Summer Tips for Southern California Growers

Growing in the summer can be hard.  Some areas of Southern California can be unforgiving with heat and hot, dry winds. With the unusually hot days we have had lately, it is important that we focus on the things we can do to minimize water waste and keep our plants healthy, happy and producing throughout the summer.  Here are San Diego Seed Company’s top tips for summer garden care.

  1. Add mulch or compost to retain moisture in the soil. Healthy well-balanced soil will hold more moisture than soil that lacks organic matter. Your goal throughout the winter should be to add as much organic matter (compost) to the garden so that it can break down and work like a sponge in the garden during the summer. If you slacked on that this past winter, don’t worry, there are other things you can do. You can add straw (not hay) to your garden to work as mulch.  This can be pulled back and put in the compost pile in the winter. This will keep the soil moist and cool during our HOT days.
  2. Water deeply, infrequently and early in the morning. Watering in a manner that allows the moisture to go deep in the soil will prevent the soil from drying out too quickly. This means watering by drip irrigation or letting your hose saturate the veggie garden. Do this by placing the hose on the ground in the garden and let it slowly drip into the ground.  This also prevents water runoff/waste. By watering in the morning, you will avoid excessive evaporation from the sun’s harsh rays.
  3. Allow for a bit more foliage growth on your tomatoes. If you follow any of our advice, you know we advise that growers prune tomatoes for maximum efficiency.  As the days get hotter you can begin to pull back on your pruning.  This allows the plant to shade itself and its fruit from sunscald.
  4. Invest in Shade Cloth. Shade cloth is a GREAT investment. It allows you to do so many things. You can shade your delicate transplants or give tender crops a break from harsh sun. Keep in mind, shade cloth comes in a range of UV protection. Ask your nursery professional for help picking out the best kind. You can get them at the following San Diego Locations.
    1. Walter Andersen San Diego
    2. Walter Andersen Poway
    3. Grangetto’s Farm and Garden Supply
    4. Green Thumb San Marcos 

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