due to the cooler temperature.

Check that all sprinklers and emitters are working well.

Deep water mature fruit and ornamental trees.

Maintain a 3” layer of mulch around your plants, vegetables and trees; this will keep the soil cooler and moister and prevent weeds.  Avoid placing the mulch in direct contact with the plant as this may cause rot.

Summer prune - Young fruit trees can be kept to a manageable size by summer pruning.  Small trees are easier to care for and harvest and it allows for a larger variety of fruit trees in a small area.  Choose a size you want for your tree and keep it that height by pruning in the summer months.  Winter pruning invigorates fruit trees so they will send out many long shoots and branches; summer pruning cuts back the canopy of the tree and reduces the tree’s ability to photosynthesize which then reduces new growth next spring.  In the summer you will see where and how the fruit is growing on the tree on one year or two year old wood or spurs etc.  This visual will help you make better decisions on where to prune.  

Begin by removing crossing branches and diseased wood.  Open up the inside of the tree to allow for good air circulation and for more sunlight to reach the interior.  Cut back all new growth by at least 50%.  Paint the tree trunk and large exposed branches with a 50/50 white latex/water solution to prevent sunburn on the newly exposed interior.  Apply a deep layer of mulch round the tree starting about 4 inches from the trunk and extending out about 4 feet.

By Teresa Spence, University of California Cooperative Extension Master Gardener of Calaveras County.


Got a Gardening Question?

Calaveras County Master Gardeners are here to answer your gardening questions!

  • Office hours: 10-Noon, Wednesdays
    • 891 Mountain Ranch Road in San Andreas
  • Phone: 209-754-2880
  • On-line: Ask a Master Gardener

Bring a sample for identification, or drop by to ask questions. If you bring a sample, please put plant material in a plastic bag. For insect identification, don't bring them alive! Please preserve insects in a container with rubbing alcohol, or by freezing.

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Read our March 2017 newsletter.

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