Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

September, 2007
Regional Report

Allow Roses to Form Hips

Roses will continue blooming in our mild climate as long as you, the gardener, continue deadheading. However, everybody needs a little break and roses are no exception. If you allow your plants to set rose hips, it will signal the plant to go into dormancy. No fertilizing from this point on. Wait until January to do any heavy pruning.

Set Out Cool-Season Vegetables

It's time to plant broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, cilantro, and cabbage -- all cool-season crops that benefit from the shorter days and cool nights. Protect young plants from voracious slugs and snails by surrounding them with plastic milk cartons that will act as miniature greenhouses. Plant peas from seed and protect them from birds.

Reduce Watering

Turn back the controller on your irrigation clocks now. The days are shorter, and lawns, trees, and shrubs are not using as much water. Continue watering container plants and annuals.

Control Grubs

Is your lawn a minefield of gopher hills and mole tunnels? By controlling the grub population, you will eliminate the food source for these burrowing creatures. Moles and raccoons, especially, are attracted to Japanese beetle grubs that live just below the surface of your lawn. BioSafe makes a product containing beneficial nematodes that, when mixed with water and applied to turf grass, live in your soil for years and years and kill grubs by interfering with their physiology.

Divide Perennials

Perennial favorites such as sea foam statice, daylilies, fortnight lilies, rudbeckia, bird of paradise, and other plants with basal foliage can be dug and divided now to increase your stock. Plants that are left undivided for years at a time will eventually stop blooming. Make sure to get enough roots to support the foliage for each division. Fertilize each division with a slow-release product. Plant in pots or back in the soil.

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