Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

October, 2006
Regional Report

Prepare Landscape for Fire Season

It's fire season again. Until winter rains begin later next month, remove piles of firewood from around buildings. Keep native grasses mowed down around fences. Prune overhanging branches from roof lines. Use common sense to keep your property safe.

Continue Irrigating

Until winter rains begin in earnest, continue irrigating. Lawns, shrubs, trees, and flower beds will not survive on the light rain that fell earlier this month. Although plants don't need as much water, they do need some supplemental irrigation to get through the end of the dry season.

Plant Cool-Season Vegetables

It's time to plant cabbage, kale, spinach, cilantro, Brussels sprouts (yuck!), lettuce, peas, and underground crops of beets, carrots, radishes, and turnips. Cool-season annual plants perform well in the diminishing daylength and dropping soil temperatures of fall.

Give Roses a Break

Discontinue deadheading roses so that hips can form to signal plants to go into dormancy. Our mild weather isn't cold enough to give roses the rest they need. By allowing plants to form seed, it gives them the "end-of-season" sign.

Divide Perennials

Daylilies, statice, penstemons, and other plants that form basal clumps can be divided now with no ill effects. Cooler daytime temperatures are gentle on foliage while warm soil encourages root growth. Make sure to get some root and some foliage for each division. Water immediately after transplanting to settle soil around roots.

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