Happy Fall! A new season brings new landscaping tips to keep your garden thriving after the Autumn Equinox. Here are our October Tips of the Month!
Adjust Landscape Irrigation: Time to adjust the watering schedule on your irrigation controllers! Since summer has come and gone, it is time to check timers and adjust them to fall schedules. The appropriate watering schedule for your landscape will be determined by the weather, plant water requirements and city water regulations.
Planting: Fall is the best time to plant perennials (especially Mediterranean and California native plants). October is also an excellent time to plant trees and shrubs. Be patient! Visible growth may be slow, but the roots will take hold with winter rains and the plants will take off in spring.
Bulbs: It is still possible to plant bulbs such as anemones, daffodils, Dutch iris, and South African bulbs. Forget-me-nots, pansies, lobelia and alyssum can be planted above the bulbs to provide color until the bulbs sprout. *TIP* When buying bulbs, press on them to make sure that they are firm like an onion to ensure maximum flower and leaf production. When planting, add recommended amounts of blood meal to the soil to encourage healthy root growth and flower production.
Veggies: Plant cool season veggies and flowers. You can plant an array of vegetables and leafy greens such as lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, radishes and other related crops*. Cool season veggies grow best at temperatures averaging 15 degrees cooler than those needed by warm season types. For best results use drip irrigation and let veggies mature in cool weather. In warmer regions plant crops in later summer to early fall for a winter harvest.
*Other crops include arugula, onions, peas, pak choi, potatoes, kale, kohlrabi, spinach, cilantro, beets, Brussels sprouts, collards and celery.
Lawn Care: Fertilize cool season lawns, such as tall fescue, with a high-nitrogen fertilizer.
Manage Pests: As a result of the temperature drop, whiteflies, aphids, snails and slugs will become more prevalent in the garden. Dislodge aphids and whiteflies with blasts from a hose or spray insecticidal soaps. Hand-pick in the morning and evening or bait for snails and slugs with a children- and pet-friendly product like Sluggo.