Now that fall is officially here, it’s time to plant a new crop of
vegetables and flowers and to reseed or sod lawns.
Summer Vegetables: Tomatoes
and squash often produce well into fall, but other summer vegetables will have
run their course by now. No need to continue caring for them. Remove
nonproducing summer plants and replace them with vegetables that thrive in
fall. These include beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots,
cauliflower, kale, lettuce, parsley, peas, radish, spinach, potatoes, turnips,
winter zucchini and celery. After a heaving workout in summer, your garden soil
will need an infusion of compost before fall planting.
Plant Cool Weather Flowers: Remove summer annuals and plant flowers that
do particularly well in fall. These include sweet peas, pansies, violas,
primrose, calendula, chrysanthemums, cineraria, dianthus, delphiniums, Iceland
poppies, nemesia and snapdragon.
Plant Wild Flowers: Add a western seed mix of wildflowers to
your garden. Sprinkle the seeds directly onto the soil by hand or with a seed
spreader (for larger areas). Pat down slightly into moist soil (make sure the
seeds are not buried). Water until the plants are at least 4” tall. Natural rainfall
should provide plenty of water. Water as needed, however, if we experience
Plant or Shore Up
Lawns: October is the perfect time of the year to
replace a portion or an entire
lawn whether by seed or sod. Well-suited lawn types for Southern
California include tall fescue, Bermuda, St. Augustine, bluegrass and perennial
ryegrass. Remove patches of crabgrass or other weeds and seed with a lawn seed
that matches your lawn. When planting seed or sod use a top dressing for lawns.
The top dressing material works its way down to the root zone and becomes humus
for the turf.
Plant a Fall Herb
Garden: Many herbs can be
planted in fall including garlic, oregano, parsley, rosemary, chives, cilantro,
dill, fennel and thyme. Once
they finish their growing cycle, dry the leaves and use for cooking.
Reduce watering: Gardeners can
breathe easier when opening up their water bills in October. Unless hot Santa Ana winds are an issue this
month, gardeners can reduce the amount of water for their lawn, garden, trees
and shrubs. When watering, water deeply but not as often. Shut off water timers
when it rains.
Pick Pumpkins: Pumpkins should be ready for picking in
October. It will be time to harvest when the vines leading up to the pumpkins
are dry and the pumpkin skin is firm. Leave about two inches of stem attached
to the pumpkin when removing from the plant to keep the pumpkin from spoiling.
Pumpkins and can stay fresh for months once picked.
Labels: cool weather flowers, fall herbs, fall vegetables, October gardening tips, planting lawns, Southern California