Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys
Check your vegetable crops daily and pick anything that is ripe. Mature, rotting vegetables attract insect pests such as earwigs. To control them, make simple traps by rolling up newspaper, dampening it in a bucket of water, and setting it out near plants. Earwigs are attracted to damp, dark hiding places. Dispose of the rolled traps each morning.
Citrus fruits such as oranges and lemons are sizing up. Prevent citrus fruits from drying out as they form by applying frequent deep soakings during the warm weather of fall. To prepare the trees to withstand possible frost later this fall and winter, stop fertilizing or pruning them now. Those practices stimulate new, tender growth.
Clean Your Roses
Keep roses clean and free from dust to prevent damage by mites. Wash plants early in the morning to remove insect pests. Washing them later in the day invites fungus disease. Rake up and remove fallen foliage from under the plants to discourage fungus spores from splashing up onto the foliage. Remove faded flowers now to encourage one more bloom; then allow plants to form hips, which will trigger their dormant period.
Watering Container Plants
Because the days are shorter now, plants don\'t use water as quickly, so reduce your watering schedule. The best way to tell whether to water is to feel the soil. If it is dry to the touch, go ahead and water; otherwise, wait at least one more day.
Fertilize Annuals and Vegetables
Fertilize newly planted fall annuals and vegetables once they show new growth. New growth indicates that the roots are settled in and ready to support the foliage. While the plants are still small, fertilize with half-strength liquid fish emulsion each week. Fish emulsion will not burn delicate foliage or damage tender roots.