Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

September, 2005
Regional Report

Plan for Spring-Blooming Bulbs

September is the ideal time to order your spring-blooming bulbs. This year, why not try something new? Add alliums or fritillaries to your shopping list. They come in an amazing array of shapes and colors.

Switch to Fall Lawn Watering Schedule

Keep turf grass healthy by watering deeply and infrequently to encourage deep roots. Set automatic timers to run for longer periods of time, but less frequently.

Renovate Lawns

September is the ideal time to renovate lawns. Remove thatch with a thatching rake and compost the debris. Aerate the soil with a spading fork or specific aeration tool so that water and fertilizer can reach the roots. Top-dress soil with a layer of organic compost to add nutrients to the existing soil. Water once you have finished the above chores and make sure that sprinkler heads are facing the right direction. Keeping your lawn healthy prevents weeds and fungus disease.

Feed Rhododendrons, Azaleas, and Camellias

Last call for fertilizing acid-loving spring-blooming shrubs, such as rhododendrons, azaleas, and camellias. The flowers are setting and an application of RAC (rhododendron, azalea, camellia) food now will enhance the spring show! Dibble the dry fertilizer into the top 2 inches of soil and water after applying.

Plant for Permanence

Fall is the ideal time to plant shrubs and trees. The soil is still warm so that roots are encouraged to grow, while the sun has lost its teeth so that there is very little stress on foliage. Fall-planted trees and shrubs have all winter to become established before the new growing season rolls around.

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