Califonia Bountiful

Gardening Q&A

July/August 2022 California Bountiful magazine

As a California Bountiful reader, you have the opportunity to get your seasonal gardening questions answered by gardening expert Pat Rubin. Here are a few questions from our readers.

Everyone tells me use mulch and add compost. What's the big deal with that?

It's the absolute best advice you can get and the best thing to do for your garden. Compost will add nutrients to your soil so your plants grow better, produce more and are resistant to disease and insects. Mulch will protect your soil. It conserves water, discourages weeds from growing and gives the garden a tidy appearance.

Should I fertilize my garden in August?

It depends on what plants you want to fertilize. If it's your summer vegetables and flowers, then I'd say go ahead. If it's the shrubs and trees in the garden, I would recommend against it. The growing season is coming to an end, and fall and winter are fast approaching with low temperatures and possible frosts. Fertilizing encourages new growth and winter chills can damage that growth. If you feel you need to fertilize, I would use a weaker solution than the directions recommend. Some plants, like citrus, especially if grown in pots, need fertilizer most of the year. Look at the label on your fertilizer package.

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