Sunday, October 2, 2011

Fall Time to Make Garden Adjustments

With the fall sun moving lower in the sky, October is the time to adjust your garden to keep it producing beautiful flowers and tasty vegetables. In Southern California Fall is planting season. Here are your handy set of October gardening tips is from Agromin, a Southern California manufacturer of earth-friendly soil products made from organic material collected locally.
Plant Cool-Weather Flowers: Give you fall garden a dash of color by planting cool-weather flowers such as pansies, calendula, primrose, chrysanthemums, delphiniums, Iceland poppies, snapdragons and alyssum. Consider sprinkling California wildflowers seeds around your garden including California poppies, larkspur, linaeria and gypsophila.
Spruce up perennials: Even hardy perennials such as Shasta daisies, callas and yarrow begin to look scraggily this time of year. Cut back overgrown and dead stems to the ground. They will immediately start growing back with a fuller appearance. 
Plant lawns:  Fall is one of the best times to plant a lawn whether by seed or sod. Most of the summer heat is gone. Well-suited lawn types for Southern California include tall fescues, Bermuda and perennial ryegrass. If you already have a Bermuda lawn, consider adding ryegrass seed so the grass remains green in winter instead of going dormant. When planting from seed, use a lawn top dressing to help keep the seeds moist while sprouting.
Herb's Fall Season: Plenty of herbs do well when planted in fall. They include garlic, oregano, parsley, rosemary, chives, cilantro, dill, fennel and thyme. Unless you have been clipping back the flowers on your basil plants, the leaves will have lost their soft texture by now. Pick and dry these leaves and use them for cooking.
Plant Vegetables For Winter and Early Spring Harvest: Many vegetables do well when the weather cools. Plant these vegetables now: broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, potatoes, radishes and peas.
Reduce Watering: Unless hot Santa Ana winds blow through Southern California, you can scale back watering lawns, gardens, trees and shrubs. A well-mulched garden will hold in moisture and reduce the need for watering. To reduce water costs, be sure water timers are shut off when it rains.
Spring Bulbs: Plant daffodils, hyacinth, tulips and crocus bulbs. Planting now should result in flowers in spring. Make sure your soil's clay content doesn't make the soil too dense. Till soil conditioner into the top 12 inches of soil. This should help break up the clay and make the soil more conducive for the bulbs to grow.
Plant Drought-Resistant Trees and Shrubs: When planting in cooler fall months, trees and shrubs have the opportunity to establish themselves before summer heat.  Avoid frost-sensitive plants and those best suited to summer planting.

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