Deep Roots Garden Center             Newsletter                          June 2013





Hanging baskets, fuchsias, begonias,sun color, shade color, vines, shrubs, ground covers,

herbs and veggies...


Look at this Bonfire Begonia


June is Bustin' Out All Over!

What to do in your garden ... 

June is the zenith of our gardening year. As we approach the summer solstice all around us flowers are blooming, vegetables are growing at top speed and birds and bees are singing and buzzing. If you planted, watered, weeded and fertilized early in the season you should now be enjoying the full bloom fruit of your labor. It is a wonderful month and we should reward ourselves by sitting in the garden, admiring the garden and listening to the squirrels munching on our ripening plums and apricots (can you tell I am bitter?). However, if you are anything like me, the moment you sit down in your lawn chair in the shade of a garden umbrella, glass of cold white in hand, all you see are jobs that need doing. Let’s face it, gardening is a labor of love, with emphasis on the “labor”… 

Garden jobs to do: Pick the faded flowers from your annuals and deadhead your perennials to encourage production of new blooms. Regularly weed flower beds and vegetable plots. Don't let the weeds or crab grass go to seed or you will have a never ending weed problem. Remember the old adage "One year's seeds, seven year's weeds"...It’s time for snail and slug damage to occur so keep a lookout! Harvest them at dawn and dusk or sprinkle organic slug control pellets such as “Sluggo”, “Sluggo Plus” or Gro-Power's “Snail and Slug Away” spray. Tiny worms may start damaging your geraniums and petunias. If you see them pinch them off or spray with Bayer’s “Rose and Flower” insecticide. Change the water in your birdbath to discourage mosquitoes. 

• Plant now: In most parts of the West, gardeners are entering prime veggie time but there is still time to plant some edibles before the heat of summer arrives. If you haven't already, plant heat-loving vegetables such as corn, cucumbers, eggplant, green beans, melons, peppers, pumpkin,  summer squash, tomatoes, and zucchini. By the way, planting tomatoes in the same place twice depletes calcium, and leads to blossom end rot. Before planting add gypsum to the soil for calcium.

    You can also transplant palms and tropicals now as the ground has heated up sufficiently. Plant more basil if yours is going to seed and remember to pinch back blooms regularly. Grow chives, cilantro, rosemary, thyme, winter savory and and you’ll have fresh herbs all summer and beyond. Because cilantro germinates quickly, sow seeds directly in the container. Begin harvesting when plants reach 6 inches tall.  

Roses: After blooming, roses need to be deadheaded in order to get rid of the spent flowers and give them more energy to produce new blooms. Make sure to fertilize them right after their bloom cycle! Keep an eye out for mildew, especially in our “June Gloom” weather. (see article below).

• Azaleas: When the Azaleas complete their blooming cycle be sure to fertilize them with an acidifying fertilizer such as GrowMore Soil Acidifier.

• Lawns: Keep mowing regularly. It's the best thing you can do to control weeds and keep grass thick and healthy.

• Watering: Keep up with watering chores. Soak containers well but always remember the Golden Rule: never water anything if the soil is still wet! Give your compost heap an occasional dousing to promote necessary decomposition. If it is drying out too quickly consider shading the heap a little to keep it moister longer.Inspect your irrigation system, if you have one, for damaged sprinkler heads, which waste water. To get the best value for your water bill and time investment, grow something that’s hard to find or expensive at the supermarket, such as ‘Golden’ beets, ‘Sequoia’ beans (a purple Romano type), or ‘Atomic Red’ carrots.

• Drought Tolerant Plants: Established drought tolerant native plants and other dry-climate plants will need only infrequent, deep water from now until rains start later in the year. Keep watering young succulents and plants in small pots.       

Plant vines: Grow an evergreen vine such as blood red trumpet vine (Distictis buccinatoria) to cover a pergola; a fence ornament like Jasmine or passion flower; or a modest grower such as Mandevilla to train on a trellis in a pot. 

Tend potted succulents:In the early morning hose down summer-weary plants occasionally to diminish insect pests and dust. Clean up mineral deposits on dark succulents such as Aeonium arobreum 'Zwartzkop' by gently wiping leaves with a soft cloth soaked in distilled water. Also feed all actively growing succulents with either a cactus fertilizer such as Cactus Juice or an all-purpose liquid fertilizer diluted to one-quarter strength.

Fertilize plants: Roses, lawns, annuals, perennials, container plants, citrus trees, fuchsias, avocado trees, vegetables, and flowers and just about anything actively growing will benefit from a balanced fertilizer. Fertilize container plants. Keep an eye out for yellow or pale leaves with green ribs -- a sign of iron chlorosis. Apply chelated iron such as Grow More Iron Chelate, according to package directions.

• Control bougainvillea looper: If leaves are severely scalloped, this tropical caterpillar is probably the cause. Treat plants with an organic insecticide containing spinosad. 

