Southern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

October, 2007
Regional Report

Prevent Wobbly Broccoli

Plant cole crops up to the first set of leaves to prevent their developing into weak, leggy plants.

Make Fragrant Decorations and Gifts

Harvest herbs for making wreaths or vinegars as holiday presents. Herb wreaths are easy to make and can include whatever herbs are favorites of the recipients. Good choices include basil, oregano, marjoram, anise, parsley, thyme, sage, dill, and tarragon.

Naturalize Bulbs

Separate and replant crowded clumps of bulbs where they can naturalize. Many types grow well beneath deciduous trees because most of the bulb growth is in the early spring before the trees leaf out.

Plant Posies On Top of Bulbs

For a cover crop of flowers before, during, and after spring bulb bloom, sow seeds or plant seedlings of low-growing annual bloomers after you've planted the bulbs. Think of color contrasts such as purple pansies with yellow daffodils, or white alyssum with red tulips. Good choices include calendulas, pansies, Iceland poppies, primroses, dwarf snapdragons, dwarf stock, and violas. Sow seed thickly, water the area, mulch it lightly, and keep it moist until seedlings have two sets of true leaves.

Fertilize Roses After Last Flush

Trim roses after their last flush of blooms, but hold off on severe pruning until they're fully dormant, in January. Fertilize them with a no-nitrogen, high-phosphorous, high-potassium fertilizer to help them harden off.

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