Southern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

October, 2003
Regional Report

Prepare for New Roses

Now that you've seen roses perform over the summer, consider which ones you want to replace or which new ones you want to add. Prepare the new planting holes by adding some organic matter and either manure or timed-release plant food. This will give transplants a good start this fall and nourish bare-root plants in January.

Renovate Strawberry Beds

Renovate strawberry beds away from where potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers have grown within the last three years. Incorporate rock fertilizers, compost, and cottonseed meal. Water well. After two to four weeks, transplant strawberries 1 foot apart so the crown is just above the soil level. Strong roots will develop over the winter, and spring warmth will encourage fast growth and large berries.

Make Holiday Herb Wreaths

Harvest herbs for making wreaths or vinegars for holiday presents. Herb wreaths are easy to make and can include whatever herbs are most used by your recipient. Good choices include basil, oregano, marjoram, anise, parsley, thyme, sage, dill, and tarragon.

Plant Green Manure Crops

Plant green manure crops such as fava (broad) beans, clover, mustard, oats, annual rye, wheat, and vetch. They will keep down weeds and enrich the soil when you till them under early in the spring.

Plant for Fall Color

Some shrubs that have good fall color include barberry (berberis), cotoneaster, nandina, Oregon grape (mahonia), pyracantha, raphiolepis, and viburnum. Colorful trees include Chinese pistache, sapium, persimmon, Bradford and Aristocrat pear, gingko, and Raywood ash.

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