• Manage giant whitefly: Examine the undersides of leaves of target plants such as fuchsia, hibiscus, and plumeria for white, waxy spirals where the eggs are deposited. Remove affected leaves, bag them in plastic, and dispose. Spray the undersides of the leaves with Horticultural Oil Spray. It also helps to mix worm castings into the soil.

Protect fruit from birds and squirrels: Enclose trees with bird netting to protect your crops. The next best thing is tying Mylar flash tape on tree branches. 

• Stop Watering: When foliage on garlic, bulb onions, and shallots begins to dry out on its own, that’s your cue to stop watering. The lack of water prompts bulbs to form the dry outer layers that allow them to be stored. 

• Prune: Spring blooming shrubs should be pruned to shape after they have finished blooming. Also remove dead leaves, if desired, but be sure to leave the living leaves or you'll seriously impede the plant's health. The exceptions to this pruning schedule are shrubs that bear berries such as Pyracantha and some Viburnums. 

• Mulch: If you haven't already, apply a layer of mulch on flower beds and around trees and shrubs 2-3 inches around the base of plants. (Make sure it doesn't touch any part of the plants, however.) It reduces weeds, conserves moisture, and improves soil texture. Great stuff!

• Pests and Diseases: Now is the time to control a number of diseases. Watch for fungal disease on tomatoes and roses and spray with a fungicide such as Serenade. Keep an eye out also for aphids and other small sucking insects, as well as whitefly and spider mites. Bring in an example of the problem and we will suggest treatment.   

Clean up: To keep wasps away and to help prevent fungal diseases clean up fallen fruit from citrus, peaches, apricots, apples, plums and other fruit trees, as well as rose bushes.



Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew is a fungal disease that affects a wide range of plants. It is one of the most widespread and easily recognized plant diseases and its symptoms are quite distinctive. Infected plants display white powdery spots on the leaves and stems. The disease is most commonly observed on the upper sides of the leaves. It also affects the bottom sides of leaves,stems, buds, flowers and young fruit. Infected leaves may become distorted, turn yellow with small patches of green, and fall prematurely. Infected buds may fail to open. As the disease progresses, the spots get larger and denser as large numbers of asexual spores are formed, and the mildew may spread up and down the length of the plant.

Almost no type of plant is immune, however some are more susceptible than others. Roses, phlox, grapes, squash, tomatoes and cucumbers are all likely targets for powdery mildew. Powdery mildews are also common on certain herbaceous plants, such as begonias, chrysanthemums, dahlias, delphiniums, kalanchoes, phlox, snapdragons and zinnias. Powdery mildew fungi are host specific, meaning the different powdery mildew fungi infect different plants. Each species of powdery mildew has a very limited host range. Infection of one plant type does not necessarily mean that others are threatened. For example, the fungus that causes powdery mildew on lilac does not spread to roses and vice versa. However all powdery mildews favor the same conditions.

     Powdery mildew is unattractive but rarely fatal. It may hasten plant defoliation and fall dormancy, and the infected plant may become extremely unsightly. On roses, uncontrolled powdery mildew will prevent normal flowering on highly susceptible cultivars. Powdery mildew stresses the plant and severe or repetitive infections will weaken the plant. If enough of the leaf surface becomes covered with powdery mildew, photosynthesis is impaired. Infected leaves often fall prematurely. This can be a particular problem on edible crops, since insufficient photosynthesis can diminish the flavor of the fruit or vegetable. If buds become infected, they may not open at all.


What Causes Powdery Mildew? The severity of the disease depends on many factors: variety of the host plant, age and condition of the plant, and weather conditions during the growing season. Powdery mildews are severe in warm, dry climates like ours. Most powdery mildew fungi produce airborne spores and infect plants when temperatures are moderate (60 to 80 degrees F) and will not be present during the hottest days of the summer. Unlike most other fungi that infect plants, powdery mildew fungi do not require water on the plant surface in order to germinate and infect. However, the relative humidity of the air does need to be high for spore germination for some powdery mildew fungi, especially those on roses. Overcrowding and shading will keep plants cool and promote higher humidity. These conditions are highly conducive to powdery mildew development. Therefore, the disease is common in crowded plantings where air circulation is poor and also in damp, shaded areas.

      Incidence of infection increases as relative humidity rises to 90 percent, but it does not occur when leaf surfaces are wet (e.g., in a rain shower). Young, succulent growth usually is more susceptible than older plant tissues. Powdery mildew fungi overwinter in plant debris and begin producing spores in the spring. These spores are carried to your plants by wind, insects and splashing water.  Powdery mildew is rare during rainy seasons or in extreme heat.


Controlling Powdery Mildew: Choose healthy plants and plant them in soil amended with an organic fertilizer. Maintain regular irrigation - the soil should be moist 8 to 12 inches deep. To help reduce the relative humidity avoid overhead watering and sprinkling the foliage, especially in late afternoon or evening. Use a soil soaker hose or root feeder so the foliage remains dry. Ensure good air circulation and several hours of sunshine. Maintaining the plant in health and vigor will help it survive a powdery mildew infection. Try to find powdery mildew resistant cultivars. DO NOT plant highly susceptible plants--such as phlox, rose, and zinnia--in damp, shady locations. Space plants for good air circulation. Do not handle or work among the plants when the foliage is wet.


Once Your Plants are Infected: If you catch an infection at the very beginning improve air circulation by thinning and pruning. Then spray the plant with an appropriate fungicide such as Serenade. There are many  commercial fungicides available. Check the label to be sure they are safe and effective on the type of plant that is infected. Look for ingredients such as: potassium bicarbonate, neem oil, sulfur or copper. Most fungicides will need repeat applications every 7 - 14 days, for continuous protection. Always follow the label instructions for both application and waiting period before harvest.

       If the plant is severely infected remove and destroy all infected parts before spraying with a fungicide. Don’t fertilize until the problem is corrected. Powdery mildew favors young, tender growth.

     For infected vegetables and other annuals, remove and destroy as much of the plant and its debris in the fall as possible. Rake up and destroy all dead leaves that might harbor the fungus. This decreases the ability of the fungus to survive the winter. Do not compost infected plant debris. Temperatures often are not hot enough to kill the fungi.



The Gardeners' Guide to Global Warming

Here is a link to this very useful and informative page

Article Title

Every plant needs water. But drought-resistant varieties need only dainty sips once they’re established, making them perfect for low-rainfall areas and low-energy gardeners.


Susan Gottlieb, an expert on drought-tolerant gardens, says native plants have the best chance of surviving dry summers or whatever nature throws at them.


“Natives have evolved to thrive in your climate without a whole lot of extra work,” Gottlieb says.


Include these 5 stunners in your landscaping

and retire your watering can.


1. California lilac (Ceanothus):

This beautiful shrub flowers in late winter/early spring, emits a lovely fragrance, and shows flowers that run from white to purple. The “Concha” variety is prized for its deep blue blossoms. California lilacs grow best on dry, sloping land or in front of any structure that protects them from wind. They also prefer well-drained soil, and they don’t do well in clay.


2. Deer grass (Muhlenbergia rigens):

Found in many desert gardens, deer grass is a spiky and dependable ornamental. It loves full sun, but also will grow in a little shade. Water every three days until established. After the first year, water only every three weeks.


3. Salvia, heatwave series:

These dependable perennials were developed in Australia to withstand extreme weather. As a bonus, they bloom spring through fall, to the delight of hummingbirds and butterflies. Colors include white, pink, and salmon.


4. Dusty miller (Senecio cineraria):


5. Tickweed (Coreopsis): These yellow perennials add a burst of sunshine to any garden or border. More than 100 species are long-blooming (so long as you deadhead) and low-maintenance. They range from long and leggy to small and mounded. Also, they are easy to divide, creating many more plants season after season. (Here are more tips on taking care of perennial flowers



More than 30 states host Native Plant Societies, which can guide your selection and help you save water in your garden. To find a local society, check with your local extension agent or with the Native Plant Conservation Campaign

, a friend to native and endangered plants.


For more ideas, check out these drought-resistant plants with an emphasis on color, and these lawn alternatives

that don’t hog water.


This low-growing perennial is known for its silver-gray foliage, looks good as a ground cover, and thrives in containers stuffed with annuals. It hates standing around with wet roots, so plant it in soil that drains well.



Read more:

Deep Roots

Garden Center &

Floral Design Studio 


9AM - 6PM daily


Find us on Facebook

201-207 N. Sepulveda Blvd.

Manhattan Beach,

CA 90266


Garden Center: 310-376-0567

Flower Shop: 310-379-3634

Grads and Dads!!!

Show how proud you are of your graduating son or daughter with a lei or a unique custom hand-tied bouquet.


Our unique, one-of-a-kind floral arrangements and bouquets are created to your specifications by our talented team of designers.


And don't forget Dad. Fathers' Day is June 19 so why not treat the Dad in your house to one of our cutting edge contemporary arrangements or come into our Garden Center and buy him a gift for his garden, or a plant for his office!


To see examples of our designs go to our website  and click on the link to the floral design galleries.


Each photo links to an individually themed gallery of arrangements. New photos are being added just about every day. 


You can also order flowers online through our Teleflora website 

Tomato Woes...

There really is nothing like tomatoes grown in your own garden. Not only do they taste better than store-bought, but you can control what goes on them and when they are picked.


Unfortunately, tomatoes aren't only popular with us--they are also a favorite host to umpteen pests and diseases. Here are a few of the more common problems you may find in your tomato patch and how you can avoid them in the future.

(For Powdery Mildew: See article below).

One very common problem is blossom end rot (photo above). The fruits look normal on the top, but when you go to pick them there is a large, unappetizing black spot on the blossom end of the tomato. This is not a disease, but is caused by a lack of calcium in the fruit. One way to avoid this is to make sure you water and mulch regularly. Regular moisture will also help keep the fruit from splitting. Increase the calcium in the soil by adding gypsum, or spray the leaves with a calcium foliar spray such as Green Light Blossom End Rot spray.

The two most harmful fungal diseases that attack tomato plants are fusarium wilt and verticillium wilt. Infected plants display yellowing and wilting of the older leaves about midsummer (see above). The yellowing moves up the stem until the whole plant is dead. If your tomato plants have suffered this fungal disease in previous years you should be proactive and practice crop rotation and plant  wilt-resistant tomato varieties which are designated by a VF after the cultivar name.

Cause:  Fungi that live in the soil and cause wilt symptoms. Verticillium Wilt fungi can survive in infected debris up to 8 years and are favored by cool weather (68F to 75F). Fusarium wilt fungi are favored by warmer weather (84F) and can survive several years in soil. Fusarium wilt is favored by high phosphorus, ammonium nitrogen, or micronutrient levels. Verticillium spp. infect a wide range of weed and crop plants. These wilt fungi can be spread by infected equipment, transplants, and windborne or waterborne infected soil.

Symptoms: Symptoms are similar for both fungi, so the diseases cannot be distinguished based on symptoms alone. Lower leaves yellow, mostly on one side. Plants wilt during the hot part of the day but recover in the evening. Eventually the leaves remain wilted, shrivel, turn brown, and die. The vascular system discolors. Growth is retarded, and yields are low.

Reduce the chances of your tomatoes being infected by these fungi by growing tomatoes in large pots and changing the potting soil every year.

Treatment:  The dark brown sunken areas that develop on the bottoms of tomatoes are caused by inadequate calcium uptake, often the result of uneven watering. Irrigate plants deeply every three to five to days, and mulch around plants to retain moisture between irrigations. Avoid high-nitrogen fertilizers, which tend to block calcium uptake. If your tomatoes are still afflicted after treatment, try spraying foliage with seaweed extract or Green Light Blossom End Rot Spray to supply some calcium directly to the leaves. 


The tomato hornworm represents the larval stage of the hawk or sphinx moth, also known as hummingbird moths.



The moths overwinter in the soil as dark brown pupae, then emerge and mate in late spring. They lay their eggs, which are round and greenish-white, on the undersides of leaves. The eggs hatch in four to five days, and the hornworm emerges. It spends the next four weeks growing to full size, after which it will make its way into the soil to pupate.

Signs of Tomato Hornworms:

Tomato hornworms are voracious, munching entire leaves, small stems, and even parts of immature fruit. While they are most commonly associated with tomatoes, hornworms are also common pests of eggplants, peppers, and potatoes. Most likely, you'll notice the damage before you notice the hornworms, because their color helps them blend in so well with the plant foliage. You can also look for their black droppings on the foliage and around the base of the plant.

    Undetected, a tomato hornworm can do a fair amount of damage to its host plant. They have hearty appetites, and can defoliate a plant in a matter of days. If they are detected and removed early, the plant will recover.

Organic Control:  Because the hornworm is so large, the easiest and most effective way to get rid of it is to pick it off of plants as soon as you detect it and either squish it or toss it into a bowl of soapy water. A bad infestation can be treated by applying an insecticide containing spinosad. This is most effective when the larvae are small. If it is a problem year after year, try rototilling the soil either in late fall or in spring before you plant--this will either bury the pupae or destroy them. However, if you see a hornworm covered with white egg sacs, leave it be. The egg sacs are those of a parasitic wasp called the Braconid wasp. Let the eggs hatch, and you'll have an army of wasps ready to defend your garden against all types of pests.

CSA organic veggie boxes

We are an established drop off point for the South Central Farmers Cooperative Community Supported Agriculture vegetable boxes. The boxes are delivered to Deep Roots Garden Center every Wednesday at approximately 2.00 pm and we store them in our large flower cooler until closing time the following day.


Customers may order a box every week, every two weeks, once a month or simply when you feel like one. The boxes contain enough seasonal organic vegetables to feed a family of four for a week or a single/couple for two weeks.


Payment is in advance – please place your order before noon on Mondays. Why not come in and order a box? Or you can phone 310-376-0567.


CSA raised their prices starting April 13, 2011 but at the new price of $21 a box it is still great value.

To find out what is in the box visit:


Deep Roots Garden Center • 207 N. Sepulveda Blvd. • Manhattan Beach • CA • 90266
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